Electric showerhead problems
I'm having a continuing problem with my hot water showerhead that I can't figure out, so I hope someone here can give me some tips. I should explain that I know next to nothing about electricity.
The brand is Lorenzetti and the breaker box is wired for 220 V. The house I'm renting was just built before I moved in so I am the only tenant who has lived here.
The first showerhead I owned worked fine for two years, but then I noticed that one of the wires in the showerhead (not the ground wire) was getting so hot that it was melting the plastic, so I threw it out, bought a new one and installed it.
The second one worked fine at the start, except that when I shut off the water while the head was still on the hot setting, the heating element inside the head did not shut off and continued to burn hot, so before shutting off the water I turned the setting to run cold water for a few seconds, and that solved the problem.
But one day a few weeks later while showering, I smelled burning plastic and the second showerhead began to shake, and I heard a buzzing sound inside the head. As soon as I turned to look at it, there was a bright flash inside the head, so I jumped out right away, ran to the breaker box and shut off the circuit to the head. Then when I returned to shut off the water, I touched the head and it was burning hot.
A friend of mine who's an electrician took the second one and replaced the internal wiring (but not the temperature control thing) and element with OEM parts and re-installed it.
One week later exactly the same thing happened -- the smell of burning plastic and a bright flash inside the head. The only difference is that the showerhead was not fried -- after there was a bright flash in the head, I waited a few hours to test it and it continues to produce hot water on both the high setting and the medium setting (although of course I am not using it for the time being). But once again, the element does not shut off unless I turn the control to the cold setting for a few seconds.
I've asked around and some friends who know electricity have offered some fixes.
One thinks that the temperature control in the second one is crap and that the problem will not reoccur if I buy a new one. But this doesn't explain why the first head malfunctioned. Also, while Lorenzettis are not expensive, they do cost money and I don't want to keep buying new ones if this won't fix the problem.
Another thinks that the wiring from the breaker box to the showerhead is too weak ("small") to carry the demand from the breaker to the head and that this is what is causing the problem. Once again, this doesn't explain why the first head worked fine for two years. His suggestion is that I run the current one on the middle setting rather than the hot setting.
When I test this, the showerhead does produce water that's hot enough for me, but I'm worried that there's something fundamentally wrong with the head or the wiring for the box, and that I might eventually electrocute myself or cause the wiring inside the wall to do something dangerous.
Another suggests that that I stop using Lorenzettis which are rated up to 5,500 Watts, and go with another brand that they have down here which is rated up to a maximum of about 4,400. Since I don't know electricity, I don't know why that would work.
I hope someone out there can help me fix this. I live a pretty simple life down here, no tv or radio or fancy electrodomesticos, a hot shower before bedtime after a sweaty day running around town or gardening is one of the few luxuries I allow myself.