Hot water in shower not turning on, all other faucets have hot and cold water

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by redrover, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. redrover

    redrover New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    MA
    When I turn on our shower faucet, the water coming out isn't hot, just cold water at a flow that's not the usual flow.

    When I turn on the hot and cold water from any other place in the house, I get water no problem.

    We hadn't used this problem shower for 2 weeks before finding out the problem and are afraid that perhaps the pipe is frozen while we were out, but don't understand how that would be possible given that we've had the house heated to 55 minimum and the shower is the most interior of all showers in the house (meaning if this one froze, it's likely the others should have but for some reason didn't).

    Any thoughts on what may be going on and what we can/should do? We're right now just waiting for a warm day to try again, but that seems to be less than ideal. Thanks!
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,258
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The most usual diagnosis is that you have a pressure balanced faucet and the balancing spool is stuck to one side. There is no "generic" cure, because the spool could be located in various areas depending on the faucet's make and model.
  3. redrover

    redrover New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    MA
    Thanks hj -- should try to take the shower plate off? Is there a way I can reassure myself it's not a frozen pipe? Les
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    It probably is frozen.
  5. redrover

    redrover New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    MA
    Just an update -- called a local plumber and he said you must have a symmons which needs a new cartridge. Interestingly enough I called symmons and they knew immediately it was the cartridge but instead of sending me a new one or asking me to buy one they said I should soak it in vinegar for 1 hour... did that and what a waste of time, it didn't help... We have well water and it sounds like since we don't use it regularly the deposits dried up and caused it to get stuck... Figured you'd appreciate the followup.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    That can happen too. A new TA-10 spindle will cure that.
  7. redrover

    redrover New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    MA
    Received the symmons cartridge in the mail yesterday, was in the process of replacing the existing one and dropped it, and presto, it unfroze. I put the <1year old spindle back in and the hot water now works!
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