5 telltale signs your shower needs replacing, according to bathroom experts

Don't get stuck with a broken shower – follow these signs to get ahead before it breaks

Two shower heads with running water
(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

If you're searching for signs you need a new shower, chances are yours isn't performing quite how it should be. There's very little that could start your day off any worse than a shower that is suppling you with a tiny trickle or worse, not turning on at all, so getting a problem sorted quickly will be essential.

Whether you have a power shower, an electric shower or a smart shower, after years of daily use they will all begin to run their course. Keeping an eye out for signs that yours might be on its way out will help you get ahead so that you're not caught short during your morning rush.

If you're thinking about replacing your shower then it might also be time to think about sprucing up the rest of your bathroom. There are so many inspiring shower ideas that will make your bathroom a joy to use and much more functional.

1. It keeps switching between hot and cold

A white-tiled bathroom with a shower and shower shelf for toiletries

(Image credit: Future PLC/Chris Snook)

One minute you're basking in the warm embrace of a shower and the next you're gasping under the shock of freezing cold water, sound familiar? The sudden switch between hot and cold is one of the biggest signs that your shower might need replacing.

While we hear that a cold water rinse is great for washing hair, it's less than ideal when it comes as a surprise. So, it might be time for a replacement.

'One of the most frustrating signs that your shower needs to be replaced is if it keeps switching between boiling hot and freezing cold when you’re showering,' explains Leah Carney, a qualified plumber and gas engineer from TaskHer.

'This could indicate that the temperature balancing valves aren’t working as they should. Instead of fixing or repairing the part, buying a new shower can be more cost-effective, especially if your shower is old.'

2. The water pressure has dropped

a shower area with emerald green tiles a clear glass shower panel with curved top and black hardware

(Image credit: Darren Chung)

Coming in close second for most frustrating shower issues is low water pressure. Shivering in the shower (especially if you have a small bathroom shower where they're no-where to hide) with a trickle of water to wash your body with isn't the most fun task, and could be a sign of a bigger issue with your plumbing.

'Lower water pressure can be caused by leaks or faults in your plumbing system, but if there’s nothing wrong with your home’s plumbing system, your shower might not be working at its optimum,' explains Leah. 'Mineral deposits, limescale, and wear and tear can all cause your shower’s water pressure to drop and would benefit from being replaced.'

3. Your shower is leaking

shower wall tiles with black grout

(Image credit: Topps Tiles)

Can you hear dripping from your shower long after you've turned it off? Or maybe you're finding pools of water around your bathroom? A leaking shower could be a telltale sign that it needs replacing as soon as possible to avoid any significant water damage.

'One of the telltale signs that you need to replace your shower is if there are leaks around the base, which could eventually get worse,' warns Leah. 'This could increase your water bills and reduce the performance of your shower, so replacing it will save you money in the long run.'

4. The water flow changes

walk in shower with niche shelving in wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Siobhan Doran)

'One major signal that you need a new shower head is water flow,' explains Ashley Cooper, marketing director at Triton Showers.

'As a shower head ages, the amount of water flowing through it can sometimes begin to decrease. This may be due to a build-up of limescale if the spray head has not been cleaned properly. Limescale deposits can look unsightly too, so if you notice any of these issues, it could suggest that your shower head needs replacing soon.'

Although it might be time to replace the shower head, it might just need a good old clean instead. Knowing the best tips and tricks on how to clean a showerhead will potentially save you some money and hassle.

5. It looks outdated

A bathtub with a shower head tiled in a marble effect

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

Performance issues aside, a sign that you need a new showerhead could be simply put down to age. Most showers should be replaced every 8-10 years, so yours may have done it's time.

'When your shower is over 10 years old, it’s much harder to find replacement parts if things have become loose or worn, meaning a new shower is often the best option,' explains Leah.

If your shower model is outdated then it might be time to upgrade it for a luscious shower experience. It also has a big impact on your overall bathroom scheme, so if you're looking to spruce up your shower tile ideas or shower bath ideas, doing it all in one-go will simplify it.

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How long does a shower last before it needs replacing?

'On average, electric showers should be replaced every 8-10 years for optimal performance and hygiene, although this can vary depending on usage and maintenance,' explains Ashley Cooper from Triton Showers.

Most showers will need maintenance at this point, so bear in mind how long it has been since you renovated your bathroom, or since you moved into a property with an existing shower.

Ashley also stresses the importance of looking after your shower to prolong its lifespan. 'Regular maintenance is crucial to keep your shower head in top condition, ensuring it performs at its best for as long as possible. As mentioned, key maintenance tasks include tackling limescale and grime to ensure spray head nozzles don’t get blocked,' he explains.

'A simple fix is to ensure you regularly clean your showerhead to keep it clear of limescale, enabling you the get the maximum, energising benefit from your shower head.'

Is it time to switch out your shower?

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).