The power of the electric shower
Steve Mongan, Head of Marketing at Redring Showers, takes a look at the electric shower market and explains why the concept is still going strong, providing wholesalers with a continued revenue opportunity.
The bathroom may be one of the most functional rooms in a house, but it is also one where style and wow-factor design reign supreme. From mood lighting to hydrotherapy whirlpool baths, the bathroom market is inundated with luxurious and aspirational products, all claiming to be able to revolutionise the way in which we bathe or shower.
Once considered a choice of functionality over style, you might assume that sales of electric showers would have suffered as a result of this bathroom design phenomenon. However, with a 52% share electric showers still account for more than half of the total number of showers sold in the UK.
As this figure indicates, over the years the industry has gone from strength to strength, reacting to both the needs of the installer and the ever-changing trends of the consumer market. It is this adaptability that continues to sustain its growth, alongside new product development and the use of ever increasingly sophisticated technology.
By taking a closer look at the features and benefits offered by electric showers it is easy to see why. The first thing to remember is that modern instantaneous electric showers do offer self-indulgent luxury. For families and those who enjoy a long hot shower after a hard day, an electric shower is the perfect option. Instead of using a stored hot water feed, an electric shower draws on the cold water and heats it as required. That means an inexhaustible supply of hot water and no more cold showers even if you are the last one to use it that day.
By heating cold water as it is used, instantaneous electric showers are an economical choice in terms of running costs, as you do not have to heat large amounts of stored water in order to have a hot shower. This also means an electric shower can be installed just about anywhere in the home because it only needs to be plumbed into a cold water rising main. This makes them a practical option for a new en-suite or an additional shower room downstairs.
Cleverly designed, electric showers are also simple to use with large easy grip controls and with different models suited to different situations such as low water pressure or hard water there’s an option for every application. Built in safety features such as thermostatic control, automatic shutdown function and memory control also make them an ideal choice for families, the elderly and less able.
An additional benefit is that instantaneous electric showers operate independently of the heating system, which means that they can be fitted in any home, regardless of which type of heating system is in place. This also means they can still be used if the heating is switched off or out of action, making them an ideal back-up in a second bathroom or shower room.
Electric shower design has also come a long way since the early days of unsightly, oversized white boxes. Now available in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and finishes, an electric shower can complement even the most modern bathroom design. Whilst home interest magazines continue to promote high-end, aspirational products, it is also important to remember that in the current economic climate people are being far more cautious with their money and are spending less.
One of the most attractive selling points of an electric shower is its price tag. With an average selling price at just over £90 there is still an opportunity for the wholesaler and installer to make a quick sale and tidy profit, whilst still being affordable for the homeowner. For those looking to make improvements to a bathroom without completely renovating, electric showers offer a stylish update option without the price tag.
Over the last few years a key development has been the introduction of thermostatic technology and, more recently, digital. Digital mixer showers began appearing in manufacturers’ portfolios a few years ago, representing a real advance in the showering market. Initially, however, its high price tag meant that it was reserved for the top end of the market and the technology was somewhat slow to be widely accepted. More recently though changing consumer perception and a wider range of available products has created a very real opportunity for any wholesaler willing to sell the benefits of digital technology to customers.
For homeowners, digital mixer showers, such as the Redring Digimix, offer advanced, sophisticated features and controls, guaranteeing a truly satisfying shower experience and as is synonymous with the Redring brand, the Digimix brings together the very latest in shower design, styling and performance at an affordable price.
Achieving a minimalistic look is made simpler by the fact that the majority of plumbing is concealed and remote precision temperature and flow rate control means the days of stepping into a cold shower are over – and that surely is the very height of luxury!
Fully thermostatic, this stylish digital mixer shower provides the ultimate in convenience and control through a wireless remote control, which can be used up to 10m away from the base unit. Incorporating an LCD display, there are three programmable memory options available, which can be set to an individual’s preference, ensuring the perfect shower temperature and flow rate every time. The remote control which can be left in the bedroom or placed in a neat wall mounted docking station will signal when the shower has reached the desired temperature.
Functionality and design
The Digimix offers four stylish accessory kits, providing something for everyone in terms of functionality and design. These options include a through the wall diverter with dual shower handsets, extendable through the ceiling riser rail and shower head, fixed through the ceiling shower head and bulk-head riser rail and shower head.
It is available in two different variants (pumped and standard) ensuring Redring Digimix will suit any system whether that is gravity, combi or high pressure. The pumped version contains an integrated booster pump to ensure a powerful shower regardless of the pressure from the gravity fed system. Due to the wireless technology both base units are easy and flexible to install and can be fitted vertically or horizontally in a variety of discreet locations, including the loft, in a cupboard or even under the bath.
The unit also incorporates a number of clever water saving features including a programmable timer meaning that the shower will automatically turn itself off if it is either left on or turned on accidentally, plus an innovative shutdown system allowing the flow of water to be paused without any loss of temperature.