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Electric showers are arguably one of the best comfort-giving equipment that your houses can have. They give us the essential warm shower that cools us off after a hard day’s work. However, just like any other machine, Electric showers are bound to malfunction and lose their heat water capacity.
There are a few reasons why your Electric shower is not getting hot. First, it can be due to a lack of power supply caused by damaged fuses or switches. Second, it could be that the heating element might have malfunctioned. And finally, it could be caused by a build-up of solid minerals.
In this article, not only will you learn about the causes of your Electric shower suddenly losing its capacity to heat water, but we will also provide you with simple but very effective do-it-your own fixes.
How Does Electric Showers Work?
Before we get into diagnosing and fixing your electric showers that don’t heat up, you must know how electric showers work. Learning the ins and outs of an electric shower will allow you to prevent accidents that may lead to more severe problems.
Furthermore, learning electric showers’ mechanics will allow you to diagnose and fix your electric showers a lot faster and with more accuracy.
Electric showers work the same way as electric toasters do – heat is produced by allowing electricity flow on a heating element. The heating element will be responsible for converting cold or tap water into hot water, which will be stored in a mini tank to ensure a constant supply of hot water.
And as you turn on the electric shower and set your desired temperature on the thermostat, both cold and hot water will be funneled and mixed on the thermostatic mixer valve to achieve your desired temperature.
And once your temperature is achieved, the water will naturally flow from the shower heads and unto your body.
Causes of Electric Shower Not Getting Hot and How to Fix Them
Electric showers have precautionary measures designed to ensure safety and avoid unfortunate incidents such as; short-circuits and scalding. However, more often than not, a damaged or a malfunctioning precautionary measure is the cause of your shower not getting hot.
In addition, Electric showers can also fail to dissipate hot water due to the iron and limescale build-up in the filters, showerheads, and shower tubes caused by the solid minerals present in hard or tap water.
To help you better understand and solve the problem, we have listed the causes and how to fix them below.
Check if the Heating Element Is Functioning Properly
The heating element is the one responsible for heating the water that passes through your electric shower. And if your electric shower doesn’t spray hot water when it should be, then the first thing that you should inspect is the heating element.
Using a digital multimeter, the heating element should show a resistance between 11 and 18 – standard numbers that would tell you that it is working fine. Anything besides, such as 1 or 0, will only mean that something is wrong with your heating elements.
Before anything else, as a safety precaution, always make sure that the electric shower is turned off. You can do this by turning off the isolator switch or a pull-over switch in some models.
As an added safety, turn off the breaker switch in which your electric shower sources its power. This will protect you from sudden short-circuits if it ends up that your electric shower has faulty electric wirings.
How to Check and Test the Heating Element
- The first step after ensuring that power is cut off from your electric shower is to remove the cover of your electric shower.
- You should be able to see a small water tank inside the electric shower. Inside this tank are the set of heating elements that you should be testing.
- You will notice that the tank has two wire connections – blue and black.
- Using your multimeter, connect the black probe with the blue wire and connect the red probe with the black wire.
- After connecting or tapping them, your meter will then display the resistance results.
- If it’s around 11 – 18, then it is still functioning properly. If it’s not, then you will have to replace the heating elements.
Check if the Thermal Cut Out Is Functioning Properly
Another common reason for most electric showers failing to heat correctly is broken or malfunctioning Thermal cutoff switches. More commonly known as TCO, thermal cutoff switches are safety precautionary switches designed to automatically shut down the device if the temperature is too high.
Thus, if your electric shower has a faulty TCO switch, it might have been shutting down your electric shower and its heating capacity for no reason.
To test this, you will have to use your multimeter and test for the TCO switch’s continuity, which is usually placed directly on top of the heating tank inside your electric shower.
How to Check Continuity of TCO Switch
- Again, ensure that all sources of power are cut off before starting the test.
- Using your multimeter, attach the probes on the metal handles on top of the TCO switch.
- If your multimeter continues beeping while the probes are connected, then the TCO switch is working correctly.
- If it doesn’t, then you will have to replace the TCO switch with a new one.
Check for Mineral Build-Ups in Your Shower Head and Hose
According to the US Geological Survey, 90% of households are running hard water, which is rich in solid minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium. And as such, these minerals will eventually accumulate and cause clogs in your pipes, faucets, and showers.
Thus, if you wonder why your electric shower doesn’t heat up, then the problem might not be with the electric shower itself, but with the accumulated solid minerals blocking the water from dissipating from the shower head.
Furthermore, if you have been using the shower for quite some time now, it is also very probable that grime, dirt, and other foreign materials have clogged the holes in your shower head and hose.
How to Check and Fix Clogged Showerheads
- Before removing the shower head, make sure that everything is turned off, down to the power source. Safety should always be your priority when dealing with electric showers.
- You will need vinegar, a zip bag, and a zip tie.
- If your shower head is removable, remove it from the shower and inspect the nozzle for clogs.
- Do a thorough cleaning on the shower head and make sure to poke the holes to shake off the dirt, grime, and the other foreign substances that have been stuck on your shower head.
- Put a sizable amount of vinegar on the zip bag (enough to fully drown the shower head).
- Put the showerhead on the zip bag and make sure that the head is fully immersed with the vinegar.
- Zip tie the bag with the shower head drowned in vinegar. And leave for 12 hours.
- After 12 hours, wash with soap and return the shower head into its original place.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why your electric showers won’t heat up or function properly. While most of them can be fixed using the tips we have provided you above, there will always come a time when nothing will work.
If this time will come, then there is a good chance that your electric shower has reached its lifespan and will need a replacement.
Regardless, always make sure to ensure safety first before testing or diagnosing your electric showers. As small as electric showers are, one false move can definitely shock you by quite a bit.