Electric Shower Keeps Tripping? Here’s Why

Electric showers are awesome contraptions. In case you’re not a regular DreamyHome reader, we’re actually big fans of electric showers. They’re modern, offer good and fast heating, and look great when installed! But if your electric shower keeps tripping the circuit breaker, it can get frustrating. All you want is a shower, not to troubleshoot the thing! Luckily, we’ve got a good list of the most common reasons this can happen – so let’s get to it.

The most common causes of an electric shower that keeps tripping the breaker are an overload, short circuit, or a bad water heater.

Let’s talk about why these things happen and how to fix them, shall we? We’ll get you taking a toasty shower again in no time, you have my word.

Top Causes of an Electric Shower That Keeps Tripping the Breaker

There are really only three causes to this. A failed water heater is the least likely – it’s much more likely that there was an issue with installation or a circuit somewhere along the line. Let’s break it down, yeah?

Short Circuit

This is generally caused by bad or failing wiring. This is obviously dangerous, as electricity and water do not mix well. At least, not in terms of your health. Water is actually super conductive, so they technically mix very well.

Semantics aside, it’s important to get this health with by a professional. I suggest you move down the list if you think this is the issue, though, as it’s best to check the other causes before paying a pro.

I say to hire a pro because:

  • One likely installed the shower. If that’s the case, call them back and have them fix their work.
  • It’s not an issue caused by the water heater or the shower – it’s an electric thing. Generally, electrical work is best left to people who do it safely for a living. You don’t want to be the DIYer who was taken out by a shower of all things, do you? No? Then call for help.
  • This is likely caused by a neutral and hot wire touching. This means that they’ve frayed or gotten damaged, and also means you could easily get electrocuted if you handle this wrong. Again, this is best left to the pros.

Just as a safety precaution, it’s likely good to remove any devices from nearby outlets and to turn off power at the breaker to your bathroom. No sense in taking risks that don’t need to be taken, right?

Overload

This is the most likely, after a short circuit. An overload occurs when too many devices are on the same circuit. Circuits have a maximum safe range that they can work in, and if that’s exceeded, the breaker cuts power to prevent damage to the system or your home.

Electric showers need to heat up in order to work. This takes power, and if you’re running multiple other devices on the same circuit, it’s likely that you’re going to trip the breaker. Try to unplug other things in the area and try again.

Beyond that, turn the heat on the shower down a bit. If it doesn’t have to heat as much water as quickly, there’s less electricity being consumed. This, in turn, could solve the issue with overloading.

Should your issues persist, it’s best that you contact a professional for help. They can help you troubleshoot and locate the cause of the issue, overload or not. And perhaps most importantly, they’ll do it quickly and safely.

Bad Water Heater

In your electric shower, there should be two heating elements. The first is at the top, the second at the bottom. Generally, they only run one at a time. However, if the thermostat fails, it can cause both to run. This will take up more energy, causing the breaker to trip.

It’s also expensive and a flaw in the device, so it’s important to see if this is the cause. Your electric shower doesn’t draw water from the boiler, so don’t think that’s the issue – it’s in the shower itself. Should you suspect this is the issue (perhaps the water gets really hot right before everything shuts off), call an electrician. They’ll inspect the device and, worst case, you can contact the manufacturer about a replacement and warranty use.

Replacements

Should you discover that one of these is the cause, you may end up having to replace the shower. While I highly recommend that you stick with an electric shower, you can check out the link we left at the top of this article for some high-quality alternatives. They’ll be easily installed and will (hopefully) work much better than whatever you had in place previously.

And if you’re trying to install the new replacement yourself, check out our guides. We talk about how to install an electric shower, common problems, and some tips on how they work.

Final Thoughts

When they work, electric showers are awesome contraptions. They’re a bit more efficient than standard showers, heat up more quickly, and are a good workaround to small boilers. They’re also prone to a different set of problems. Electric showers (surprise!) use electricity, whereas standard showers don’t. That means that instead of needing a plumber, you’ll likely need an electrician to get any issues sorted out.

Should your electric shower keep tripping the circuit breaker, there are three likely causes. An overload can be solved by removing some of the devices on the circuit and not running the shower too hot or fast. Short circuits, on the other hand, are best left to the professionals. They can get dangerous if mishandled and are generally harder to fix for amateurs. Finally, if your electric shower’s water heater is faulty, it could be causing an overload as well – which is no good. That’s another case that’s best left to the professionals. And should you find yourself needing a new shower, come by DreamyHome – we’ve got everything you need to know about them in one easy spot.

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.