Cold water problem in shower--is it the valves?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Elizabeth2, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. Elizabeth2

    Elizabeth2 Well-Known Member

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    The problem we are having is a new one we've never had before, and I'd like to fix it this weekend (I have done quite a bit of plumbing). The cold water in the shower and tub won't come on like it should when you first start to turn the faucet on. As you keep turning, suddenly you hear a *clunk* and it comes on pretty hard. You can't ever get just a trickle, or a small amount. Therefore, when we shower we have to use a lot of hot water also, to get the right mix/temperature. This has just started in the last month, and is very annoying.

    At the same time another problem started: when you turn on the hot water anywhere else in the house, the person in the shower gets none, just icy cold water. Now I understand that's a common problem; only it never happened to us before, so something has changed.

    My question is, just what is it I need to replace? Is it the "rough plumbing"-- the valves? I don't know what causes this and can't find anything when I try to do a search on the 'net.
    Any and all suggestions welcome!
    Thanks in advance,
    Elizabeth
     
  2. Elizabeth2

    Elizabeth2 Well-Known Member

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    I should have said that our faucet set has two handles, one for cold, one for hot; not a central mixer.
     

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    With the hot water in the shower shut off, can you turn the cold on as you discribed then turn it down slowly and get down to a trickle just before shut off completely??? Or does the cold handle turn a ways both before and after the water is turned on of off??
    Do you get a full stream with a good pressure as you ever did out of the rest of the house outlets?? When the pressure is low the water goes to the easiest outlet and doesn't get forced out all the faucets at full capasity like you would want it to do while in the shower.
    Sounds like two seperate symptoms to me. It might be safer to wear a raincoat in the shower.
     
  4. morrowsmowers

    morrowsmowers Well-Known Member

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    Pull out the cold water stem. Look for a loose or missing washer at the end of the stem. Also look for loose or missing pieces on the stem assembly itself. While you have it apart check the seat and use heat proof grease on the entire assembly when you put it back together. Best case scenario is a new washer, worst case would be a new stem.

    Ken in Glassboro, NJ :)
     
  5. Elizabeth2

    Elizabeth2 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the responses; I will check out the suggestions.
    Elizabeth
     
  6. Elizabeth2

    Elizabeth2 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I fixed the problem! Thanks for your help; I removed the valve stem, and not only did the washer have a deep groove worn in it, the screw head that's supposed to hold the washer on had broken off. The local plumbers' supply store sold me a new valve stem (because) the broken off screw couldn't be removed) and now the problem is fixed!
    Thanks again,
    Elizabeth