This can be tricky as electrics and water don’t mix, and you need to do the correct job for safety. We have the answer below and cover:
- Is a plumber qualified to fit an electric shower?
- Can the homeowner fit an electric shower if the plumber can fit a shower?
Unless there are alterations to the cable, such as extending it enough to make the connections for the new shower, the plumber can install the shower. You will need an electrician if cable alterations are required since the bathroom is covered by part P. The homeowner can install an electric shower under the same circumstances as the plumber.
Do I need a plumber to replace an electric shower?
If you need work carried out on your electrical circuits, it is recommended that you use a qualified electrician to undertake the work.
In some cases where the shower is being replaced with a like for like unit, and the electric cables don’t need to be reconfigured to fit the electric shower, the plumber can make the connections and fit the shower.
If the homeowner is a skilled DIY enthusiast, it is feasible for the homeowner to fit a new electric shower.
Do you have to be qualified to replace an electric shower?
Yes and no. Your bathroom or shower room comes under part P of the building regulations that lay out the regulations for the wiring in your home.
Your bathroom comes under what is called part P. Below is the extraction from the building regulations.
12.– (6A) A person intending to carry out building work in relation to which Part P of Schedule 1 imposes a requirement is required to give notice or deposit full plans where the work consists of-
- The installation of a new circuit
- The replacement of a consumer unit; or
- Any addition or alteration to existing circuits in a special location.
Clearly, your bathroom or shower room is covered by part P, so if you need to alter the wiring to the new electric shower, you need a qualified electrician to make the installation. The electrician must be able to certify his work under Part P of the building regulations.
Confused? Without wiring alterations, a plumber can fit your shower, or a DIY enthusiast can also fit the shower.
Does an electric shower need its own RCD?
Your electric shower will need to be on an independent circuit as it is likely to have the highest Kw rating in your home. Spurs should not be used.
The electric shower should be fitted with its own RCD (Residual current device). If a fault occurs, the RCD should trip out and kill the circuit, preventing potential catastrophe.
Can you use an RCBO on a shower?
The RCBO provides better protection to the homeowner.
Also, your electrician will fit an RCBO to your consumer unit for this circuit. The RCBO does the same job as an MCB that provides overload protection to the consumer, short circuit protection, and earth protection, all built into one small circuit.
Change it over if you have a consumer unit with fuses or a separate enclosure next to an upgraded consumer unit with a fuse for the shower circuit.
Fuses react much slower than the more sensitive RCD RCBO equivalents. Fuses rely on a small piece of copper wire to burn when an overload situation occurs, which takes much longer than the nanosecond response of a modern RCBO.
What size RCBO do you need for your electric shower?
It will depend on the KW output of your electric shower, but a 32mA RCBO should suffice to cover all eventualities should you have a problem with the shower circuit.
What will an electrician charge to connect an electric shower?
Electricians work on hourly rates, which vary depending on where you live in the country but on average, you can expect £60 to £100 per hour.
You can ask your electrician to give you a rate for the job if you are concerned that an hourly rate could be extended if the electrician encounters any problems during the installation.
What do I need to have a power shower?
Power showers work differently from electric showers, although it is possible to purchase an electric shower with a small pump inside to boost water pressure if needed.
Power showers take water from your hot water tank, which causes a water pressure drop. To compensate for the drop in water pressure and boost the water pressure to deliver a strong water flow to the showerhead.
Do you need an electrician for a power shower?
Yes, your power shower will need to have an electric pump fitted to boost the water pressure in the shower.
However, the pump does not necessarily need to be fitted in the bathroom or shower room, excluding it from part P. But your electrician will advise you of the best location for the pump and the requirements needed to comply with the law.
Do you need an electrician to fit a jacuzzi bathtub?
Yes, your jacuzzi bathtub will need its electric pump to be connected to a circuit coming from your bathroom, classified as notifiable work under part P of the building regulations.
The electrician will need to run a new circuit into your bathroom to cover the additional power requirement.
You can coordinate the electrician with the plumber to make the work splice more efficient and reduce installation time.
Do I need an electrician to install a hot tub in the garden?
Yes, despite your hot tub being made from mainly wood and composite materials for the tub and plastic piping for the water jets, hot tub manufacturers fail to make hot tubs intrinsically safe, so you need an electrician to install the hot tub.
Your electrician will run a large power cable from a new RCBO circuit to a 4 pole power switch mounted 2 metres away from the hot tub.
And from the 4 poles rotary safety switch, he will connect the pumps and the control unit to the power supply.