There are few things as unpleasant as cold water rushing into a shower without warning, but it's a common sign that either a faucet valve is leaking or the inner parts are broken. If you don't address the problem right away, you face higher water costs and more uncomfortable moments in the shower.
Here are some tips on how to fix your shower valve problems and get back to enjoying your hot showers in peace.
Check the valve cartridge
A corroded valve cartridge is often the cause of leaks and poor water distribution. This should be the first thing you check when you look for a fix. Turn off the water supply and leave the valve open slightly. Remove the screw that keeps the valve in place so that you can check on the state of the cartridge.
You'll find rubber rings around the cartridge; keep these to put the valve back in place later. If any of the items holding the cartridge or screws in place have rotted or fallen out of place, you may have found the source of your discomfort in the shower.
Debris within the pipe may also be the culprit. Use a wire brush to clean the area, just in case.
The hardware store can help
Take the different parts you removed to a hardware store, where you can find replacements for the valve cartridge or any supporting items. The sales staff should be able to provide tips on handling the job without stripping or otherwise damaging any of the parts.
Weighing the Investment vs. DIY
Take this opportunity to check for leaks and any other corroded elements inside your shower fixture. Even the highest-quality fixtures need repairs as time passes. It's a quick job that requires no new equipment.
If you choose to do it yourself, you may have to buy a special wrench, plumber's grease and other parts necessary for the job, as ordinary wrenches may damage the hardware.
The time investment required will vary depending on your level of expertise with bathroom plumbing. Experienced homeowners can pull off this complex job if they have the right tools.
That said, it might be best to seek the help of a licensed plumber in Macon, Rosewell or your Atlanta-area town. These professionals will fix the shower valve or any other plumbing problem you might have.
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