Electric Shower vs Mixer Shower: Which One Is Better?

neil hughes

Neil Huges

Last Updated: 20/04/2024

Are you torn between choosing an electric and a mixer shower for your home?

Deciding on the right type of shower can significantly impact your daily comfort and utility bills. 

With energy efficiency and installation ease at the forefront of many homeowners’ concerns, making an informed choice is crucial. 

But how do you determine which shower system suits your needs?

Imagine stepping into your bathroom each morning, confident that you've made the best choice for comfort, cost, and convenience. 

This article bridges the gap between your ideal home experience and the overwhelming market options. 

We'll guide you through the key differences, advantages, and considerations of electric and mixer showers, helping you make a decision that aligns perfectly with your lifestyle and budget.

Key Takeaways

  • Defining the Best Choice: When comparing electric and mixer showers, they are praised for their instant hot water supply and energy efficiency, whereas mixer showers are favoured for maintaining steady water temperatures and operating without reliance on electrical power.

  • Optimal Shower Selection: If you're deciding between an electric shower and a mixer shower, consider that electric showers are generally easier to install and better suited for homes without a readily available hot water system. In contrast, mixer showers require a connection to hot and cold water supplies and offer more consistent water temperature control.

  • Energy and Cost Implications: Electric showers can be more energy-efficient if used for short durations but might not suit homes with high water usage due to their typically lower flow rates. Depending on your home’s heating system, Mixer showers may be more cost-effective in households with a robust hot water system.

  • Installation Considerations: Both types of showers have specific installation requirements; electric showers need a qualified electrician for safe installation, particularly concerning their electrical demands and safety features like anti-scald devices, whereas mixer showers might require more extensive plumbing work to integrate into existing bathroom fixtures.

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

Free PDF: Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Electric Showers

Shower Showdown: Electric vs. Mixer

Understanding the distinctions between electric and mixer showers is crucial when embarking on a bathroom renovation or simply upgrading your shower. 

These two widespread showers cater to different needs and setups, which might influence your decision based on your household's requirements.

Mixer Showers

Mixer showers draw hot and cold water from your existing supply, mixing it within the unit before it reaches your shower head. 

This method allows various installation options, from simple attachments to bath taps to sophisticated built-in systems with hidden plumbing. 

They are especially beneficial if your home already has a consistent and robust hot water system.

Electric Showers

On the other hand, electric showers are known for their convenience and efficiency. 

They heat water on demand by drawing cold water and passing it over a built-in heating element, eliminating the need for a hot water supply. 

This feature makes them an excellent choice for households with limited hot water availability or for adding a shower space without extensive plumbing renovations.

Both types have unique advantages, tailored to different lifestyles and home setups. 

Choosing the right type can save you time, reduce energy bills, and enhance your daily routine.

By understanding these fundamental differences, you can better assess which shower system aligns with your needs, ensuring a satisfying and suitable choice for your home.

Benefits at a Glance: Why Choose an Electric Shower?

Electric showers stand out for their ability to provide hot water instantly. 

This capability is due to their design, which includes an internal heating element that heats water through the unit, ensuring that hot water is always available on demand.

Definition and Basic Operation

An electric shower requires only a cold water supply because it heats water electrically as it is needed. 

This feature makes electric showers particularly appealing for homes without a large hot water system or where running long pipes from a central boiler is impractical. 

They are also ideal for adding additional shower facilities without significant plumbing installations.

Pros of Electric Showers

  • Instant Hot Water: Perfect for busy families or homes where hot water is in high demand, electric showers ensure that hot water is available immediately, any time of the day.

  • Energy Efficiency: Since water is heated as needed, no energy is wasted in heating water that isn't used, making it an efficient choice for energy use and cost.

Technical Insights

The home's electricity supply powers the shower unit's electric element and activates when the shower is turned on. 

This design simplifies the installation process but does require adherence to safety standards, as the electrical components must be correctly installed and protected from moisture.

By incorporating these key features, electric showers provide a convenient and efficient showering option, especially in homes where managing hot water is challenging. 

They offer the flexibility to enjoy a warm shower at any moment without the wait and complexity of traditional hot water systems.

Mixer Showers Explained: The Balance of Hot and Cold

Mixer showers blend hot and cold water to the desired temperature before it reaches you. 

This blending happens within the unit, ensuring you can enjoy a consistent and comfortable shower experience every time.

Definition and Basic Operation

A mixer shower connects directly to your hot and cold water supplies, mixing the water inside the unit before it flows out of the shower head. 

This type of shower can be especially beneficial in homes with a ready hot water supply, such as those with combi boilers or large-capacity hot water cylinders.

