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Why is my electric shower not working?

Having a lovely warm shower is one of life’s simple pleasures, but if your shower breaks it can put a real dampener on your day. Let's work out why your electric shower isn't working anymore.

How has your electric shower stopped working?

Plumbers are constantly being called out to deal with shower problems, and here are the main issues they come across that need fixing:

No hot water from the electric shower

One of the most common problems with an electric shower is that there’s no hot water coming out of the shower. This is often caused by the safety cut out device, which is a part of the electric shower that stops it from overheating. Alternatively, it could be another issue with the shower’s heating element.

Either way, you’ll actually need to hire an electrician (not a plumber) to address the issue, which will often involve fixing or replacing the heating element of your electric shower.

The electric shower isn’t heating up properly

Electric shower with no hot waterAnother common issue with electric showers is that the water doesn’t heat up properly – either you have tepid water coming out, or the water temperature is unreliable and goes hot and cold.

This could be caused by a damaged or faulty micro switch, or an issue with the heating element. A plumber or electrician should be able to help you identify the problem and fix it for you.

The electric shower not turning on

If your electric shower won’t turn on at all, it’s often a problem with the solenoid valve coil, which will need replacing.

It’s normally a pretty simple job for an electrician to do – or some plumbers are also happy fixing electric showers. Do ask first before getting them to come out and inspect the shower to save an unnecessary call-out fee if they can’t do it.

No water coming out of the electric shower

In some cases, you can turn the electric shower on but then no water comes out of the showerhead. This could be caused by blocked pipes or a blocked shower head, or an issue with a faulty solenoid valve coil.

If you can’t see any obvious blockages that you can unblock, a plumber should be able to locate the problem and fix it for you.

Electric shower not turning off

Occasionally electric showers have the problem of not turning off, so you constantly have water flowing out of the showerhead. If this is the case in your home, it’s most likely down to a faulty solenoid valve that isn’t shutting down. The problem should be solved with a replacement solenoid, which a plumber or electrician should be able to do pretty easily.

Water leaking from electric shower

If you notice water leaking from the bottom of your electric shower unit, it’s usually a sign of excess water pressure building up.

The build-up of pressure can trigger the pressure relief device in your shower, causing water to leak out of the valve at the bottom of the shower. This is typically fixed by clearing a blockage that’s causing pressure to build up and then replacing the valve.

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Potentially serious reasons why an electric shower isn’t working

Most of the time, electric showers stop working due to minor problems that can be easily fixed. Sometimes though, it could be more.

Here are the typical sign of more serious issues that need more urgent attention.

Electric shower keeps tripping a switch

Plumber inspecting electric shower not workingIf you find that your electric shower keeps tripping a switch every time you turn it on, there may be an issue with water coming into contact with electrical wiring. This is a serious risk to you and your electrics. You must contact an electrician to deal with the problem as soon as possible.

The smell of burning from the electric shower

The smell of burning in your home is never a good sign, and that goes for a burning smell coming from your electric shower. It’s usually an issue with the wiring, which you’ll need to get fixed as soon as you can – and don’t use your electric shower until the problem has been sorted.

The electric shower unit is coming off the wall

A loose electric shower unit can pose a real risk to you and your family, as there is a powerful electrical current that runs through the shower unit – and combined with a water supply it’s a serious hazard.

If you notice your electric shower unit is coming off the wall, stop using the shower immediately. The shower unit will need to be repaired or replaced, which can be done by an experienced plumber or electrician.

What to do if your electric shower stopped working

If it’s a minor problem you can attempt to fix yourself. But if it’s a more serious issue, or you’re not an experienced and confident DIY enthusiast with experience dealing with plumbing issues, contact a plumber as soon as possible.

Always hire a qualified plumber to carry out any plumbing work in your home to ensure the health and safety of you and your family.

How much does it cost to fix a broken electric shower?

The average cost to install a new electric shower unit is around £300, for supply and installation. And a plumber will typically charge somewhere in the region of £50 per hour for labour. To find out more, check out our guides on shower installation costs and plumber prices.

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