No water in shower, tried everything

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by loki993, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. loki993

    loki993 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Michigan
    I am absolutely out of options here. My issue started a while ago, keep in mind this is a fully remolded house with everything new in it. The shower worked without issues for probably 6 months. The water pressure in my shower was slowly going down and down. For a while it was a bearable inconvenience , until It got so bad it had to be dealt with and eventually I am where I'm at now with no water at all int he shower. I turn the faucet on and all I get is some noise, like kind of a sucking sound, and a trickle of water. The shower is a Delta Monitor 13 series. The list of what has been done is fairly long:

    Replaced the cartridge...twice, Ran without the cartridge to blow out any debris, Checked the lines and rough out for blockage. Had a professional plumber come out and check it. He cut out the tile, checked the rough out, pulled the pex lines off and they both ran fine disconnected. Checked under the house. After all that seemingly the flow was ok to the rough out he said it had to be the water heater, couldn't be anything else, because we checked everything. Its an on demand unit. He said that the pressure on the hot side must be down enough that the balancing valve was shutting the water down so it probably needed to be descaled. So fine.

    Come to yesterday I do the descale. Still no water in the shower. At this point I have absolutely no idea what to do. I'm out of options here aside from ripping the whole brand new shower out or changing the brand new water heater out. Neither of which may fix the problem.

    A word of note that I found curious in this whole thing. I've ran a cartridge with the guts taken out, the balancer and all that removed and also the plumber ran a test cap in place of the cartridge. I still got no water either time when that was done. I find that a bit curious since that is eliminating what is supposedly causing the problem.

    A lot of people are stumped on this one here. Any ideas before I have to start getting drastic?
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Have you ruled out a clogged shower head??
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You have NOT tried "everything, because if you had, you would have water in the shower. Given what you describe about the plumber, it looks like he is guessing and hoping eventually something will work. It would be easy to rule out the water heater by opening a hot water faucet in the sink and checking the pressure while the shower is turned on. Everything you describe could be caused by some condition at, or in, the shower valve, but I would have to be there to check it out. One problem that can occur with a shower only valve installed as per the manufacturer's instructions is that "debris" can build up where the "tub" opening was capped off and that will shut off flow to the shower head. It can be fixed, but there is not, and probably never was, any reason to "cut the tile". This possiblity is the reason I try to install shower only valves "upside down" so the water flows directly to the shower head instead of going down to a "dead end" and making a "U turn" back up to the shoer.
  4. loki993

    loki993 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Michigan
    Im not even getting water to the faucet so the shower head isnt the issue.

    Tuche, I've tried everything I can think of. As for the plumber yeah I'm not sure, I think he was guessing because no one seems to have any idea of whats causing it. It was a homeowners warranty job so I dont know if that makes any difference. He cut the tile because there was no other way to get to the lines that go to the rough in to check them. I have a straight pex run under the house from the water heater to the shower. there are no shut offs, so the only way to make sure I had pressure at the rough out was to pull the lines.

    I didn't see what he did when he was in there but he said the way it was acting seemed like the valve was in upside down, but it was odd because it had worked for a while, he said it shouldn't work at all of it was upside down. It wasn't upside down but I think he may have flipped it just to be sure and then put it back obviously.

    I'm trying to think of what else he tried.

    Also its not a shower only valve, sorry if I made it seem that way. Its a faucet and shower. So I guess when I say no water in the shower I'm really saying I have nothing at the faucet and then obviously if there is nothing at the faucet there isn't enough pressure to push up to the shower either.

    I mean to me it seems like it could be the valve too but without the cartridge it just seems like a brass fitting with not much to it. Also if I run the water without the cartridge I get water from the valve, though I have no idea how much pressure it is. I mean it seems like its coming out of it good but who knows.
  5. loki993

    loki993 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Michigan
    I had a professional come and he couldn't figure it out, so I'm reluctant to spend money that I don't have for a guy to come and spend hours, while charging me, to search for a problem. Its nothing I cant handle its just finding the actual cause of the problem is whats proving difficult.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2012
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Ran without the cartridge to blow out any debris,
    quote: Im not even getting water to the faucet

    One of those two statemenst is incorrect because they are diametrically opposed.
  7. loki993

    loki993 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Michigan
    No. When I pull the cartridge out and turn water on water will shoot out of the rough out. When I put the handle assembly back together with the cartridge in I get no water. Nothing ever comes out of the faucet anymore.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF water comes out of BOTH water openings with the cartridge out, the the problem is IN THE VALVE BODY itself. The valve WILL work if it is upside down, and in fact it would work better, (as I said it is the way I prefer to install the valve if it is just for a shower), and you would not have this problem. Have the plumber REMOVE the cap, (hopefully it is not a soldered in plug which will make the task much more difficult), on the bottom of the faucet inside the wall and clean out the TWO openings, one from the cartridge and the other up to the shower head.
  9. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

    Messages:
    383
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    Ditto on what hj says...

