What are the different types of showers?

From electric to mixers, we explain the differences and similarities between types of showers.

General 20 September 2016

To many people, a shower is just a shower. But there are, in fact, a few distinct types.

Watch our video to learn more, or continue reading on below.

Electric showers

These types of showers use cold mains water only for the water supply, and are also safely connected to the mains electric for power. The water enters the shower and, as the water is passed through the internal heater tank (or heating element), it heats the water up extremely quickly, providing instant hot water (very similar in concept to a conventional kitchen kettle). This fact is also why these showers are sometimes called instantaneous electric showers.

For this reason, electric showers will never run out of hot water, which is handy if you have a few people living in the house and everyone wants a shower one after the other. Furthermore, any problems with your boiler will not impact the performance of an electric shower.

Electric showers tend to be the cheapest type of shower on the market, but don't let this detract you from their performance. You can view our range of electric showers here.

Popular examples of electric showers include the Mira Jump 8.5kW or the Mira Sport 9.0kW.

Pumped electric showers

These showers are designed for installations where the pressure of the mains water supply is low or unreliable. Pumped electric showers work on the same principle as standard electric showers (above), but run from cold water tanks, not the mains supply into the home. These showers also contain a small pump which boosts the supply to give a better showering experience in poor flow areas.

A notable model is the Mira Elite QT 9.8kW, a best-seller in Ireland.

Mixer showers

One of the major types of showers, mixers use separate hot and cold water supplies, and blend both to provide the water at the temperature you demand from it. A cartridge inside the shower regulates the temperature as desired, and come in either manual or thermostatic varieties.

Mixer showers can be installed on gravity fed systems (where the water is taken from hot and cold tanks), combination boilers, or on a pump (which also takes water from hot and cold tanks).

Mixer showers also come in certain variants: exposed (where they are fixed onto the surface of the wall) or recessed (also known as built-in or concealed, where the main valve body is hidden behind the wall, leaving only a small portion of the shower showing). Bar mixer showers are a type of exposed valve, but are shaped in a specific slim horizontal "bar", hence the name.

They are generally very stylish in comparison to other types of showers, providing a contemporary look to your bathroom, as well as having longer lifespans as well. You can view our range of mixer showers here and bar mixer showers here.

Popular mixer shower ranges include the Mira Element EV, Mira Coda EV and Mira Excel EV – the latter being a firm favourite for UK consumers and installers alike.

Digital showers

A variation of the standard mixer shower (above).

These operate on the same mixer concept, but the main body of the shower is generally located away from the actual showering area, for instance in a loft space. A waterproof digital controller is then used to operate the shower body remotely - including temperature and flow rate - from within the showering enclosure (or even outside the area, if desired and supported).

Modern digital showers are generally very advanced, and boast other features such as timekeeping and precise temperature control alongside being stunning focal points. Some, like the Mira Mode, even come with their own smartphone app to interact with.

Because of their feature set and technology, digital showers tend to be more expensive than other shower types, but are definitely worth the extra price. You can view our range of digital showers here.

Best-selling digital showers across the UK are the Mira Platinum (which has taken the UK market by storm), as well as the Mira Vision and Mira Mode.

Power showers

Another variation of the standard mixer shower (above), even though they may look like an electric shower from the casing.

Power showers use water on gravity fed systems, which supply hot and cold water from the tanks. The valve mixes the hot and cold water to achieve the desired water temperature, like standard mixer showers, but the inclusive pump boosts the flow of water to become a powerful and invigorating shower.

With a power shower it is important to have reasonable sized water tanks – at least 40 gallons, otherwise the water may run out mid-shower.

You can view our range of power showers here, including manual and thermostatic variants. These may also be called integral power showers.

Popular examples of power showers include the Mira Vigour and Mira Event XS.

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