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Why is There No Cold Water in My Shower?

Tile shower with glass door

Trying to figure out why your shower isn’t producing cold water? The answer likely has to do with your shower’s valve. Pressure balancing valves, also known as mechanical or anti-scald valves, are the most common types of shower valves.

It’s not uncommon for these valves to cause a shower to not have cold water.

With over 100 years of plumbing experience, John C. Flood has plenty of insight to share on the topic. In this blog post, you’ll learn common issues that prevent your shower valve from functioning properly.

We’ll also cover troubleshooting tips and how to fix the “no cold water in shower” issue.

Why Do I Not Have Cold Water at All?

If all of your faucets have only hot water, there’s a chance the cold water supply has been turned off by accident. Check your shutoff valves, which are located wherever your main water supply line is kept (likely in the basement).

This can sometimes happen by mistake if you’ve recently had work done on your plumbing system. Resolving your cold water supply issue could be as simple as turning that shut-off valve back on.

Why is There No Cold Water in the Shower but Sinks Are Fine?

If when you check your home’s faucets you find there is no cold water in the shower but the sinks are fine, the most likely culprit is a problem in the pressure-balancing valve.

What is the Pressure-Balancing Valve?

This valve is meant to regulate water pressure as well as regulate the ratio of hot and cold water that flows from your showerhead. Mineral buildup and corrosion over time and through use can reduce the effectiveness of this cartridge.

If the problem gets bad enough, you may have no cold water (or hot water) in your shower and the valve will need to be replaced.

How to Fix No Cold Water in Shower

If you’ve determined that the pressure-balancing valve is indeed the problem behind your cold water issues with your shower, then you need to replace that valve. Keep in mind that technically this is a job you can do on your own as a homeowner, but you don’t have to.

The hardest part is removing the old cartridge.

At any point in the process, you can enlist John C. Flood to help tackle this plumbing issue.

Tools You’ll Need to Replace the Pressure-Balancing Valve

Before you start the job, you want to be sure you have everything so you can finish it. Here is a list of what you’ll need to fix your cold water issue:

  • A new shower cartridge (Tip: bring the old cartridge with you to ensure you buy the right one)

  • Two screwdrivers, both a flat and Phillip's head

  • A shower cartridge puller

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Allen wrenches

  • Silicone or plumbers grease

  • Locking pliers

Steps for How to Fix No Cold Water in Shower

  1. Fully shut off your water supply to the shower.

  2. Cover the drain of the shower to prevent any small pieces from falling down the drain.

  3. Remove the shower handle and any metal covers (be sure to take a photo of the internal parts of the faucet at this stage so you can be confident in your reassembly).

  4. Remove all the parts inside the faucet.

  5. Clean out any dirt, debris, and mineral build-up you see.

  6. Using pliers, pull out the retainer climb.

  7. Using a cartridge puller, remove the cartridge.

  8. Install the new cartridge using silicone or plumbers grease.

  9. Reassemble the faucet and replace the handle.

  10. Test your water supply.

Need Help From a Plumber in the DMV Area?

If you live in the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, contact John C. Flood for help identifying why there’s no cold water in your shower.

Our licensed experts will be able to identify and solve your issue quickly and efficiently. Learn more about our highly-rated suite of professional plumbing services today!

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