    You need a good flow of both hot and cold water into the valve. Otherwise, you won't get anything when you put it all back together.
  10. loki993

    loki993 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Michigan
    I'm thinking its the valve too somehow. I honestly didn't think there was much to it but there mush be something going on in it and something must be clogged. I did a unscientific test on it dont know. I could find a test cap so I though id try a rubber drain plug, it fit just about perfect. I figured with nothing in there water should come right out of the faucet, it didn't. I turned the water back on at the main water shut off, I put a quarter turn on it and it blew the drain plug out and across the shower, I heard it. I don't think that kind of pressure builds up unless water isn't going anywhere, but I dont know for sure. I dont know if that was silly to do or not. The valve has regular fittings that unscrew for the water lines but I think its soldered to the pipe that goes to the faucet/shower so Ill have to fine a way to deal with that.


    Right. I do get flow from both sides if I just let it go without the cartridge in. Water shoots across the shower, but water does come out, hot and cold.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,834
    Location:
    New England
    If sometime during your trials, you only had one supply on when you then turned the shower valve on, it may have jammed the spool valve to one side. If this happens, normally, it would just recenter itselfwhen water was applied to both sides, but if it is jammed and there's a little crud in there, it may not. Some valves use check valves, some have a spool valve (which is what I was talking about), sometimes, these are separate from the cartridge, sometimes, they are incorporated into the cartridge. If yours are external from the cartridge, no water would come out if it was jammed to one end. Sometimes, all it takes is a sharp blow from a wooden mallet, sometimes, you have to remove the thing, sometimes you have o replace the thing. The only other thing it could be if water is getting into the valve body is that the outlet port is clogged or plugged.
  12. Winslow

    Winslow Plumber

    Messages:
    450
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Turn off the water remove the cartridge and blow compressed air through the shower headand see if it is clear. This is the only fixture with a problem?
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I think its soldered to the pipe that goes to the faucet/shower so Ill have to fine a way to deal with that

    I may have to come over there and give you a "slap aside the head". Forget about the pipe that goes to the shower. Is there a connection on the bottom that would have gone to a tub? IF SO, unscrew that one and flush the "junk" out of it.
  14. wraujr

    wraujr Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    MD
    Some confusion here... I read back thru posts and I heard:

    Has both Shower Head and Tub Spout (OP uses "faucet" when I think he means Tub Spout)
    With cartridge OUT, water comes out valve BODY with force for BOTH hot and cold
    With cartridge IN, no (or little) water comes out Tub Spout or Shower Head.

    I assume your Tub Spout has the simple built in diverter that you pull on to re-direct water to shower head.


    To OP, is this correct?

    I beleive what hj is getting at is that after passing through the cartridge, the mixed hot and cold water exits the valve body
    thru the same opening in the valve bottom which is connected to tub spout.
    Around the same area there is an opening in the valve body that leads to the shower head. When you pull on the diverter
    in the Tub Spout you block the flow of water and it then is forced up to the shower head. With diverter disengaged water
    follows path of least effort...which is the much lower Tub Spout
    So if you have no water at EITHER SHower Head or Tub Spout you have:
    (1) Bad/Stuck/Defective Cartridge
    (2) Blockage in the valve body where water exits cartridge to go to Tub Spout or Shower Head
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Has both Shower Head and Tub Spout (OP uses "faucet" when I think he means Tub Spout)

    They stated this was a shower, and few common showers have a "toe tester" spout. In my opinion, if they DID have one, they would not be having this problem.
Similar Threads: water shower
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Low water pressure at one shower but not the other Jul 6, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Hot water shut off, water still comes out of Riobel shower fixture set to hot May 20, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Very low water pressure after replacing kitchen faucet and no hot water in shower May 15, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & No hot water to shower, TACO circulater possible problem Apr 16, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Is it okay to run hot shower water through sch 80 PVC pipe? Apr 2, 2014

Share This Page