Why Isn’t Cold Water Coming Out of My Shower?

shower head

Discovering there’s no hot water when you take a shower is bad enough. A scalding-hot shower resulting from a lack of cold water is something else altogether. Fortunately, a quick plumbing repair can usually resolve this relatively common problem. Learn about the possible causes of no cold water in the shower and what you can do to fix it in your Sanford, FL home.

Troubleshooting Tips

The first thing to establish is whether the hot-water-only problem is confined to the shower, in which case the pressure-balance valve is likely to blame. Check your kitchen and bathroom faucets to see if they produce cold water. If it’s a whole-house issue, chances are the shutoff valve in your main water supply has been turned off accidentally. If that’s the case, turn the valve back on, and all should be well.

There are more serious implications for fixtures that deliver a weak amount of cold water. Blockages, leaks or burst pipes are possible culprits. Monitoring your water meter over two hours is the easiest way to check for leaks. If the meter changes even though you’re not using water, there’s probably a leak somewhere in the system.

All About Pressure-Balancing Valves

Housed in a cartridge within the shower’s faucet is a device called the pressure-balance valve. Its job is to control the delivery of hot or cold water that flows from the showerhead. It senses any drop in pressure in hot or cold water and automatically adjusts the pressure on the opposite side. The valve keeps the temperature of the water from varying more than 3 degrees Fahrenheit.

The pressure-balanced valve may sound like a complex piece of machinery, but its workings are elegantly simple. Inside the cartridge, a piston moves ball bearings back and forth, reacting to the relative changes in pressure. The ball bearings act as a kind of plug, opening and closing the hot and cold water channels. Subject to corrosion and mineral build-up, these parts wear out over time. Replacing a malfunctioning valve solves the problem.

Pressure-Balancing Valve Replacement

If you’re handy around the house, you might want to replace your shower valve as a DIY project. Several specialized tools are required to get the job done, including a faucet handle puller, pipe wrench and plumber’s grease. You’ll also need a bit of muscle to remove, clean and replace the parts. If you don’t have the time, energy or inclination to replace the valve yourself, call Del-Air. We’ll dispatch a licensed plumber to your home as quickly as possible to take care of the plumbing repair for you.

A lack of cold water isn’t one of the most common plumbing emergencies, but it occurs more often than you might think. It’s a relief to know that help is close at hand. Whether you need a quick fix for a faulty shower valve or a leaking pipe, you can count on Del-Air for all your plumbing repair needs. Our plumbing pros always put your comfort and plumbing needs first. Call us today to learn more.

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