Your Electric Shower Not Working? Try These 7 fixes
When an electric shower no longer works properly, it can be distressing. The good news is that one of seven hiccups are usually the reason why. This article looks at each problem in turn and also provide you with their solutions. Soon enough, you can look forward to enjoying a hot shower again!
7 Reasons Why An Electric Shower Malfunctions
1. No water? The solenoid valve is broken or there’s a blockage in the pipes.
2. Sudden changes in water temperature? The build-up of limescale, water pressure, or electrical faults might be the culprit.
3. Is your electric shower is leaking? There might be too much water pressure.
4. Only getting lukewarm water? The power is failing to reach the shower’s pull cord switch.
5. Is hot water is not available? Thermal cut-out could be malfunctioning.
6. Does the trip switch turn the shower off? There could be a neutral-to-earth fault.
7. Can you smell something burning? There’s a loose connection of a problem with the heating element.
Should you rather wish to install a new electric shower in your home, check out our post on The 10 Best Electric Shower Reviews In The UK (2021). But if you are determined to fix your resident one, then read on! We will look closely at each problem so that you can roll up those sleeves and tame that wayward shower!
1. Your Electric Shower is not Supplying Water
This, needless to say, is highly inconvenient. Especially when you like to work out and take a shower before going to work. When no water comes out of an electric shower, two things are usually responsible.
The Solenoid Valve Has Broken
If the coil inside the valve breaks, the valve loses its function (which is to open and allow water through). There are two major clues that you have a crabby valve. The taps seem to be working fine but not the shower – or the shower has a history of losing its water supply temporarily before stopping entirely.
Blockage in the Pipes
Simply put, if there is something in the pipes that shouldn’t be there then the water cannot flow normally.
How To Fix This Issue
Check the status of the solenoid valve first. This can be done by hooking it up to a multimeter. If the resistance reading shows 3.5 – 4.0 kilo-ohms, it means that the valve is fine and that a blockage might be the problem.
If you have little to no DIY experience, it might be best to hire a professional to rectify both of these issues.
2. The Water Temperature Suddenly Changes
Yikes. There’s nothing worse than enjoying a hot shower and getting shot with ice-cold water out of nowhere. There are 3 reasons why you sit with a blue face after a shower.
- Limescale build-up.
- Problems with water pressure.
- Electrical faults..
Build-up of Limescale
Limescale often plagues appliances that use water. If you live in a hard water area, then chances are that your electric shower is being hampered by an accumulation of mineral deposits. The deposits are often grey or green and easy to spot around the showerhead and even the taps.
A descaling cleaner can get rid of the limescale that affects the water pressure in a hot shower. You can also install soft water filters to remove hard water from your household entirely, saving your kettle, boiler and plumbing in the process. If you want a more in-depth read and remedies, be sure to check out our post on the Top 3 Reasons Why Electrical Showers Go Hot And Then Cold.
Problems With Water Pressure
Sudden temperature changes could also be linked to low pressure. Your local municipality might be working on the main water supply and in that case, you don’t need to do anything (the pressure will normalize after the maintenance is done). But low pressure can also be caused by a clogged mesh or malfunctioning valve.
You can clean both the mesh or valve. If they are damaged, they are not that difficult to replace either. You can also make sure that your shower has about 1.5 bar static and 1.0 bar running pressure to work normally.
If you like to explore stuff, don’t forget to check our post that explains How Does An Electric Shower Work.
3. The Electric Shower Is Leaking
A leaking shower is obvious but what causes it? The most common cause is the build-up of water pressure. A blocked shower hose often creates enough pressure to spring a tiny leak somewhere.
Cleare out any blockages in the hose. If this fails to work, it might be best to call a professional. The latter is definitely necessary if your ceiling or wall is damp because this is an indication of a major leakage problem.
4. You Only Get Lukewarm Water
While this is better than getting shot in the face with cold water, lukewarm showers are not ideal. A common cause is a lack of power to the shower’s pull cord switch. This can be triggered by a faulty microswitch or the heating element is malfunctioning.
A faulty microswitch or heating element should be replaced by a professional.
5. Your Electric Shower is Not Producing Hot Water
Electric showers are equipped with Thermal Cut-Out (TCO), a feature that cuts power to the heating elements in case the shower unit overheats. If overheating happens continuously, the Thermal Cut-Out could malfunction and cut off the power to heating elements completely. The problem could also be related to a fault in the heating element.
If constant Thermal Cut-Out is responsible, it needs to be replaced by an electrician. If the fault lies with the heating element, then it should be replaced or repaired instead.
6. The Trip Switch Turns The Electric Shower Off
When you’re having problems with the trip switch constantly switching off your shower, the fault could be with either the switch or the shower is spiking the electricity. If it is the latter, then there may be a neutral-to-earth fault or a heating element that is malfunctioning. The problem could also be with your Residual Current Device (RCD).
An electrician can identify the culprit in this case. They will replace the faulty part.
7. There is a Burning Smell
If you smell something burning in your electric shower, you should contact an expert immediately (it could be a fire hazard). The burning smell could come from a faulty component in the shower unit, the heating element or a loose connection. Whatever it is, don’t ignore the problem and hope it will go away!
How To Maintain Your Electric Shower
Caring for your shower will keep most problems at bay. Let’s look at the simple steps that can save you a lot of trouble in the future!
1. Proper cleaning
Always check the showerhead, water inlet, and non-return valve for blockages and limescale build-up from time to time. Clean out any debris. You can also check out this post on How To Clean Your Electric Shower for further guidance.
2. Washer care
Check the washer for signs of damage. Replacing the washer at the first sign of trouble can keep your shower in top shape for years to come.
3. Have it checked by a professional
If your electric shower is old but shows no sign of a fault, you should still have it checked by an electrician or plumber occasionally. If either of these technicians are in your house to work on any other appliance, ask him to do a health check on your electric shower. They may spot any potential issues and have them fixed before they become problematic.
If you wish to replace your electric shower with a new one, do check out our post on How Much Does It Cost To Install An Electric Shower for a rough guide on shower prices in the UK.