220V 30A Heated Shower Head Will Add a Jolt of Excitement to Showering

horrorshow

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Nobu

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I guess a 220v 30A tankless waterheater is too big? :/
Math is wrong, btw. It's not direct current, so you can't simply multiply 220 × 30 to get the wattage. Nvm, I'm being dumb again.
 
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Stimpy88

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I got 10 seconds in to it, and quickly realised that I couldn't take listening to his voice. Then I remembered that BigClive has covered this, and watched that instead.
 

Armenius

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If it's properly wired I don't necessarily see an issue with this. I still think I'd rather have a cold shower.
 
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Hi all,

TL;DR they're seemingly scary devices, but not as deadly or scary as one (or more) people may want you to believe.


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These "suicide showers" are ubiquituous here in Brazil. In fact, they are the default type of shower in most homes, old and new.

My home now has a LPG water heater, but for the last 40 years or so we used many "duchas elétricas" (the name in portuguese). I have kept one of the older ones as backup.

As incredible as it may seem, only a few people die from electric shocks from this kind of device per year, even when many, many millions of them are in use every single day. In other words, they're safer in terms of deaths per hour of use than, let's say, for example, a car or a motorcycle

As shown in the video, there is an earthing terminal that is supposed to "drain" the current leaked from the main heater element to ground, and accidents mostly happen when this ground connection is not made or is faulty.

All new (as in the last 10 years or so) installations in Brazil are required to have at least one GFD (ground fault detector) installed (usually "protecting" all circuits in the house), end they're key for the safety of this kind of shower.

The water in Brazil (at least in São Paulo region) usually doesn't have much in terms of salts dissolved, and its conductivity is quite low. Therefore, if you have enough length of piping (that is you do not touch the shower head directly), usually the current flowing through the water is very low, not enough even to trip the GFD.

Even then, most brazilians already experienced electrical discharges in the shower (because the threshold for feeling the electricity is very low, and fortunately the threshold for pain is also quite lower than the currents needed for involuntary muscular contractions and other deadly effects), and most brazilians take care when using an unknown shower, usually protecting the hand used to open/close the shower with a dry towel or the like.

In my own experience, these aren't the safest of the devices, but can be made reasonably safe when correctly installed, and are very cheap (how about 20 BRL each - about 4 GBP, or 5 USD).

Finally, no insurance company here in Brazil has any trouble whatsoever with this kind of device, based on my own personal experience and from people around me. No premium adjustments, no extras, not even a single mention of electric shower heads anywhere in the insurance contract or during inspections.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Instant heater shower heads like this are not uncommon in countries like Brazil where you may live in a building that doesn't have plumbing for hot water.

I used one when I visited Brazil a few years back.

I don't think most of them expose electric current straight to the water though. At least I hope not.
 

sfsuphysics

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and most brazilians take care when using an unknown shower.
See that statement alone boggles my mind, I would never think that I need to "take care" when using an an "unknown shower" because by in far we don't have electricity running in showers.
 
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See that statement alone boggles my mind, I would never think that I need to "take care" when using an an "unknown shower" because by in far we don't have electricity running in showers.

True, but you would be quite surprised by the amount of things brazilians (and people from other third world countries) have to be careful with that are true no-brainers elsewhere in the world. Nowadays, somewhat less than ten years ago, but a lot of things nonetheless.

Given some time, most installations will have a GFD fitted, and we will stop worrying about being shocked to death by showers.
 

DejaWiz

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One would think they'd use such technology in a safer and more efficient manner to heat up a bunch of water all at once stored inside...of...a...holding...tank...provisioned...for...the...whole...house


Duh.gif
 
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One would think they'd use such technology in a safer and more efficient manner to heat up a bunch of water all at once stored inside...of...a...holding...tank...provisioned...for...the...whole...house


View attachment 100462

Oh, no, having a central storage of hot water and specific hot water piping is too expensive. So, we use electric shower heads that heat only the amount of water we need, at the very moment of usage. From this point of view, our showers are the correct, cheaper (LPG is more expensive than electricity here) and less wasteful way of heating water. From the point of view of safety, no way, even not being the boogeyman some people want you to believe, a few people die every year from electric shower shocks.

Another poster cited the most obvious improvement possible - using insulated heating elements. In fact, we have many models of electric shower heads having this kind of nicety, as well as temperature control, pressurization pumps, and so on. But they're more expensive than the simpler models, with the "naked" heating element.

Given time, prices will fall, and people will start to adopt them more frequently.

BTW, we do not have (yet) anywhere in Brazil plans for cheaper electricity at night or something like that. The rate is flat for residential consumers, so another reason to adopt central heating and storage of water does not apply.
 

sfsuphysics

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One would think they'd use such technology in a safer and more efficient manner to heat up a bunch of water all at once stored inside...of...a...holding...tank...provisioned...for...the...whole...house
Well the first thought is storing hot water can be wasteful as all hell since you're always losing heat to the environment, that said I would much rather go with a tankless water heater and keep all that nasty electrical crap out of the bathtub/shower stall even if that wire was insulated inside the fact there are exposed wires coming out of the back that a few wire nuts are supposed to hook up is no bueno for me!
 
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That seems like a few more than necessary.

How many people die from carbon monoxide/gas leakage/explosions/fires caused by faulty LPG/central water heaters every year?
How many people die (very indirectly) from the pollution caused by the energy wasted by tank type water heaters (yeah, externalities...)
etc.

Everything we do involves risk, the question is how to manage it.
 
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