Shower Pump Not Working? Here’s Why

Shower pumps are super common in homes, allowing the shower to get proper water flow. As they’re very common, that means that it’s also common for them to fail – don’t worry, it’s not a huge issue more often than not. There are quite a few things that can go wrong, but more often than not it boils down to some basic, easily resolved issues. Depending on what the problem is, we’ll get it sorted in no time – so keep reading to see why your shower pump is not working.

The most common causes for a shower pump not working are a tripped breaker, loss of power, and a block in the inlet pipe. There’s more that could go wrong, so stay tuned.

As I said – there are a few things to check right off the bat, and then we’ve got a few surprise issues to check at the end. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Read Next: Shower switch not working? Try this.

The Basics

Let’s start with the super easy things to check and fix. If your shower pump is not working, there are three things to look at right away that are common causes:

  1. Ensure the pump has power and is turned on. Sometimes a breaker goes off and turns it off.
  2. Check that the power supply hasn’t tripped – sometimes the pump runs dry and shuts off.
  3. Check that the inlet/outlet pipes aren’t kinked or blocked.

Once you’ve looked at those basics, we can move onto the more specific things to look for.

Shower Pump Not Working: Noise

Okay – it’s none of the above issues. Instead, your shower pump is making a big old racket. While this may not be annoying at first, trust me – it’ll get to you in time. Depending on the sound, it could be one of three things:

  • Squealing: A squealing or whining sound from the pump is indicatory of damage to the pump’s bearings or impellers. If either is damaged by wear or debris, the pump won’t be able to create enough force to move the water. This will result in a squealing sound as it struggles to function. Replace the bearings and/or impeller to solve this.
  • Vibrating: This is generally caused by poor installation. Your shower pump is going to move around, and that means that whover installed it should have planned for that. They should have put anti-vibration rubber feet on the pump, and put it on something solid, like concrete. If it’s sitting on wooden floorboards or isn’t secured, it’ll rattle around. Secure it on a solid, anti-vibration surface and it’ll solve the sound.
  • Buzzing/Clicking: This is caused by a blockage in the pump. Debris likely made its way somewhere it shouldn’t have, and will need to be cleared. I recommend hiring a plumber to deal with this.
  • Humming: This can be caused by a jam due to a number of issues. It could be due to limescale or a broken impeller or other internal part. No matter the cause, it’s unfortunately very likely that you’ll need to replace the pump.

Read Next: How to fix a noisy Lay-Z Spa pump.

Shower Pump Not Working: Pulsing

This is another common problem. If the pump is making a “pulsing” effort (heaving back and forth), it’s likely due to something other than the pump. This is caused by a blockage in your plumbing preventing the pump from doing its job.

To fix this, you’ll need to try and pinpoint the blockage. It could be solid refuse if it’s attached to a waste line, or it could be an airlock. It could also be limescale or mineral buildup – the best way to know is to call in a plumber. Granted, that’s expensive – so what else can you do?

Check your showerhead and hose for limescale and blockages or a collapsed hose. Remove any filters in the pump itself and inspect them for wear, replacing them as needed. Beyond that, it’s likely time to call in the big guns.

Shower Pump Not Working: Too Much Pressure

We always think there’s no such thing as too much water pressure until our shower tries to skin us with a power washing. If your shower has developed too much water pressure, it’s actually not a good thing for your system, either.

You could be damaging your plumbing, wasting water (and money) and using up stored hot water faster than you want. None of these is ideal, making this a very real problem that needs addressing.

Your best bet to fix this is to close the isolator valves on the outlet side of your pump. Don’t do it all the way, and don’t do it on the inlet side. Should this persist, call a plumber for help.

Shower Pump Not Working: Not Enough Pressure

If it’s the opposite problem from above that you’re experiencing, there are a few things that could be happening:

  • Frozen Pipes: This (obviously) depends on how cold where you live is. If it’s recently begun to freeze and you forgot to leave a drip going in your taps, this is a likely cause. Frozen pipes can prevent water from making its way through, resulting in low water pressure.
  • Airlock: Another common issue that can be easily resolved, airlocks are caused by air that’s trapped in your plumbing. Click here to see how to resolve an airlock.
  • Blocked Pump Filter: This is caused by a debris getting into a newly-fitted pump filter. You’ll need to open and clean your pump to resolve this.
    • Be sure both your electricity and water are turned off before trying to clean out your pump.
  • Leak: This is the worst case solution – you have a leak. If you think this is the case, turn off water to your pump and contact a plumber to find the source.

Final Thoughts

Whether your shower pump is making noise, losing or gaining pressure, or pulsing, we’ve got a good idea on what’s causing it. Be sure to read through this list and try each fix before contacting the plumber. They’ll likely do the same things we recommend, but they’ll charge you for it. If you’ve checked each thing, it’ll make their job easier and cost you less in the end.

And if you suspect that any of these issues is beyond your ability to fix, don’t hesitate to call for help. Plumbers exist for this exact reason – to make your life easier. So sit back, make a drink, and let the professionals do what they do best.