How to Replace an Electric Showerp
Has your shower lost some of its oomph? Is it looking a bit tired? Perhaps it’s time to replace it with a new one. But, is it possible to replace an electric shower yourself? The answer is yes. It’s not the easiest job in the world, but with plenty of preparation, care and attention it is possible. Read on to find out how to replace an electric shower.
Can you replace an electric shower yourself?
You can. But you must be suitably qualified. If you’re not trained or qualified in electrics DO NOT take the risk. While the cost of installing an electric shower can often be more than the shower itself, it’s not worth putting yourself at risk to save a bit of money.
Who can replace or install an electric shower?
If you’re not suitably qualified then you will need to contact a Part P certified plumber or a qualified electrician. When selecting an installer you should check that they are registered with a relevant trade body such as the NICEIC.
There are a range of qualifications that your plumber can have. These can vary from apprenticeships, City & Guilds, NVQs, and being Chartered.
Read our guide ‘What Qualifications Should My Plumber Have?’ here.
With that in mind, if you do know your way around electrics and just need a refresher, keep on reading…
Choose a reputable brand electric shower
The amount of choice when it comes to electric showers can be dizzying. However, perhaps the most important thing to think about when selecting a new electric shower, is the brand.
If you’re replacing your current electric shower, then the odds are that it’s broken, or losing performance. Plus, replacing a shower is an investment of time and money. So, it pays to invest in a quality shower that’ll last for years.
Here at Plumbworld, we stock a wide variety of high-quality showers, at some of the lowest prices on the internet.
Quality electric shower brands that we stock include:
Explore our range of electric showers here.
A step-by-step guide to replacing an electric shower
Replacing an electric shower is easier than installing one from new. That’s because all of the main ‘infrastructure’ such as water pipes and electrical connections will already be in place. We’ve written this step-by-step guide based on this assumption.
It’s also best if the shower you are going to install has cable and pipe entry points at the top, bottom, side and rear so you have more flexibility when it comes to routing cables and pipes. You should also check that your new shower can be connected to independent electric circuits - this is because the shower will be heating water independently of your hot water tank.
With those considerations at the front of mind, let’s take a look at each step in replacing an electric shower.
Step 1: Disconnect the power supply
Electricity and water don’t mix. Before you start any work in your bathroom, make sure you disconnect the power supply to the shower. Check that the electricity really is disconnected by using an electrical tester. An electrical tester usually features a small neon bulb which will light up when a current flows through it.
Once you’ve disconnected the power supply, you will need to switch off your water supply.
Step 2: Remove the shower unit
With the power and water disconnected it’s now safe to remove the old shower unit. How difficult this is, depends on the type of shower unit. The majority of shower units are usually fixed in place with four screws, making removal straightforward.
Once you’ve undone the screws holding the shower unit in place, it should just pull away from the wall. Take special care when disconnecting the water supply and electricity supply connections. You will likely need to remove the front of the old shower unit in order to disconnect the water and electricity supplies.
Step 3: Check the shower connection points
With the old unit out the way, it’s now time to install your new electric shower unit.
To make this process straightforward, you should begin by figuring out if the electrical and water connection points are in the same place on the new unit as they were on the old unit.
Some shower units, such as those manufactured by Mira, have multiple connection points which makes installation easy. If, however, the connections on your new unit are in a different position than the connections on your old unit, you may have to make some adjustments.
If everything does align, then installing your new shower unit is fairly straightforward.
Step 4: Installing your new shower unit
Begin by marking the position of the new unit on the shower wall (use a pencil so you can easily remove these marks post-installation). Your new unit may not have the same silhouette as your old unit, so you may need to drill new holes to fix it to the wall. Mark any areas where new holes are required.
Use a drill to make any necessary holes.
Tip - use a drill with a masonry drill bit. This will reduce the likelihood of broken tiles.
Once you’ve drilled the holes, fit rawl plugs. At this point, you’ll want to unscrew the front of your new shower unit so that you can access the backplate and the internal connections.
Then it’s a case of feeding the water supply pipe and electrical connection through the backplate of your new shower unit, fixing them in place and then screwing the new unit to the wall of the shower.
When fitting the water supply pipe, use a pipe wrench to tighten the compression fitting - or else your nice new shower might spring a leak at a later date!
Once you’re sure the connections are secure, screw the front plate of your shower unit back in place.
Step 5: Check your installation
With the new shower unit fixed to the wall and connected to the water and electricity supplies, it’s time to check everything is as it should be.
For the electricity supply, you should check that the neutral, live and earth wires are not just connected to the shower unit, but connected correctly.
The same goes for the water supply pipe. Ensure this is connected with the compression fitting and that the fitting is tight enough.
Note - if at any point you’re unsure if your new shower unit is set up correctly, seek professional guidance.
Step 6: Test your new electric shower
Once you’re 100% sure that the wiring and water connections are securely in place, it’s time to turn the power and water supplies back on. You must be extremely careful when testing your new shower. As we said at the outset of this article, water and electricity do not mix!
If you’re not sure about testing your new shower, then call in the services of a professional.
How much does a shower installation cost?
If the above has convinced you that you should get a qualified professional to install your new electric shower, then you may be wondering how much it will cost?
Naturally, costs vary depending on where you live and the current demand for plumbers and electricians, but for a like-for-like replacement, installation can cost anywhere between £150 to £1,000 whereas you could pay upwards of £700 to £2,500 if the replacement involves alterations to your plumbing and/or electrics.
Whichever option you choose, replacing your electric shower with a new one can certainly be a worthwhile investment in your home.
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