If there is something worse than a cold shower, it’s one that’s extremely hot. If you are reading this, it’s probably because you are suffering from this common problem- your shower head does not spray cold water. Lack of cold water in the shower should be an indicator of defective parts within the shower faucet. You’ll have to inspect the inner workings of your rain shower system.
Inspecting and replacing these defective parts can be achieved with some simple skills and tools. Read on to find out more about how you can fix your shower system.
Why Is Your Shower Not Spraying Cold Water?
First and foremost, check other faucets in your home to determine that the problem is only on your shower. If the problem is on all faucets, then it might be that a shutoff valve was switched off accidentally in the main water supply. If such is the case, all you need to do is turn that valve back on.
On the other hand, if you realize that other faucets have cold water, the problem mainly lies in the pressure-balancing valve. Here, you’ll have to replace the valve cartridge by yourself. If you are not up for the task, call in a professional plumber.
What Causes Malfunctions In the Pressure-Balancing Valve?
The shower faucet's pressure-balancing valve functions to regulate water pressure, and the ratio of hot and cold water flowing out of the showerhead. With time, mineral buildup and corrosion can affect the effectiveness of the cartridge. This is very common in shower systems that are rarely used.
Even though replacing a faucet valve is not difficult, one has to disassemble the faucet. To most people, the difficult part is in removing the old cartridge. If perhaps you encounter trouble with this process, you can reach out to a professional. But if you are ready to do it by yourself, read on to find out how;
How to Replace a Faulty Shower Cartridge
Before getting started, you have to purchase a new cartridge from the nearby store. You must pick the perfect fit and style for your rainfall showerhead. It's highly recommendable that you bring the old cartridge with you to the hardware to buy a perfect replacement set.
Aside from the replacement piece, you will also need several tools for the job. These include a cartridge puller, locking pliers, needle-nose pliers, silicone or plumber's grease, flathead or Phillips screwdriver, and Allen wrenches. Use the following step-by-step guide to get your job done.
- Cut-off water supply to the shower.
- Use a cloth to cover the drain so that small components don’t fall in the drain, as your work.
- Remove any metal cover and the shower handle. Holding the handle, pull the stem.
- Take a photo of the faucet’s inside set up- it will be a reference during reassembly.
- Dismantle all other parts of the faucet.
- Use a cleaning solution to dissolve any existing mineral deposits.
- Pull the retainer clip using needle-nose pliers.
- Using the cartridge puller, remove the cartridge.
- Fix the replacement cartridge using a silicone product or plumber's grease.
- Using the reference photos, re-assemble the retainer clip, valve stem, and other faucet parts.
To sum up, replacing a faulty cartridge is an ambitious DIY project. But most homeowners prefer calling in a professional to do the work for them. After installing the new shower cartridge, you can now turn on water supply and test to ensure you get a balanced ration of cold and hot water.