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The cost to install, replace or repair a shower

A 50plus guide to the cost of maintenance and repair work

0845 22 50 495 or one of our local numbers
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What are we talking about? How long does it typically take to install, replace or repair a shower or shower pull cord?
Typical time

Electric shower:

  • From 8 hours for a new installation
  • 2 hours to replace a shower unit (like for like), once parts have been obtained
  • From 30 mins to replace a shower switch but typically allow 1 hr

Mixer shower:

  • From 8 hours for a new installation
  • 1-2 hours to replace a mixer valve cartridge (like for like), once parts have been obtained
  • Replacing a valve depends on tiling

Shower pump or pumped shower:

  • From 8 hours for a new installation
  • 1-2 hours to replace a shower pump or pumped shower (like for like), once parts have been obtained
Dependencies Being able to turn the water off, access to relevant areas, tiling, replacements being 'like for like' or not. Note that 'like for like' means an exact match. Many showers, even when the same model are not 'like for like' meaning pipe work changes are needed which can considerably increase the time required to undertake the work.
Questions to ask Shower, valve or pump type, make and model. Are there isolating valves. Boiler type (standard, combi, no boiler - all electric). For a new electric shower installation we need to examine the electrical installation - see comments. For shower pull cords/switches check the fitting is white (most are).

Comments

Electric showers are fed with cold water only and use electricity to heat the water as it passes through the shower. To heat an adequate supply of water quickly requires a substantial amount of electrical power. Because of this electric showers have their own supply from the consumer unit. Most models are fully integrated in a single unit but some have a heater and pump unit in the loft space. It is uncommon for problems to arise with the electrical supply, the most frequent problems arise with the shower units themselves.

The cost of electric showers has fallen in the last few years to the extent that in many cases the cost of the shower itself is only around 20% of the overall installation cost. This also means that it is frequently more cost effective to replace a faulty electric shower than try and repair it, particularly in hard water areas where scale builds up over time.

A new electric shower installation requires a new supply being run in 10mm cable from the consumer unit via a switch near the shower (usually a ceiling pull cord) and water from a suitable point. The consumer unit must have an RCD fitted, if not a 'shower consumer unit' can be fitted to supply just the shower. The installation has to be certified and notified to Building Control under Part P of the Building Regulations. Adequate earthing and equipotential bonding is essential for safety. Unless the buildings electrical installation is to post 2007 standards supplementary bonding is also required in or near the bathroom.

Electric shower ceiling pull switches are relatively straight forward to replace but the large (often 10mm) cables are not easy to fit into what is often a quite small switch box and this can extend the time required for the job. If just the cord has broken then it's often a good idea to replace the switch as there's a strong possibility it's demise will follow the cords.

Shower mixer valves come in both thermostatic, non-thermostatic, concealed and exposed models. Most thermostatic models have a 'cartridge' which is replaced as a single unit and can cost into three figures for the part. The first step is to identify the make and model of mixer valve, not always an easy task as many are unmarked. A photograph is often useful as there are pictures or diagrams of most models, both current and past, on spares web sites. Once spares are on hand the hot and cold water supplies need to be isolated for the parts to be fitted. To install a new shower mixer requires running hot and cold supplies. The time to do this and the type of mixer required is very variable from installation to installation and is dependent in part of the type of water heating system in the property.

 

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