Plumber and Electrician Work Together on Electric Shower

Plumber and Electrician Work in Harmony Together on Electric Shower

The call came through at 7 am yesterday from a regular customer of Ability, who had an electric shower leaking. So our plumber and electrician worked in harmony together on this customer’s electric shower.

We were able to calm them down and reassure them that we could send our plumber right away to help with their emergency.

electric shower
Lady in a hot shower

Once the mains water and electric power had been isolated, our electrician was able to attend later that morning and check and test the safety of the electrics.

Our emergency plumber had managed to stop the leak with a new stopcock valve and make a repair to the pipe that connects to the electric shower.

The electric shower was 15 years old and the customer had reported signs of poor performance and asked if we could fit a new electric shower in its place.

So between our plumber and electrician, we were able to supply and fit a new electric shower. All done in one visit from each of our engineers to save on time and cost. Another happy customer here at Ability.

How Does an Electric Shower Work?

Electric showers work in much the same way as other electric appliances that get hot, including electric toasters and hair dryers. They send an electric current through a piece of metal called a heating element. This has a moderate resistance, so it gets really hot when electricity moves through it. Cold water flows past the element, picking up the heat and heading out through the nozzle where you’re standing. So a basic form of heating up something.

electric shower
New shower installation

How do mixer showers work?

Here at Ability, we can explain a little about mixer showers. The simplest showers are called mixer showers and, as their name suggests, they work by mixing hot and cold water from separate pipes to make warm water whose temperature is somewhere in between. The basic form of mixer shower is a Y-shaped rubber pipe that you fit over the hot and water faucets (taps) on a bath-tub. By adjusting the faucets, you create a single stream of water at exactly the temperature you want. This can become irritating.

The trouble with mixer showers like this is that the temperature is hard to control. If someone switches on a cold faucet or flushes a toilet elsewhere in your home, the cold water supply is reduced. That means there’s proportionally more hot water coming through your shower and, if the water’s too hot, you could be scalded. The opposite will happen if someone switches on a hot faucet you’ll suddenly find the shower turning freezing cold, this is where we can help at Ability.

electric shower
Showerhead cascade

Mixer showers that are plumbed into the wall overcome this problem by using built-in thermostats. They constantly adjust the temperature of the mixed water to ensure you’re not boiled like a lobster or frozen like a penguin by water that’s alternately too hot or too cold. Most mixer showers also have safety cut-outs that prevent you from turning the water up to dangerously high levels, which is good news if they’re being used by the infirm, frail elderly people or young children.

But there’s still a basic problem with mixer showers: they typically run off hot water from a tank. Once the tank is empty, there’s no more hot water and you have to wait for the tank to fill up before you can shower again. So you cannot run out of stored water. We recommend here at Ability you have a mains feed system.

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