Taking a shower isn’t always possible. You might live in an older home that doesn’t have shower heads installed. You might like to go camping, but don’t want to sit in the creek to bathe. You might have an old cabin with no water heater, but want to enjoy a hot shower now and then.
These are all situations where an electric shower head is a great option to have on hand. Let’s look at the different styles of electric shower heads and how to find the best one for your situation.
Heated Water or Not
The first thing you will notice when browsing through electric shower heads is that some heat the water while others do not. That’s a key feature you need to consider before making a purchase.
A non-heating electric shower head is normally used to draw water out of a container and to deliver it through a shower head. It’s a good option for camping, pool side rinsing, and bathing animals away from the house.
A heated shower head uses energy to heat the water before delivering it through the shower head. It’s a great option for getting a hot shower where there’s no ready source of heated water. All require a dedicated energy source such as an electrical circuit or a propane tank.
How to Choose the Best Electric Shower Head
What should you look for in an electric shower head?
Heated or Not
Put simply. Do you need hot water or not? This key feature depends on your needs and where you will be using the system.
A shower head that also heats water needs a power source. Some use electricity to heat the water. These either use an electrical outlet or require a dedicated electrical circuit. Due to this, these shower heads are usually permanently mounted in one location.
Others use a fuel such as propane to heat the water. A propane heating system often uses portable tanks and can be moved as needed. They are good for camping trips, use in primitive structures, or in places where there’s no electrical circuit available.
Non-heated electrical shower heads do not require a source of energy for heating water. These shower heads are often used to move water from a container, like a bucket, and deliver it through a shower head. It’s a good option for rough camping, homes without installed shower heads, or rinsing off feet on a muddy day.
Water Pressure Requirements
Most heated electric shower heads require a minimum amount of water pressure to work properly. If the water doesn’t have enough pressure, it may not flow through the heating system and how the shower head efficiently. A lack of pressure can also affect how well the water heats.
Electric shower heads that don’t heat up the water usually act as their own source of pressure. They draw water out of a container and deliver it through a hose to a shower head. The pump drawing the water creates the pressure needed for delivery. It’s important to check the pressure rate to ensure it will do the job you need it to do.
When selecting an electric shower head, one concern you must address is whether you want to mount it or not.
For electric shower heads that heat water through an electrical circuit, you need a permanent mounting. Some of these shower heads come with the mounting parts included. Others do not. When considering each option, look at the mounting options available and how much each will cost.
Shower heads that use propane for heating water are more portable than their electrical counterparts. However, many are intended for use in one location. If you want a semi-permanent location, consider how to mount the unit. Many come with handles or other options for mounting the heating unit.
Non-heated electric shower heads are not usually mounted in a permanent location. They draw water from a container, like a bucket or tub, and deliver the water as a gentle shower. They are taken in and out of the container as needed, making a permanent mounting point inconvenient in many situations.
Rate of Water Delivery
How fast does the water come out of the shower head? It doesn’t matter if the water is heated or not. You need to know how many gallons you get every minute.
In the U.S., the standard home shower delivers 2.1 gallons per minute on average. This is a good way to compare water pressure delivered by the electric shower heads.
The ability to control the temperature is a must when it comes to heated electric shower heads. Avoid a shower head that doesn’t offer some temperature control options. You don’t want to risk getting water too hot and causing a scalding accident.
Many of these heated shower heads offer general options such as “cold”, “warm”, and “hot”. Some give the option based on wattage used for heating. The higher the wattage, the hotter the water.
Which electric shower head is the best out there? Let’s compare four top models and see which one stands out.
The FOSET Electric Shower brings hot water to places where you don’t have a hot water heater available. It’s small design makes it an attractive option for small bathrooms, poolside, or hunting cabin.
This electric shower head uses an 4800W heating system to get the water hot. It uses a 110V circuit to deliver the electricity to the shower head’s heating unit. The user can select one of four water settings: cold, warm, hot, and very hot.
The actual temperature of the water can be adjusted by decreasing or increasing the flow rate. A lower flow rate allows the water to heat up more than a higher flow rate. The flow rate can be adjusted by the turn of a key.
It does not include the mounting hardware needed to complete installation. That hardware can be purchased separately.
