Now that the cold weather has arrived, you may notice a change in your shower’s performance. Calls into our contact centre increase by around 20% at this time of year, with many of our customers wishing to replace older showers that have stopped working, or seeking advice about how to improve their shower’s performance during the cold weather. This guide to caring for your shower in the winter should help you understand and overcome the most common problems.
Why is my electric shower running cold?
Electric showers have a tendency to struggle during periods of cold weather, and you may find that the water is not as warm as usual, or the flow rate is reduced.
The reason behind this is that the water being fed into the shower is much colder than normal, and consequently the shower has to work much harder to heat the water to your usual temperature. The shower’s performance can also be affected due to the heavy demand on power over the winter which can cause the voltage to drop.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to resolve this problem. You could consider upgrading your electric shower to one with a higher kilowatt rating (although bear in mind that this may require a Part P registered electrician to assess your cabling and install the new shower). Another option is to switch your electric shower to a mixer shower. The cold weather does not affect mixer showers as much as they take water from your hot water system rather than heating the mains fed water.
Finally, if possible, try to avoid using the electric shower first thing in the morning. Overnight, the temperature of the pipes will drop considerably meaning that the resulting temperature of the water will be much lower. If possible, try to use your electric shower later in the day when the outside temperature will be higher.
Digital Showers in the Winter
Digital showers can also suffer in the colder months. Issues can include the shower starting briefly but then switching off, or the lights illuminating but no water flow. These issues occur more frequently with customers whose processor (the mixer part of your shower which blends the hot and cold water together) is stored in the loft, or an area which is subject to the extreme cold weather. Extreme cold temperatures can affect the thermistor within the processor causing it to go into ‘safe mode’.
If your processor stops working, the first step would be to turn the power supply off for a few minutes before switching it back on.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent this from happening again.
- Ensure that the pipe work to and from the processor is lagged (special tubular foam insulation)
- Place a cardboard box over the processor but ensure that there are at least 2-3 inches of air clearance between the box and the processor. Add ventilation holes for pumped models. Do not wrap the processor or place a blanket around it or the cardboard box. Please note that it may be necessary to remove the cardboard box during the warmer summer months.
We’re part of the Aqualisa Group, and more information on digital shower care in the winter can be found on their website: Caring for Digital Showers in the Cold Weather.
Other things you can do to reduce the effect of the cold on your showering experience include:
- Insulating pipes with foam lagging;
- Buying a cover for your hot water cylinder if it’s located in a cold place;
- Ensuring that you boiler gets a service and is running efficiently.
And if all else fails….
If your shower does break down in the cold weather it can be a stressful experience trying to replace or fix it. Older showers are more prone to fail in the winter months and you may need to replace yours with a new, more efficient model. In our Winter Sale, prices start from just £61.50 for our 8.5kW se white electric shower so there’s never been a better time to buy. If you’re looking to install a higher kilowatt electric shower to better cope with the cold, prices start from only £91.99 for our 10.5kW se white electric shower. Alternatively, switch to a mixer shower or join the digital shower revolution. All our showers come with free next working day delivery (conditions may apply) and a free guarantee as standard.
If you simply need to replace a part that has failed, our comprehensive online parts store should stock the part you need.