Installing an electric shower in your home is one of the cheapest alternatives compared to other types of shower units you are likely to find in the UK. All you need is a cold water supply and a source of electricity. Then, you can turn a simple bath into a modern shower. Or, if you prefer, you can rip your bath out and install a shower cubicle instead. It’s up to you.
On average, the total electric shower installation cost ranges from £200 to supply and fit a budget electric shower, and around £700 for a high-end unit with many deluxe features.
But why would anyone want to replace their bathtub with a shower?
An electric shower uses less water and less energy to heat the water than a bathtub does. And, if you don’t want to give up your long hot bathtime soak, you can install the shower on the wall above the bathtub. Then, use the tub to collect and drain the water. It’s the best of both worlds.
An electric shower uses:
- The domestic cold water mains supply in the bathroom.
- And a built-in electric heating element that heats the water passing through the unit.
Because it’s so affordable, an electric shower unit is also the most commonly installed in the country. One of the cheapest electric shower units sells for £55. Also, a Part P certified plumber charges from £50 to £70/hr. However, if you can’t find a plumber licensed to install electrical appliances, you also need an electrician on hand to connect the wiring. On average, an electrician’s hourly rate is about the same as a plumber’s. But, you might pay a minimum charge of perhaps half a day. Typically, installation time will be a minimum of three hours for each trade.
What’s the Cost of Electric Shower Installation?*
The table below shows installation prices for electric showers. You can use this data to benchmark against quotes received from professional plumbers.
|Electric Shower Installation (Labour Only)||£150 to £300|
|Electric Shower Installation (Supply & Fit)||£200 to £700|
* We compiled these estimated costs for buying and installing electric showers from various online resources. Therefore, use them as a start for your research. However, ask a plumber or bathroom installation specialist if you want accurate quotations. Alternatively, complete the form on this page.
The price of an electric shower as a standalone unit can vary considerably depending on the style, brand, supplier, power output, and the number of additional features available. Prices range from around £60 for a cheap unit to £400 for a premium electric shower unit.
Furthermore, the installation costs vary depending on the length of the water supply pipe necessary to join to a mains supply and the amount of work involved in fitting it. Also, you have extra costs incurred when installing a dedicated electricity supply from the shower to the consumer unit. And, you must consider the additional labour cost determined by your location in the UK. Usually, labour rates in London and the southeast charge up to 20% more than elsewhere.
Electric Shower Installation Cost Factors
The various factors involved when installing an electric shower determines the ease of installation and the cost of labour and materials. Let’s look at a few of these here.
Cold water supply
Suppose you intend to replace a bathtub with an electric shower unit. In that case, you already have the cold water supply to hand. Therefore, it shouldn’t take long for a qualified plumber to reroute the pipework as necessary. However, electric showers must use mains pressure cold water. So, if your cold water supply to the bathroom comes from a loft tank, as happens in many older properties, you must rethink your project. You can either use a power shower fed from your hot and cold water tanks or plumb a new mains water feed. Installing a new cold supply might cost a lot depending on where the plumber can access mains water.
An electric shower draws high electrical currents for use in its heating element. Therefore, it needs a dedicated electricity supply wired from the shower to the consumer unit. Typically, the lowest power rating of a cheap electric shower is around 7.5kW, whereas the highest rating is around 11kW. And, in the UK, the mains electricity voltage is 240V. Using these figures, we can calculate the current each model draws.
- The maximum current would be between 7500/240=31.25A for a 7.5kW unit.
- And 11000/240=45.8A for an 11kW unit.
These current values mean you can’t use the standard domestic ring main wiring. Instead, the electricity cable must have a cross-sectional area of 10mm2 to comply with the regulations, like an electric oven. Furthermore, the consumer unit must have an appropriate circuit breaker for the rated current. Moreover, it must have an RCD (Residual Current Device) fitted to protect against fatal electric shocks in case of an electrical fault.
Shower replacement vs new installation
If you intend to upgrade your existing shower, you will have far less expenditure than installing a shower from scratch. The cold mains supply will already be in place, as will the 10mm2 electrical cable. The only items to change are an appropriately rated circuit breaker to correspond with the new shower’s current rating and the new unit itself.
Generally, the output power rating is the most significant factor that affects the cost of a new shower unit. The lowest power rating for an electric shower is 7.5kW which can be as cheap as £60. In comparison, a 9kW unit costs around £200, and a 10.8kW unit costs from £220 to £380. Usually, installation charges remain the same, regardless of the power output, unless you upgrade the cable and circuit breaker.
We’ve already mentioned that a new shower installation must have an RCD. However, suppose your consumer unit is of the old type with fuses rather than circuit breakers, and you fit a shower with a higher power rating or upgrade the power supply. In that case, you must replace the consumer unit too.
A new consumer unit costs £30 to £250 to install and test. This task isn’t a job for an amateur, so hire a professional electrician to change and test the new installation.
The actual consumer unit purchase price varies with its current rating. A small 40A consumer unit costs around £250 to £300 to supply and fit, whereas one with a 100A rating costs at least £450. Additionally, an RCD’s price varies from £25 to £60 depending on the current rating, brand, and other specialised specifications.
When upgrading the consumer unit, you also must have all pipework bonded to earth, which costs from £150 to £250.
Compliance, Certifications & Regulations
As you might expect, any electrical work in your home or garden must comply with the appropriate Building Regulations. But, an electric shower is even more dangerous because of the presence of water with electricity. Part P of the Building Regulations specifies the regulations you must abide by.
An electric shower must
- Comply with the electrical and water regulations when manufactured.
- Comply with the Building Regulations when installed.
- And, be safe to use at all times.
To comply with the law, only a competent person can install an electric shower, and in certain circumstances, you must notify the local authority’s Building Control office. However, when a new shower unit is substituted for an old one, with no other alterations to the system, the work comes under the range of non-notifiable electrical installations. In this case, any competent person (not necessarily an electrician) can install the shower unit and still be compliant. But, whether you notify the building control or not, the shower must still be safe to use. So, if you aren’t sure what to do, hire a qualified Part P plumber.
To make life easy, plenty of online resources point you towards finding a competent person. It’s always a good idea to hire a person registered with a competent person scheme. These professionals can self certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations. However, not all plumbers have a license for electrical work. Instead, you need to hire a “Part P” plumber to be fully compliant. That is, a plumber who can self-certify electrical work to Part P of the Building Regulations.
Competent Person Scheme
- APHC – Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors Ltd.
- BESCA, Building Engineering Services Competence Accreditation.
- NAPIT – National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers.
- Stroma Certification.
- NICEIC – National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting.
But you’ll find that the Competent Persons Register combines all the others, so you don’t have to go further than that.
Installing a new electric shower in your bathroom or en-suite is worth every penny. Showers are quicker to use and need less heat and water than a bath. And, unless you intend to use your bathtub as a shower tray, they take up much less room too.
But, how do you find someone you can trust to install a new electric shower safely and efficiently? Likewise, how do you find someone to submit a reasonable quote for the cost of an electric shower installation and won’t charge an arm and a leg?
We can help with this.
Complete the form on this page, and we will ensure you receive up to four reasonably priced quotations for your project from plumbers or bathroom installers who know what they’re doing.