Electric Shower Leaking From Unit? Here’s Why

A leaking shower is never fun – it’s expensive, messy, and generally annoying at best. Luckily for you, though, you came to the right place. If your electric shower is leaking from the unit (electric shower box) then we’ve got you covered. There are a few potential causes to keep an eye out for, so let’s get right into it.

The most common cause for a shower leaking from the unit are a busted Pressure Relief Device (PRD) or limescale buildup. Luckily, these are both pretty simple fixes.

We’ll get to the specifics in a moment, but let’s talk about what can cause various types of leaks first, yeah? It’ll make it easier to troubleshoot if we know why the leaks happen in the first place.

Why is My Shower Leaking?

There are a few places that are common to find a leak in your shower:

  • Limescale or Mineral Buildup – This is an extremely common problem. You’ll usually see the leak coming from the shower hose or from the showerhead itself. This is caused by a buildup of limescale or minerals from your water messing with the water’s path. Luckily, the best case fix takes very little effort, and the worst case fix is simply replacing the showerhead or hose – also easy.
  • PTFE or Teflon Plumber’s Tape – Another simple issue is that the Teflon plumber’s tape that’s used to seal the threading of your showerhead hasn’t been replaced recently. It’s just a few wraps around the threaading to provide a solid seal in the threads of your showerhead. You’ll often notice a leak coming from point where the spigot meets the showerhead, right near the base.
  • PRD – This is most likely the cause of leaks coming from the shower box itself. A Pressure Relief Device (PRD) does exactly what its name implies – relieves pressure. If the water pressure in your tank builds to dangerous levels, it will activate and allow water to come out of the valve at the bottom, relieving pressure. Should this device fail, a leak will often occur from a buildup of unreleased pressure. This is not ideal, but can be fixed.

Replacing a PRD

First things first – you’re going to need to take some safety precautions. Electric showers (as the name implies) combine water and electricity – a potentially deadly combination. Nobody wants to die to a shower, so don’t be dumb, listen to what I say next.

Before beginning anything else with your electric shower, you need to do the three following things:

  1. Turn off water at the main.
  2. Turn off your power at the main breaker.
  3. Remove the related fuse from the fusebox.

Now, while you’re doing this, it’s good to take a look for limescale and damaged hoses or seals – but we’ll cover that after the PRD replacement. Read through the entirety of this article before beginning to ensure you’ve done everything you can while taking the shower apart.

Now, here’s how to replace a PRD:

  1. Remove the shower cover on the front.
  2. Look at the bottom of the shower, the PRD should be lcoated near the outlet pipe. If it’s affixed with screws, unscrew it.
  3. Remove the PRD and the old O-ring beneath it. There should be a replacement O-ring with your new PRD, if not, you’ll need to buy a new one before continuing.
  4. Push the new device into place. It should snap into its spot with a bit of force – but don’t use too much strength, you don’t want to break anything.
  5. Reinstall the cover, turn the water and power back on, and test.

Cleaning & Other Minor Fixes

While you’re going through the above process, you’ll want to keep an eye on a few things. Look for mineral or limescale buildup on or near the showerhead, and inspect the hose for any kinks or damage. This is especially important if you’ve noticed other leaks or a drop in water pressure. Additionally, you’re going to want to look for warped or cracked O-rings and seals, replacing them if you notice they’re aging.

To remove limescale and mineral buildup, you can do the following with cheap white distilled vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda:

  1. While accessing your PRD, remove the showerhead and hose. Submerge them in 1-2 litres of vinegar (enough to fully cover both, it may require more or less). Add 1 tbsp of baking soda and allow it to sit while you finagle the PRD (at least 30 minutes).
  2. Once the limescale has had time to loosen, scrub and scrape it from the showerhead and hose as much as possible. Use a bobby pin or paperclip to poke bits out of the showerhead’s holes.
  3. Repeat until it’s all clean as possible.
  4. Reattach, reapplying PTFE tape to the threading while screwing the head into place.

If you notice severe damage to your shower’s hose, you will want to replace it. Ignoring a failing shower hose will only lead to more issues down the line. Trust me, they’re cheap and easy to replace, so just bite the bullet and do it if you even suspect it may be needed.

Final Thoughts

If your electric shower is leaking from the unit, there are a few potential causes. The most likely source of a leak from the shower itself is a blown PRD. These devices prevent a buildup of pressure in your water tank and are an important safety measure. Should this fail, it’s vital that it’s replaced quickly and effectively. Other potential causes include a buildup of mineral or limescale, and a failed showerhead or shower hose.

Luckily, each of these fixes is rather straightforward and simple, but it’s still good to take care of them quickly. While replacing a PRD, keep an eye out for cracked or failing O-rings, a damaged hose, and an old, tired showerhead. Clean off the showerhead and hose, and replace anything that needs it – you may not want to, but it will pay off in the long run. Now get showering!

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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.