A broken shower pump is an absolute nightmare.

Waking up one morning, looking forward to your bursting, refreshing shower, only to find it’s been replaced by a lousy dribble. Nightmare.

The problem can be far worse than skipping the morning shower. In a worst-case scenario, a damaged shower pump could rupture a pipe, leading to flooding and severe damage to your home.

That’s why it is essential to give your pump some regular attention and cleaning. Failure to clean the pump can lead to dust and other fine sediments entering the pump, damaging components and reducing the working life of the pump.

To help you prevent this from happening, we’ve put together this expert guide to cleaning a shower pump.

If you want to:

  • Understand why cleaning your shower pump is important
  • Learn how to clean shower pump components

Or you just want to understand how shower pumps work, then you’ll love this guide.

Let's get started.

Why Is It Important to Clean a Shower Pump?

If your shower pump has been installed correctly and to the manufacturer’s instructions, it should give you years of trouble-free operation. However, if you fail to properly clean and maintain the pump, you may find the following problems:

Flow Reduction

The first problem you will probably notice is a reduction in flow at the showerhead. It may only be a slight reduction at first, but the flow will continue to get worse over time. This issue is usually caused by debris and fine sediment blocking the pump filters.


Another key reason to keep your shower pump clean is the potential for debris to enter the pump. This debris can damage pump components and in many cases will cause leaks. Leaks almost always start off as small cracks in the pump’s seams, but they will deteriorate over time. If you fail to spot these leaks, they could progress to the point of rupture, causing flooding and severe damage to your home.

Increased Noise

One of the most common complaints about shower pumps is the incessant noise and vibrations they produce in operation. If you fail to clean and maintain your pump, you may find these noises get worse. This is usually due to limescale accumulating inside the pump, jamming the impellers and stopping them from rotating. In this case, you should call a qualified plumber to service the pump.

Before Cleaning the Shower Pump

Before starting any cleaning or maintenance work on your shower pump, ensure you complete the following two tasks:

Get the Right Tools to Clean and Maintain a Shower Pump

It’s important to ensure you have the tools needed to carry out the job. You will need:

  • Towels
  • Bucket
  • Monkeywrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Electrical Tester

Ensure the Pump is Electrically Isolated

Before you start any work on the shower pump, it is critical that you ensure the pump is electrically isolated. Turn off your home’s electricity supply, remove the fuse and then test the pump with the electrical tester.

Important: Ensure you notify everyone in the home or building that you are working on the plumbing system.

How to Clean a Shower Pump in 5 Steps

Follow these five steps to ensure your shower pump is kept in optimum condition.

1. Remove and Clean the Pump’s Reservoir

Pumps usually have a reservoir which can be removed for cleaning. This is easy to do just by removing a screw and detaching the reservoir - though take care, as there may be some water in it. Every year or so, the pump should be flushed using an anti-bacterial solution to avoid a build-up of sludge and limescale.

2. Remove and Clean the Filters

The filters in shower pumps can become clogged with limescale if you live in a hard-water area. To clean these, you'll need to isolate the electrical supply to the pump and turn off the water valves either side of it. Filters are usually located behind the flexible connection pipes to the impellers. Check the manufacturer's instructions if you're unsure.

3. Descale Your Shower Head

Your pump will last longer if you pay attention to the rest of the shower too. The showerhead should be cleaned and descaled regularly - especially in hard-water areas - as this is a common cause of poor water flow. While you're there, it's also worth cleaning the drain from the shower tray to keep it free of hair and soap scum.

4. Remove Airblocks

Poor flow may also be due to an airlock. You can cure this by turning off the electricity to the pump, then opening the shower mixer taps to allow any water out of the system before closing them again. To vent the pump directly, you'll need to remove the connection pipes after first closing off all of the valves.

Free Advice

If you’re struggling for advice, ring our dedicated shower pump experts on 0800 112 3134 or 0333 577 3134. We’re open Monday to Friday 07:00 - 17:30 and Saturday 08:30 - 12:30.