What Are the Disadvantages of Electric Showers?

neil hughes

Neil Huges

Last Updated: 20/04/2024

Are you contemplating installing an electric shower in your home? 

While these devices offer quick, hot showers at a moment’s notice, they come with certain drawbacks worth considering. 

This introduction will bridge the gap between your current understanding and what you need to know to make an informed decision about electric showers.

Electric showers are popular for convenience, but some households may have better choices. 

This article will explore the disadvantages of electric showers, helping you see beyond the surface convenience and evaluate whether this type of shower truly suits your home's needs and lifestyle.

Key Takeaways

  • Electric Showers vs. Thermostatic Showers: Electric showers provide instant hot water and are energy-efficient in specific scenarios but may not offer the temperature stability of thermostatic showers, which mix hot and cold water supplies to maintain a consistent temperature.

  • Common Problems with Electric Showers: Users of electric showers often need help with issues such as low water pressure and temperature fluctuations, which can lead to discomfort and inconsistent shower experiences.

  • Cost and Longevity Considerations: Electric showers have lower initial installation costs than other types, which might lead to higher electricity bills. They generally require more frequent replacement, which could contribute to greater environmental waste.

  • Disadvantages of Electric Showers: While electric showers are convenient and easy to install, they can suffer reliability issues and potentially higher operating costs. They are particularly affected by the household's existing water pressure system, making them less ideal for homes with low water pressure.

  • Find out the top rated electric showers in 2024 from Best Electric Showers.

Free PDF: Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Electric Showers

Electric Showers vs. Thermostatic Showers: What's Best for You?

Choosing between electric and thermostatic showers offers distinct advantages and disadvantages that cater to household needs. 

Here’s a balanced view to help you decide which might be the better option for your home.

Electric showers are celebrated for their convenience. 

They heat water instantly, which means there's no need for a stored hot water supply. 

This makes electric showers suitable for households with high or sporadically timed hot water demand. 

They are generally easier and less expensive to install since they don't require extensive plumbing alterations. 

However, electric showers often need help with water pressure and temperature stability issues, which can be a significant drawback for some users. 

They are also noted for higher electricity consumption, which can lead to increased utility bills.

On the other hand, thermostatic showers offer superior temperature control. 

They mix hot and cold water to the desired temperature before it reaches the showerhead, ensuring a consistent temperature throughout the shower, even when other water-using appliances are running. 

This feature enhances comfort and increases safety, reducing the risk of scalding. 

While thermostatic showers require a more complex initial installation and typically come at a higher upfront cost, they are often more cost-effective in the long run due to their efficient water and energy use.

Comparative Scenarios

  • For large families or multiple occupants: A thermostatic shower might be preferred due to its ability to maintain a steady temperature, which is ideal when showers are frequently back-to-back.

  • In homes with older individuals or children: The safety features of thermostatic showers make them a superior choice.

  • Electric showers with newer, more efficient water systems can be a practical option for residents. They offer quick and easy installation and immediate hot water access.

Deciding between an electric and a thermostatic shower largely depends on your household’s specific needs, budget, and long-term convenience. 

While electric showers fit well in scenarios with sporadic use and minimal installation effort, thermostatic showers stand out in busy homes that value comfort and safety with every use.

The Frustrations of Electric Showers: What Could Go Wrong?

Electric showers are a practical solution for many homes, providing the convenience of immediate hot water. 

However, they still need their issues. 

Understanding these common problems can help you make a more informed decision about whether an electric shower is right for your household.

Reliability Concerns

Electric showers depend heavily on the consistency of their electrical components and water pressure. 

Users often report breakdowns that require frequent repairs. 

The simplicity of their design—where water is heated instantaneously—leaves them vulnerable to issues like mineral buildup from hard water, which can clog the heating element and reduce efficiency.

Maintenance Challenges

Maintaining an electric shower can be more labour-intensive compared to other types. 

The heating elements can need regular cleaning or replacement to deal with limescale, particularly in hard water areas. 

This not only increases the upkeep cost but also causes inconvenience, especially if parts are not readily available or the unit is out of warranty.

Common Failures

Low Water Pressure Problems

Electric showers require a minimum water pressure to function correctly. 

If the water pressure drops below this threshold, the shower may not work effectively, resulting in a less satisfying shower experience. 

This is particularly problematic in areas with naturally low water pressure.

Temperature Fluctuations

Unlike thermostatic showers, which can adjust the water mix to maintain a stable temperature, electric showers might struggle with sudden changes in water pressure. 

This can cause unexpected temperature spikes or drops, which are annoying and dangerous, leading to scalding or cold shocks.

These issues underscore the importance of considering your area's water pressure and hardness before installing a shower. 

While they offer significant advantages in terms of cost and convenience, the potential for frequent maintenance and reliability issues should be carefully weighed.

The Real Cost of Electric Showers: Are They Economical?

Evaluating the upfront and ongoing costs is crucial when installing an electric shower. 

These factors can significantly influence your decision, especially if budget constraints are a concern.

Initial Installation Costs

Electric showers are generally less expensive to install than other types of showers, such as mixers or digital showers. 

This is primarily because they do not require extensive plumbing modifications. 

An electric shower only needs a connection to the cold water supply and an appropriate electrical connection, which can often be completed in a single visit by a qualified technician. 

However, costs can vary depending on the shower model and any additional electrical upgrades your home might need to support the unit safely.

