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Bathroom Fitting Question
What sort of electric shower should i be looking for to cause minimum damage to my current bathroom and what else should i take into account when choosing the right shower?
There are many good Electric showers on the market and various Models and colours I usually recommend a 9.5KW this is middle of the range and would require a 40amp MCB a 10mm cable a 45amp double pole isolator switch and should be covered by a 30 milli amp RCD most plumbers and electricians can supply and fit Electric showers but they must be registered for Part 'P' of the building regulations ie registered domestic installers to do this work and must notify the building inspector,issue an installation certificate and you should receive a compliance certificate as well!the NICEIC send one through the post within a few weeks. Damage to the existing bathroom should be kept to a minimum but would need a site visit to work out best routes for pipes and cable. Put the job on my builders let the fitter supply you with the shower that way you can let him guarantee it parts and labour tell him roughly the details of a shower you like, research on the internet for makes and styles you like they are fairly similar but are better looking and have different styles as you go up in price.
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Answered 28th Oct 2011
All electric showers will need an electric cable and 15mm cold water pipe running to them, so you need to consider how the pipe and cable will come down the wall from the ceiling etc to get to the shower. Ifthe bathroom is already tiled then these will probably have to be run on the surface of the wall.
You also need to consider where the 45amp double pole shower isolator can be situated. The two options you have are either a pull cord operated type that fits onto the bathroom ceiling or a wall mounted type that has to be situated outside the bathroom. Of the two the wall mounted types are more reliable although they are slightly larger.
For the shower istself Triton is the market leader and generally reliable so are worth a look. As a rule the higher the Kilowatt rating (KW) the faster it will heat the water. As electric showers work on the principle of cold water flowing across a hot element the speed at which the water gets hot translates into the flow rate, ie. how fast the water comes out of the spray head. Therefore higher KW rated models cost more but tend to operate better especially in the winter when then incoming cold water supply is a lot colder.
You also need to consider if your existing fusebox has a spare circuit breaker or fuse for the new electrical circuit that will need to be wired. The new shower circuit could be 6mm or 10mm cable depending on the KW rating of the shower you choose and it will also need RCD protection. So if your existing fusebox does not have an RCD fitted, you will need to allow extra costs for this.
Finally the earthing to the water and gas pipework (Eartyh bonding) will need to be checked and tested and if undersized upgraded to 10mm to meet the current standards. Hope this helps.
Answered 28th Oct 2011