Do Electric Showers Need RCD Protection?

Last Updated On July 25th, 2017

Electric showers are one of those everyday luxuries that you can look forward to at the end of a tough day. They’re similar to mixer showers but a bit more complicated and a lot more convenient. And, with this convenience comes a greater need to take protective measures.

The answer to the question above is ‘yes’. You will need to put in RCD (or RCBO) protection if you want to install an electric shower. Here’s why.

The answer to the question above is ‘yes’. You will need to put in RCD (or RCBO) protection if you want to install an electric shower. Here’s why.

Electric Showers

Electric showers provide the optimum temperature for quick baths. The water you use is heated instantaneously using electricity.

In the case of mixer showers, the basic designs use two tubes that supply hot and cold water. The amount of hot and cold water you need can be adjusted using faucets to get the temperature that’s right for you. But, the problem with these is that the hot water will have to come from a tank. If the tank gets drained you’ll have to wait for it to fill up again before you can resume your shower. But, an electric shower will use a heating element to warm the water as it flows by to the nozzle. This is much more efficient and is also a power saving option.

Now comes the safety bit. As you can see, we have a system that involves electricity and water working side by side. However, electric showers are perfectly safe when they’re installed right. This is where the RCD comes in.


Residual Current Devices or RCDs are safety devices that prevent you from getting an electric shock if you touch a live wire. These devices could mean the difference between life and death in the event of damaged insulation or faulty connections.

Since RCDs can offer a level of personal protection that ordinary fuses and circuit-breakers cannot provide, they are perfect for electric showers.

In electric showers, the actual electric currents don’t come anywhere near the water, but the added safety of RCDs is a still a must. Whenever you use equipment with heating elements, it’s always best to have added safety features. In the event of electric showers, if an electricity-related mishap does happen, chances are that you’ll be socking wet when it occurs. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Sometimes, you may need to modify your electrical wiring a bit to install the RCD, but it’s still definitely worth the trouble. And RCDs have some definite advantages besides just providing safety. For instance, they are specifically meant for gardens and bathrooms. Furthermore, they can be installed in the consumer unit (or fuse box) for groups of circuits or just individual circuits. This saves complications (and money) if you want to use it just for your new shower. Or, if you prefer, you can use a fixed RCD to protect all the wiring and the sockets on a circuit (including connected appliances).


So, as mentioned at the top of the page, RCDs really are a necessity if you want to install an electric shower. With these in place, you can enjoy your shower to the fullest without having to worry about safety.

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