How to Fix a Shower Pull Cord Not Working

How to Fix a Shower Pull Cord Not Working

Shower pull cords are essential components in many bathrooms, providing a convenient way to control the flow of water.

However, like all mechanical parts, they can wear out or break over time.

Before you rush to replace it, let’s explore some common issues and how to address them.

How to Fix a Shower Pull Cord Not Working
Credit: @Right Spark Electrician

Understanding the Shower Pull Cord

A shower pull cord is more than just a piece of string hanging in your bathroom; it’s connected to an electrical switch outside the shower.

When tugged, it activates the switch, supplying water to the shower.

To prolong its life, it’s recommended to leave the switch “On” and control the water flow using the shower’s faucet.

This reduces the wear and tear on the cord.

Related: How to Fix a Shower Switch Not Working

Fixing Shower Pull Cord Preparation

Equipment You’ll Need

  • Sharp scissors
  • Replacement pull cord
  • Plastic connector (if not included with the cord)
  • Safety gloves and goggles

Safety First!

  • Always ensure the area is dry before working on any electrical components.
  • Turn off the power from the main circuit box before starting any repairs.
  • If unsure about any step, consult with a certified electrician.

Common Pull Cord Issues and Solutions

1. Pull Cord Snaps in Two

If your pull cord has snapped into two pieces, don’t fret! It might be salvageable.

Pull cords typically consist of two sections connected by a plastic connector.

If the lower part breaks:

  • Obtain a replacement cord from a retailer.
  • Cut the cord to the desired length, allowing some extra for tying a knot.
  • Tie the two cord sections together.
  • Slide the finial over the knot to hide it.

2. Pull Cord Breaks at the Switch

If the cord has detached from the switch entirely, a simple knot won’t do the trick.

In this case:

  • Remove the broken cord.
  • If you’re unsure about the installation process, it’s best to hire a qualified electrician to replace the cord.

Related: How to Wire a Shower Switch

3. Faulty Electrical Switch

Sometimes the issue isn’t with the cord but the switch.

If pulling the cord doesn’t activate the shower:

  • Check the circuit box to ensure the breaker is “On.”
  • Reset the breaker if necessary.
  • If the problem persists, the switch might be defective.
  • Consult with a certified electrician for inspection and repair.

Considerations for Replacement

Shower pull cords have a lifespan of about a decade. Given the advancements in design and efficiency, if your cord is nearing or past this age, consider upgrading. Remember, as designs evolve, the size and compatibility of newer cords might differ, potentially increasing replacement costs.

Final Thoughts

While a malfunctioning shower pull cord can be frustrating, understanding the root of the problem can save you time and money.

Whether you’re fixing a snapped cord or dealing with a faulty switch, always prioritize safety and consult professionals when in doubt.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why isn’t my shower turning on when I pull the cord?

Your shower may not be turning on for due to several reasons. The pull cord itself might be broken or snapped, preventing the switch from activating. Alternatively, the electrical switch connected to the pull cord could be faulty. It’s also possible that there’s a power outage or the circuit breaker for the shower has tripped. Always check the circuit box first and ensure the breaker is in the “On” position.

Related: Fix No Power to Electric Shower

Is it safe to repair a shower pull cord myself?

While many DIY enthusiasts can repair a shower pull cord, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of electrical systems and to follow safety precautions. Always ensure the power is turned off from the main circuit box before starting any repairs. If you’re unsure or unfamiliar with the process, it’s best to consult or hire a certified electrician.

Can I replace a pull cord switch with a different type of switch?

Yes, you can replace a pull-cord switch with another type, such as a wall-mounted switch. However, you’ll need to ensure that the new switch is appropriately rated for the electric shower’s power and that it’s installed in a safe location, away from direct contact with water. Additionally, local electrical regulations might dictate the type of switch you can use in a bathroom setting.

How often should I check or replace my shower pull cord?

It’s a good practice to inspect your shower pull cord annually for signs of wear or damage. Depending on usage and the quality of the cord, it can last many years. However, if you notice any irregularities, fraying, or if the switch becomes harder to activate, consider replacing it to ensure safety and optimal performance.