With electric showers often being a distress purchase, products need to be quick and simple to install. Lisa Ward, product group manager at Bristan, explains how electric showers have changed in line with the needs of the installer.
Most installers will be well versed in the benefits of electric showers. They are, after all, quick and simple to fit, and can be installed just about anywhere – requiring just a cold water mains supply and an electrical connection.
They provide an instantaneous supply of hot water because water is heated up as it passes through the shower unit, rather than coming from a hot water storage facility or combi boiler. This ensures there is always enough hot water to go around and can help to reduce energy costs – as water is only heated as required.
Surely, the argument for electric showers would seem all but conclusive then? However, for many years there have been a number of stigmas attached to electric showers which may still put some installers off; mainly that they are unsightly, clinical-looking and difficult to retrofit – that is, up until now.
The electric shower has evolved rapidly over recent years to become much more design-led and aspirational, along with hosting a number of functional benefits, making it an increasingly popular choice with the consumer. In fact, it is estimated that around 50% of British homes now have an electric shower installed – a number that only looks set to grow.
In terms of ensuring broad aesthetic appeal, today’s electric showers combine clean lines and minimalistic styling and come in a range of finishes, such as white, black gloss and metallic silver.
Furthermore, many options include a digital display so users can choose their temperature or setting, coupled with a warm-up mode to let the user know when the shower has reached the desired temperature without having to put your hand in to check. Some also include a thermostatic control to avoid temperature changes when water is used elsewhere in home – and even an anti-limescale device and a cleaning alert to ensure an extended product life.
For the installer, an easy retrofit is a big pull. In the past, the necessity of matching existing water and cable entry points to a new shower meant they might have been restricted to re-fitting the same model every time, or potentially having to adjust the pipework to suit a new unit. Alleviating this issue, however, certain shower models now boast multiple water inlets and electrical cable entry points, along with an adjustable footprint, which will comfortably fit over the wall fixings of other manufacturers’ showers.
This level of flexibility not only saves time for the installer, but also means they can carry electric models in their van, confident in the knowledge that it will be suitable for any replacement job.
In the increasingly fast-paced plumbing industry, it is important that installers don’t just stick to what they know but rather keep up to date with emerging technologies which can help them to retain a competitive edge. When it comes to the modern electric shower, for example, they can look to work smarter not harder, all while ensuring a satisfied customer.
Pictured: The Bristan Joy thermostatic electric shower