American Standard shower handle jammed

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by boblothrope, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. boblothrope

    boblothrope New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    My American Standard shower handle recently jammed. It won't move left past the mid-point towards the hot side -- it's a hard stop.

    I believe it's an R120 Ceramix type cartridge. It's the type that tilts up and down for volume, and left and right for temperature.

    A while back I posted about a problem where the water flow would stop when I moved it all the way to the hot side. If I moved it back and forth quickly, it would thump and the hot water would flow again. So I'm thinking the guts of the cartridge were bumping into each other, and finally something broke or jammed.

    Has anyone seen this problem? Is the quick answer a new cartridge?
  2. boblothrope

    boblothrope New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Well, I solved the jammed handle. That red plastic ring that lets you limit how far you can move the handle to the hot side somehow got moved out of place.

    I'm still not sure what causes the hot water flow to be restricted. The passages in the cartridge were clear.

    There was a whole lot of crud in the manifold's hot supply passage, which I attempted to remove using q-tips dipped in vinegar. So far it might have helped somewhat. The hot water still didn't flow at first, but the thump and flow happened by itself after a second. It's always worse when the shower hasn't been used in a while, so I'll have to wait and see.
  3. boblothrope

    boblothrope New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I now highly suspect that the lack of hot water flow until I move the handle back and forth is caused by a clogged balance spool. I also think the loud rushing noises from my and my neighbors' showers are caused by this issue.

    Unfortunately the spool is not accessible, since the shower was retiled at some point, and the hole in the cement board (and possibly also the tiles) is too small.

    Is there an easy way for a DIY-er to enlarge the hole, with a hole saw or by some other method? Or should I quit while I'm ahead, and deal with the quirky valve and the noise?
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,835
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A rotozip with a carbide cutter, a multitool with a carbide blade, are two possibilities, but there are others, it just depends on what tools you already have or want to buy.
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