- Uses a 110V circuit to deliver hot water
- Includes four temperature settings
- Good option for spaces where hot water isn’t readily available
- Mounting hardware not included
- Resistance breakers can break down (though parts are readily available)
The Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower is a non-heated rechargeable electric shower head that’s ideal for camping or rinsing off after going in the pool. It can be recharged using a USB cable that attaches to a laptop or car adapter. A single charge allows a full hour of use.
It’s compact, lightweight design makes it easy to pack and carry wherever you are going. The shower head has an included suction cup making it easy to secure to a flat surface. It also includes an S-hook to hang it overhead.
The shower head has a small pump on one end that goes down into a container filled with water. The container can be anything from a five-gallon bucket to a bathtub. You can choose to have the water cold, warm, or hot, and it can contain soap or not. As long as the pump can fit under the water, you will have a steady, gentle source of running shower water.
It only delivers 0.66 gallons per minute. This gentle pressure is good for bathing children or for rinsing off after a dip in the pool. It’s a good option to take camping or on a hike. The unit has a 6-foot hose.
- Lightweight, compact unit that can go just about anywhere
- Pump can be recharged using USB cable, plug-in, or car charger
- Delivers gentle stream of water, useful in many situations
- 6-foot hose is too short for comfortable use by taller adults
- 0.66 gallons per minute delivery rate is weak
- Does not heat water
- Can be used with hot, warm, or cold water
The Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater delivers hot water wherever you have a source of propane. This unit has a 34,000 BTU heater that can deliver water at temperatures between 80°F and 150°F.
The person using the show can select four settings for the shower head: off, mist, shower, and jet. This allows the user to find a comfortable setting for every stage of the bathing experience. It delivers a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute, which raises the temperature by 38°F.
It weighs in at 15 pounds. While it’s not lightweight, it is light enough to transport to semi-permanent locations like hunting cabins or pool side. It needs a ready source of propane, so you need to factor in the weight of the tank and fuel during transport. The system does need two D batteries to power the ingition of the system.
Its body is made from steel for long-lasting durability. It includes a 72″ shower hose to make bathing easy for most people. It does require a minimum water pressure of 25 PSI to ensure proper water flow and heating. The kit comes with hangers that can be used for hanging the unit.
- Reliable source for hot shower where no hot water heater exists
- Does not require dedicated electrical circuit
- Light enough to transport anywhere
- Delivers up to 1.5 gallons per minute
- Water adjustable between 80°F and 150°F
- Cannot be installed next to combustible materials
The LORENZETTI CORAL 110V Electric Instant Hot Water Shower offers instant hot water at three different power settings. Users don’t need a hot water heater to get a comfortable shower anywhere it’s installed.
The modern design of this shower head makes it an attractive addition to any space in which you install it. It comes with wall support and tube to make mounting easy.
It also has a 17-inch coated wire harness for easy, safe installation. This system requires a dedicated 40 amp breaker and 10 AWG wiring. The user has three temperature control settings: 1870W, 3200W, and 4500W.
The system requires a water pressure minimum of 2 PSI. It works up to 150 PSI. It can deliver up to 40 gallons per hour at a temperature raise of 45°F.
- Delivers hot water wherever an electrical circuit can be reached
- Comes with three different temperature settings
- Modern design works in many spaces
- Comes with mounting hardware and wiring harness
- Works with water pressure as low as 2 PSI
- Requires dedicated electrical circuit
- Mounting support may not be strong enough
The Winner Is…
The clear winner for best electric shower head is the Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater. This propane powered shower head delivers hot water wherever you need it. It’s portable and does not need a dedicated electrical circuit to run.
One of the features that makes this unit stand out is the precise temperature control it offers. The user can select from a 70 degree range for a warm or hot shower. This is much better than the general “cold” or “hot” settings of the FOSET electric shower.
It can deliver up to 1.5 gallons per minute, which is close to a regular residential shower which delivers 2.1 gallons per minute on average. That’s a good pressure for adult showers. It’s also adjustable for gentler showers for children and the elderly.
While it’s portable, it is also rugged enough for a semi-permanent installation. It does requires a 25 PSI source of water and nearby tank of propane. However, it does not need a dedicated electrical circuit. This makes it a great choice for cabins without power and areas where circuit breakers aren’t close.
On the downside, this unit cannot be installed near combustible materials. It does require adequate ventilation to keep the user safe. This is not a worry with the other three shower heads reviewed.