Shower internals waterproof?

Postby davembk » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:51 pm

Thanks in advance for any replies.

I've just bought a Mira Sprint electric shower.

I've had the chance before fitting it to gaze over it and get less than happy over how water's not going to get inside and amongst the wiring.

Granted, the innards look largely well protected from all but a pressure washer attack from below, and I can appreciate why the design wouldn't be a hermetic seal, just in case it did fail and the unit filled with water.

However, there is one thing..... the unit's otherwise impervious rear panel has a 1-2 cm dia hole, through which you can see part of the flow valve, and which as space around it, exposing the unit's interior.
It's obvious that water directed here would easily get inside,

It's also obvious that this area would never have water directly on it, but regardless, what's to stop condensation running down between the wall and shower rear panel? Water would be in contact with the rear and if it tracked across that hole, then water would get in. Whether it would touch wiring I do not know. Hopefully not. if the water kept running down the rear only, then out through a drain, not that I saw one. I know the gap between the wall and the rear is small but I still can't see how water would not go down there, water always finds a way

I know there must be thousands of these showers in use and probably few incidents if any, but still unnerving.

Wish I hadn't looked so closely now.

Anyone else with same concerns or am I just paranoid?

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Simply Build It

Postby plumbbob » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:30 pm

davembk wrote:Anyone else with same concerns or am I just paranoid?

My answer to your question is yes and yes.

Never mind thousands, more like hundreds of thousands or even millions of electric showers around the world working every day and if people were being electrocuted, they would be designed differently.

Mira is a reputable brand and you can be sure they are safe to use. All other brand's protection work in an identical way.

Coincidentally, I was only considering the implication of water getting into a Triton shower the other day when I came across one with water pouring out from the inside because it had an internal leak. What made my eyes widen though was the whole family were still using it!!! I don't know why I was surprised because it isn't the first time I've seen it.

Showers now must be protected by a RCD so even if by some chance there was an accident, the trip should prevent a fatal shock.
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Postby davembk » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:27 pm

Thanks Plumbob,

I appreciate your comments.

Yes I really do want to agree that I'm paranoid, but with respect I just cannot see why the rear panel which will inevitably have wall condensation running down it (Mira instal guide says "do not seal around the back of the appliance") has a 1.5 cm hole cut. In the photo the black area is part of the flow valve which is on a flexible mount, and which is not sealed around the hole. Best way to describe, if you poured some water over that hole, however gently, it would get straight past and inside.

Obviously in its working location that area is against the wall, but what's to stop condensation water one day from tracking to the hole and then inside? A remote chance maybe but possible, not a comforting thought even if it didn't happen to reach any wires etc. Makes me wonder how many showers do have water inside.

I'm wondering if the hole is an air intake for the Airboost feature. Before Airboost was there no hole there?
Is a saving grace for the hole the fact that in use the air intake (if it is an intake) will suck any water before it has a chance to get past? In that case ok but what about condensation that's still there for a while after it's turned off?

I know there are probably hundreds of thousands of these units installed and without incident but that doesn't reassure me that water will never get inside, given what I've seen at close hand here.

I've contacted Mira Support and they've not got back to me yet.

Rear panel, black hole is the flow valve showing, but the hole is still open to water
IMG00978-20130324-1709D.JPG (18.66 KiB) Viewed 1118 times
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Postby plumbbob » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:43 pm

Condensation won't seep in to the back of the unit. The moulding has raised mounts to create a gap between the shower and the wall. You don't silicone around the unit so if water or condensation gets into the gap, it can safely drain away without entering the unit.

If you look at the front of the unit it has a rubber seal only around the top half of the casing whilst the bottom section does not. Again this is so if water does enter the casing, it can drain away without coming in to contact with the electrical parts.

Making the unit watertight just introduces other possibilities. If a external seal was to fail or the internal parts spring a leak, then the unit could actually fill up with water. Without a circulation of air, any moisture trapped inside the casing could condense and settle on the metal parts causing corrosion.

Consider also, the case is made almost entirely of plastic which of course doesn't conduct electricity and any internal metal parts are bonded so a charge would simply leak to earth.

Mira, Triton, Galaxy or Aqualisa, it doesn't matter which brand you choose, all the cases are open the the atmosphere.

Another point, the shower electrical supply should be protected by a rcd so even if the worst were to happen, an electric shock is unlikely to be fatal.
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Postby davembk » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:45 pm

Thanks again plumbob,

I know if you sealed it would only be at the top, I'd hate the thing to fill up and I do have an rcd.
But all you have said, makes good sense and I'll rest easy now.

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