Pros of Mixer Showers

  • Steady Water Temperature: The primary benefit of mixer showers is their ability to maintain a constant water temperature. This stability is crucial for comfort and safety, reducing the risk of scalding fluctuations in water temperature.

  • Versatility with Power Supplies: Unlike electric showers that rely on electricity, mixer showers function with any power supply, making them adaptable for various home setups.

Technical Insights

Mixer showers can be more complex to install than electric ones because they require connections to hot and cold water supplies. 

However, the sophistication of a mixer shower's design allows for more elaborate setups, such as those with multiple shower heads or body jets, providing a luxurious showering experience.

By understanding the mechanics and benefits of mixer showers, homeowners can make informed decisions about what type of shower best suits their needs and existing home infrastructure, ensuring optimal functionality and satisfaction.

Direct Comparison: Electric vs. Mixer Showers

When deciding between an electric shower and a mixer shower, it's essential to compare how each fits into your household's structure and lifestyle. 

This comparison covers several critical aspects, including installation, cost-effectiveness, suitability for different homes, environmental impact, and energy usage.

Installation Differences

  • Electric Showers: Installation is generally straightforward because it requires only a connection to the cold water supply and electrical wiring. This makes it ideal for new extensions or homes without hot water systems.

  • Mixer Showers: These require access to hot and cold water supplies and can be more complicated to install, especially if you want the plumbing hidden. This might involve significant changes to existing plumbing setups.

Cost-Effectiveness and Suitability

  • Electric Showers: They are often considered more cost-effective in terms of installation and are particularly suitable for households with a single bathroom or where hot water demand is not consistently high.

  • Mixer Showers are generally more suitable for larger households with higher hot water demand, as they utilise the home’s boiler system, which can be more economical for heating water in such environments.

Environmental Impact and Energy Usage

  • Electric Showers: They heat water on demand, which can lead to higher electricity use but ensures no water is heated unnecessarily, which is a plus for environmental conservation.

  • Mixer Showers: By relying on the home’s heating system, they can be more energy-efficient in homes with modern and efficient boilers, especially when combined with solar thermal systems.

By carefully considering these aspects, you can choose the shower system that meets your immediate needs and aligns with your long-term living situation and environmental considerations. 

Whether you choose electric showers with on-demand heating or mixer showers with robust and efficient performance, your choice will significantly impact your daily comfort and utility expenses.

Crucial Extras: What Else to Consider?

When choosing between an electric and a mixer shower, several additional factors that can significantly influence your satisfaction and experience must be considered. 

These include thermostatic control, shower valves, and safety features crucial in optimising your shower setup.

Thermostatic Control

The importance of thermostatic control cannot be overstated, especially in households with young children or elderly residents. 

Thermostatic showers maintain water at a consistent temperature, regardless of changes in the water supply. 

This feature can prevent accidental scalding and enhance comfort. 

While traditionally associated with mixer showers, some modern electric showers also offer thermostatic controls.

Shower Valves

Understanding the different types of shower valves is crucial for installation and maintenance. 

Mixer showers often use manual or thermostatic mixer valves to blend hot and cold water. 

These can be exposed or concealed, providing a sleek look by hiding the plumbing behind the wall. 

Electric showers typically have fewer valve options but may include pressure-stabilizing valves to maintain consistent water flow.

Safety Features

Safety is paramount in any bathroom installation. 

Anti-scald devices, such as thermostatic controls, are essential for many mixer showers and are increasingly found in electric models. 

These devices automatically cut off the water flow if the cold supply fails, preventing hot water from scalding the user. 

Both showers should be installed with proper grounding and safety features to protect against electrical hazards.

By considering these additional aspects—thermostatic control, valve types, and safety features—you can make a more informed decision that aligns with your comfort, safety, and aesthetics needs. 

Each factor contributes to your shower's overall functionality and satisfaction, making them critical to your selection process.

Installation Insights: Setting Up Your Shower

Installing a shower, whether electric or mixer, involves several considerations that affect the installation's complexity and the shower system's long-term usability. 

Understanding these requirements is crucial for ensuring your new shower functions efficiently and safely.

Electric Showers

Installing an electric shower typically requires less invasive plumbing work than a mixer shower, as it only needs a connection to the cold water supply. 

However, because it uses electricity to heat the water, it must be installed by a qualified electrician to ensure that all electrical connections are safe and meet local building regulations. 

The electrician must ensure that the shower is properly grounded and has its circuit breaker to prevent electrical overload.

Mixer Showers

Mixer showers require access to hot and cold water supplies, which may mean more extensive plumbing work, especially if you choose a concealed installation where pipes are hidden within the walls. 

A professional plumber should install this to ensure adequate water pressure and correct mixing of hot and cold water. 

