Installing an electric shower is a rather simple job, especially if you aren’t new to electric fixtures and appliances. With the right tools and knowledge, you should be able to set up an electric shower just fine. Below, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to do this.
With that said, there are a few important points that you should be aware of with electrical shower installation as well. We’d like to first cover these and only then proceed to the installation guide.
Should You Install An Electric Shower Yourself?
Electric showers combine water and electricity and demand spot-on installation. DIYing an electric shower setup is thus a very risky and tricky undertaking.
In some areas, installing an electric shower may only be allowed by a certified plumber or electrician. Only a professional will be able to ensure that an electric shower is fitted and wired safely. If you do not have certification, then it would probably be a better idea not to attempt DIY shower installation.
With that said, you may be able to install an electric shower yourself if the new unit does not require new wiring or plumbing – this would be the case if, for example, your new shower is similar to the old one. In such cases, installation comes down to just fitting the new shower to the plumbing and wiring of the old one.
But if the new electric shower has higher wattage or a completely different plumbing & wiring layout, you will most likely have to hire a certified electrician to do the job for you.
What Are The Plumbing & Electrical Requirements For Electric Showers?
For plumbing, you’ll just need a 15mm cold mains water supply pipe. Hot water supply is not required since electric showers heat the water on their own.
As for electricity, it’s a little more complicated. The shower should be connected to a separate fused electrical circuit. For safety, you will also need a double-pole switch mounted to the ceiling. This switch will allow you to easily turn the power supply to the shower on and off.
As for cable and fuse sizes, these will depend on the power of your shower (measured in kW). 10sq mm cables should work for most setups, but just in case, you may research what would be the best for your shower’s power.
How To Install An Electric Shower
Below, we will outline the general process of installing an electric shower. Please keep in mind that the exact procedure may differ from shower model to model – make sure to prioritize the provided installation manual over any guide you find online, including this one.
Still, online guides can provide you with added information or understanding of electric shower installation, so they can be useful as well.
- Choose a safe and accessible location for the shower. Switch off the water along with the electrical supply to the shower. You may then check the shower’s power supply with an electrical tester to make sure that it’s indeed off.
- Mark the areas on the wall where you will mount your shower unit. Drill holes in the wall with a masonry bit of the correct size.
- Drill another hole for the copper branch pipe that will connect the shower head to your main water valve.
- Cut the branch pipe and insert it into the hole.
- Attach a stopcock to the branch pipe’s end. Make sure that the stopcock’s arrow indicator is pointing towards the shower head and away from the rising main pipe.
- Attach a T-joint to the rising main pipe. Tighten the T-joint until it feels snug.
- Cut another piece of connecting pipe to connect the T-joint to the stopcock. Link the branch pipe to the main valve.
- Attach the shower head to the copper branch pipe.
- Mount the shower unit box to the holes you drilled in step 3.
- Connect the shower head to the shower unit with the included flexible spray hose.
- Drill a hole in the ceiling.
- Attach a mounting board to the hole – the pull-switch back plate will be then mounted to this board.
- Run a circuit cable through the installed mounting board.
- Strip the cable at the switch – you will see one red wire, one black wire, and several bare wires.
- Entwine the bare wires. Do the same with the ground wires. Cover the entwined wires with green and yellow sleeving.
- Attach the sleeved wires to the pull-switch’s “E” terminal. Connect the black wire to the “N” and the red one to the “L” terminal.
- Strip the cable end that will be linked to the shower unit. You will again see black and red wires (one each) along with a group of bare wires. Cover the bare wires with green and yellow sleeving.
- Connect the wires to the “Mains” terminal on the pull-switch – the bare wires to the “E” terminal of the pull-switch, the black wire to the “N” terminal, and the red one to the “L” terminal.
Once everything’s done, run the shower to flush out any dirt or debris in the plumbing. Apart from that, run the shower at full power for some time to allow air to be released from the system.
How Much Would Professional Electric Shower Installation Cost?
In Ireland, expect to pay €450-€950 for electric shower installation. The actual costs will depend on the shower, the setup of your plumbing in the bathroom, and whether this is your first electric shower or not. Replacing an electric shower will likely cost less than installing your first one.
Although the cost of installing an electric shower is often higher than the price of the shower itself, we think that putting yourself at risk of electrocution is not worth it. Unless you are qualified in electrics work, do not attempt to install an electric shower yourself.
Apart from property or health damage, you may also face legal charges for unlicensed electrical work. You may be able to avoid these, but that’s unlikely. Don’t scrimp on an electrician – get in touch with a professional to get your electric shower safely set up for you.