Electric shower in France

Does anyone on here know if it’s ok to fit an electric shower in France. I was told that it’s not possible.

It might be useful to know “who” told you…

We had an electric shower… some years ago… no problems…
later put in a boiler to supply hot water… so we gave the leccy shower away…

A plumber in Uk told me :joy:

There are two problems with what you are asking.

Firstly a decent electric shower draws a LOT of power - typically 9kW or upwards (11kW is common). French domestic electrical supplies are restricted to various maximums, but the absolute maximum per phase is 12kVA/60A.

If you only have a single phase supply that means that your 11kW shower will take most of a 12kVA supply i.e. not leaving any decent headroom for anything else to run whilst the shower is in use. Even if you have triphasé you will need to dedicate almost a whole phase to just the shower.

You are also faced with needing a larger “abonnement” than you might otherwise need just in order to run a shower for a few minutes a day.

The second problem is sourcing a unit that is allowed to be used in Volume 1 of a salle d’eau. It must be a double insulated unit…or you find one that can be installed outside Volume 1.

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Is it legal

Daft Bat… Leroy Merlin and others are showing lots of examples…

Would just mention that we are 9kw and the instant shower worked ok…

@Badger will know the regulations. They appear to be available at various outlets including Darty and Amazon so I presume they are legal. Edit: Ah, I see both Badger and Stella beat me to replying :slight_smile:

However, they are not common, some of which is due to the fact that French plumbing runs the hot water at mains pressure so thermostatic valves work well and give good at the shower head and the rest is due to the fact that they need a lot of power compared with typical French wiring - as Badger points out.


Badger gave you the details. The only items allowed in France in zone 1 (which is where we would usually put one in the UK) are double insulated or low voltage so if you can find an electric shower with the two squares, one inside the other idicating double insulated then it would be legal, if you cannot find a double insulated version then it would not. I will take a look at my, in the UK shower and see if that is double insulated but as it has an earth cable I am guessing not double insulated.

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Thanks all, much appreciated.

You might find 15kVA single phase occasionally - which is what we have (edit: well I thought we did, looks like it’s actually 60A so 12kVA). Not available for new supply though as far as I know.

I don’t think I’d want to pull 60A anyway, our loop resistance is 0.45Ω - equivalent to roughly 180m of 16mm2 suggesting we are about 90m from the transformer. That means a 27V drop at 60A and if you start at 230 that gves a very out of spec 203V at the sockets.

Currently pulling 20A (the heat pump) and voltage at 219V, had a 30A load the other day (heat pump+induction hob) and we were down at 215.

Arguably I should have a whinge and get them to move me up a tap on the transformer, I suspect they didn’t bother when we upped the abonnement from the previous owner.

Tricky in a shower - I guess possible if at least some of the piping were plastic, though the water itself will be slightly conductive due to the (inevitable) impurities.

I very much doubt a UK spec shower will be acceptable but if you really want to live dangerously go for one of the ones common in Latin America where the uninsulated heater is inserted directly in the water flow (they are nicknamed “suicide showers” for a reason).

might I just throw in a gentle thought…

For anything to be fitted in France… check what is available in France… and, preferably buy in France too…
Most, many… shops which sell the Product will also have info re fixing/fitting… which can be a boon to the DIY person… other than that… use a French-Registered Professional



Sage advice.

Definitely do not bring stuff from the UK.


however tempting the “lower” price may seem :wink:


Depends on the “stuff” thats an incredible loose term for most items

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Indeed, we’re talking specifically about showers though.

More generally eectrical items would need to be CE marked at a minimum, and some (such as electric showers) might still not meet French regulatory requirements. Some plumbing fitments can be brought over (mainly BSP stuff) but most won’t fit existing French installations.

So, selected items are certainly doable.

This has been an interesting read. I had ponderd the daftness of having a 100L balon for just me and, on the other hand, how much showering would that provide in the event of having visitors, and then the re-heat time. An electric shower seemed like the answer.

I’ve solved the first and third point by having a 100L balon installed.

How fortunate those with gas and a combi boiler. Endless hot water till you turn off the tap. Then, no energy consumed.


I’m not sure why anyone would want to! I remember arriving in the UK and being appalled by them, drizzle of water changing temp ect. As mentioned water pressure is good in France so IMHO not needed!


depends what one has… when we arrived there was only cold water… nowt else… not nuffink… and something had to be done swiftly (and with style…)

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