17 Sep Fixing a Steam Generator: Everything You Need to Know About Repairing or Replacing Your Steam Generator
Fixing a steam generator can seem like a daunting task. Here’s the scenario. For over a decade, you’ve been loving your 12-year-old steam shower. When suddenly something goes wrong, what do you do?
Whether it’s producing too little steam pressure or doesn’t quite get as hot as it once did, it can be a challenge deciding where to go from there. You might be wondering is it something you can fix yourself? Or will you have to hire a plumber or electrician to fix it? Perhaps your money might be better spent replacing the unit with a new steam generator all together.
Luckily we have a step-by-step guide to help you through your decision process.
Know the Price of Replacing your Steam Generator
Most of the heavy lifting in a steam shower is done by the generator. Outside of this component are external sensors, controls, and some pipes/hoses. Most of these are a fraction of the cost of the steam generator.
So before you get into any sort of discussion of repairs, find out how much it will cost just to replace the unit. Make sure to determine the kW of your current generator. Knowing the price of a new generator can help you make an intelligent decision later on – whether or not it is actually worth repairing vs buying a new one.
Troubleshoot Your Steam Shower Generator With Manufacturer
After looking into the cost of a steam shower generator, contact the manufacturer that made the generator and see what they would recommend. Depending on the tech support of the company, you might be able to talk to someone specifically to help you with your problem.
This is one of the big differences you’ll see between the bigger, more established domestic steam shower companies and cheaper imports. The imports are not made with the same high-quality materials, not held to the same safety standards, tend to break down more often and when they do, support is non-existent.
Most of the major steam manufactures have solid products, good warranties, and great support. EliteSteam and our parent company Steamist have full-time tech support for your steam generator and components. We will talk you through the diagnosis down to the component level.
Replacing The Steam Generator
So if you bought from a company with good support. Contact them and they will help you diagnose the exact issue. After speaking with the manufacturer, you’ll have a better idea of the fix or if you need to just replace the unit.
They also have contacts with local service companies if you do need help with fix. You will want to first find a trustworthy local service person – ask your manufacturer for names and recommendations. Now you can contact the service person and schedule the repair for your steam generator.
Notify the service person of the cost for a new replacement generator and let them know your price limit – you can ask the service person if they’re able to install the new generator for you if that’s the best option. The kW of your steam generator is universal and matching the kW will insure the new generator will operate in a similar manner.
Removing The Steam Generator Unit Yourself
If you live in a metro area, there is likely in home repair services readily available for you. However, many people don’t conveniently have access to in-home services. If you’re not able to troubleshoot your problem with the manufacture and don’t have access to in-home repair services, then removing the unit and shipping it back to the manufacturer may be your only option. Most manufactures will give you a cost estimate before you start the repair so be sure to ask them.
Removing the generator is usually done by a plumber, but you can easily do it yourself. You just need to follow a few precautions before removing your steam generator. Always turn the circuit breaker off before and place tape over the breaker while it’s disconnected. That way no one mistakenly turns it back on while the generator is disconnected.
Once the steam generator is removed, the electrical service to the generator must have the wires safely protected from accidental contact. Using wire nuts and tape, safely stow wire until the new generator is reinstalled.
As far as when you should repair or replace your generator, like everything, that will depend on the availability of parts and the cost of the repair. It is recommended that you replace your steam generator once it is out of warranty.