Ongoing Electricity Usage

While the installation might be cheaper, the running costs of electric showers can add up due to their energy consumption. 

Electric showers heat water instantly, which requires a significant amount of electrical power. 

The cost-effectiveness of using an electric shower depends on your usage pattern and the electricity rates in your area. 

It's worth noting that high-kilowatt models offer better performance in terms of water heating but will consume more energy, potentially leading to higher utility bills.

Economic Comparison with Other Shower Types

Comparatively, mixer showers rely on hot water from a boiler system, which may be more energy-efficient if your home already has a modern and efficient heating system. 

On the other hand, electric showers provide a consistent hot water supply on demand, which might be more economical for homes where hot water usage is less frequent. They avoid the need to heat a large volume of water that may not be used.

In summary, while the low initial cost of electric showers can be appealing, the higher operational costs due to energy consumption must be considered. 

Prospective users should carefully assess their household’s water usage habits and local electricity prices to determine if an electric shower is cost-effective.

How Often Must Electric Showers Be Replaced?

The durability and frequency of replacements are critical factors when considering electric showers. 

Understanding the typical lifespan and potential environmental impacts of frequent replacements is vital for making an informed choice.

Durability of Electric Showers

Electric showers, while convenient, do not typically last as long as other shower types due to the strain on their electrical components from constant heating cycles. 

The average lifespan of an electric shower is around 4-8 years, shorter than that of a mixer or digital shower. 

This reduced longevity is often due to the heating element's wear and tear and limescale buildup, particularly in areas with hard water.

Frequency of Replacements

Due to their shorter lifespan, electric showers may need to be replaced more frequently than other showers. 

This frequent replacement adds to the cost over time and has environmental implications. 

Electric shower production, disposal, and replacement involve energy consumption and waste generation, contributing to their environmental footprint.

Environmental Impact

The need to frequently replace electric showers can lead to increased waste and energy usage associated with manufacturing new units and disposing of old ones. 

Many components of discarded electric showers, such as plastics and metals, can be challenging to recycle, potentially leading to environmental harm if not handled properly.

Mitigating Replacement Issues

Choosing a high-quality electric shower from a reputable brand can mitigate some of these issues. 

Some manufacturers offer longer warranties or showers designed with easier maintenance in mind, which can help extend the unit's life. 

Regular descaling and maintenance, particularly in hard water areas, can also prolong the life of an electric shower.

In summary, while electric showers offer immediate cost and convenience benefits, their overall value may be diminished by shorter lifespans and frequent replacements. 

Before deciding, potential buyers should weigh these factors against their personal needs and environmental considerations.

Electric Showers: A Worthwhile Investment?

Deciding whether an electric shower is worth the investment depends on various factors, including individual needs, lifestyle, and the specific conditions of one's home. 

Here, we weigh the pros and cons discussed throughout the article to help you determine if an electric shower meets your requirements.

Pros of Electric Showers

  • Immediate Hot Water: Electric showers heat water on demand, providing instant hot water without the wait. This feature is especially beneficial in busy households where time and convenience are paramount.

  • Energy Efficiency for Small Households: For smaller households or those where hot water isn’t frequently needed, electric showers can be more energy-efficient than heating a full tank of water that may not be used.

  • Simplicity and Lower Initial Cost: Electric showers are relatively simple to install and tend to have a lower initial cost than other types of showers, making them a budget-friendly option upfront.

Cons of Electric Showers

  • Running Costs and Energy Use: Although the initial installation may be cheaper, the ongoing energy costs can be higher, especially if the shower is used frequently. The cost-effectiveness also depends on the electricity rates in your area.

  • Maintenance and Longevity Issues: Electric showers typically have a shorter lifespan due to the wear and tear of their heating elements. They also require more maintenance, especially in hard water areas where limescale can shorten the unit’s effective life.

  • Performance Limitations: Low water pressure can compromise the performance of electric showers, and they often do not provide the same luxurious, powerful shower experience as other types.

Final Assessment

Electric showers offer a practical solution for those needing a quick and easy installation and the convenience of instant hot water. 

However, the higher operational costs, potential maintenance issues, and the environmental impact of more frequent replacements make them less ideal for those concerned with long-term sustainability and cost.

Ultimately, whether an electric shower is worth it will depend on your specific circumstances, including your household's water usage patterns, initial budget, and long-term financial and environmental considerations. 

Carefully assessing these factors will help you choose what best fits your lifestyle and values.


© Copyright 2024 Best Electric Shower LTD. All rights reserved. | Company Number: 15606794 | Registered in England and Wales with registered office in Linden Fields, Tunbridge Wells, England, TN2 5QX

Email Support: support@bestelectricshower.co.uk | Customer Support: 02081752283  

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© Copyright 2024 Best Electric Shower LTD All rights reserved | Company Number: 15606794 | Registered in England and Wales with registered office in Linden Fields, Tunbridge Wells, England, TN2 5QX

Email Support: support@bestelectricshower.co.uk | Customer Support: 02081752283  

Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Terms of UseAffiliate Policy

© Copyright 2024 Best Electric Shower LTD All rights reserved | Company Number: 15606794 | Registered in England and Wales with registered office in Linden Fields, Tunbridge Wells, England, TN2 5QX

Email Support: support@bestelectricshower.co.uk | Customer Support: 02081752283  

Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Terms of UseAffiliate Policy