Additionally, if your home has low water pressure, you may need to install a pump to increase the flow rate for optimal performance.

Common Installation Challenges

  • Space and Accessibility: Both showers must be installed in a location with sufficient space for easy maintenance access.

  • Water Pressure Requirements: Ensuring your home's water pressure is compatible with your chosen shower type is essential. Electric showers generally work well under various pressure conditions, whereas mixer showers may require more precise water pressure management.

  • Safety Compliance: All installations must comply with local safety standards, which include proper handling of electrical and plumbing systems to prevent leaks, electrical shocks, or other hazards.

By carefully considering these installation requirements, homeowners can ensure that their chosen shower fits their immediate needs, adheres to safety standards, and provides a reliable solution for their home.

Smart Shopping for Showers: Your Buying Guide

Choosing the proper shower, whether electric or mixer, requires careful consideration of various factors that influence your immediate satisfaction and long-term usability. 

This buying guide aims to provide you with the essential aspects to consider, helping you make an informed decision that best fits your household's needs and preferences.

Key Factors to Consider

Water Heating System Compatibility 

Assess the compatibility of the shower with your home’s water heating system. 

Electric showers are independent of the home heating system and heat water on demand, making them ideal for homes without a dedicated hot water system. 

However, mixer showers require a connection to hot and cold water supplies and are best suited for homes with an efficient boiler.

Installation Space and Plumbing Requirements 

Consider the space and plumbing infrastructure of your bathroom. 

Electric showers are generally more compact and easier to install in varied spaces. They require only a cold water supply and an electrical connection. 

Mixer showers require more extensive plumbing work, especially if you prefer a built-in look with concealed piping.

Energy Efficiency and Water Usage

Evaluate the energy efficiency of the shower. 

Electric showers typically use more electricity but less water, making them suitable for quick showers without the waste of heating a large volume of water. 

Mixer showers can be more energy-efficient if they utilise an efficient home heating system.

User Needs and Preferences

Reflect on the needs and preferences of those who will use the shower. 

A thermostatic mixer shower could offer a safer and more customisable option for families with varying temperature preferences or households with safety concerns for children or older people.

Budget and Cost Implications

Budget is always a crucial factor. 

Electric showers can be less expensive to purchase and install but might cost more in electricity over time. 

Mixer showers may involve a higher upfront cost, especially if extensive plumbing adjustments are needed. Still, they can be more economical in the long run, using less energy.

By understanding these factors, you can navigate the complexities of choosing the right shower that fits your budget, enhances your daily routines, aligns with your environmental values, and integrates seamlessly into your home design.

Wrapping Up: Making the Right Shower Choice

This article explores the distinctions and nuances between electric and mixer showers, providing comprehensive insights to inform your decision-making process. 

Each type of shower offers unique benefits suited to different household needs and preferences, making the choice a significant but manageable task.

  • Electric Showers are ideal for those needing a straightforward, independent system that provides hot water on demand. They are perfect for additional bathrooms or where hot water supply limitations exist.

  • Mixer Showers excel in households with a reliable hot water system. They offer a luxurious and consistent shower experience and can integrate advanced features such as multiple shower heads and body jets.

Final Recommendation

When selecting an electric and a mixer shower, consider your household's needs, the existing water heating system, and long-term energy consumption goals. 

Electric showers offer convenience and efficiency for smaller households without a robust hot water system. 

Conversely, for homes with a capable hot water system, mixer showers provide a dependable and versatile showering experience that can be tailored to the needs of various family members.

Ultimately, the right choice will depend on your particular circumstances, including your installation environment, budget constraints, and personal preferences. 

Considering these factors, you can ensure that your new shower meets your immediate needs and provides comfort and efficiency for years. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a digital shower?

A digital shower enhances the traditional shower experience with advanced technology. It allows you to control the temperature and flow of water digitally, often remotely. 

These showers combine the benefits of mixers and electric types, offering precise control over water settings and the convenience of saving preferences for future use.

How do I maintain an electric or mixer shower?

Maintaining your shower involves regular cleaning to prevent limescale buildup, particularly in hard water areas. 

For electric showers, ensure that a qualified electrician checks the electrical components periodically to maintain safety and functionality. 

Mixer showers should have their valves and plumbing checked to avoid leaks or drops in performance.

Can I upgrade my existing shower to a mixer or electric model?

Upgrading a new shower system can be straightforward if the necessary infrastructure is in place. 

You need a suitable electrical connection and a cold water supply for an electric shower. For a mixer shower, existing hot and cold water supplies are necessary. 

It's advisable to consult with a professional to assess the feasibility and get an accurate installation estimate.

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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

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Free Guide: Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Electric Showers