Delta Shower Cartridge Troubleshooting Guide (6 Issues Fixed!)

So, you invested in a shower cartridge from Delta, a company known for producing high-quality products and dedication to excellent customer support. However, components fail, and parts break, so knowing Delta shower cartridge troubleshooting is essential.

Many reasons can cause your Delta shower cartridge to stop working, including corrosion, loose bolts and nuts, and improper installation. The cartridge can also stop getting hot, get stuck, or will not go in.

You must correct the issues or replace your shower cartridge before the problems escalate. You need your Delta shower cartridge working exceptionally to ensure the water flows at the right pressure and temperature hence the importance of fixing any issue that may arise.

This post will discuss the Delta shower cartridge issues and how to fix them in detail. However, if you are in a rush, go through the table below.

Delta Shower Cartridge Troubleshooting

Delta Shower Cartridge Troubleshooting (Quick Fixes!)

 ProblemRecommended Solution
1.Loose bolts and nutsTighten the bolts and nuts
2.Defective Delta shower cartridgeGet a new shower cartridge
3.Reversed Delta shower cartridgeRemove the shower cartridge and reinstall it
4.The shower cartridge won’t get hotReplace the shower cartridge
5.The shower cartridge is stuckLubricate it and pry it out with an adjustable wrench
6.The shower cartridge won’t go inClean the brass housing and grease the O-rings

Delta Shower Cartridge Problems And Solutions

Despite their reputation as high-quality components, Delta shower cartridge problems aren’t unheard of. However, if you want to continue enjoying your showers, you must diagnose and fix these issues.

Here are the common issues with Delta shower cartridges and how to solve them.

1. Delta Shower Cartridge Not Working

Shower cartridges perform the vital work of controlling the temperature and flow of water into your shower. Therefore, it’s in your best interest that your cartridge is in pristine condition because a broken or faulty cartridge means your shower won’t function properly.


You will need to replace the worn-out, faulty, or damaged cartridge with a new Delta shower cartridge. Make sure the new shower cartridge is similar to the old one.

Here’s how to install the new Delta shower cartridge:

  • Turn off the water valve, then turn on the faucet to drain the shower line.
  • Pry out the faucet cap with a screwdriver, and unscrew it to remove the escutcheon.
  •  Remove the nut keeping the cartridge in place, then pull it out slowly. You can use a cartridge puller if the cartridge is difficult to remove.
  • Cover the O-ring with heat-proof plumber’s grease.
  • Line up the cartridge’s little notch with the faucet assembly, then carefully put in the cartridge, starting with the O-ring.
  • Replace and tighten the bonnet nut once the cartridge is in.
  • Put the faucet back, working backward, starting with the escutcheon, handle, and then the cap.
  • Turn on the water supply valve, then test the faucet to ensure the problem is resolved.
Delta shower cartridge removal

2. Delta Shower Cartridge Not Getting Hot

A warm or hot shower allows most people to relax and tenderly care for their bodies, but doing so in a shower without hot water is a toll order. If you have a Delta shower, you expect the water to be hot enough to enjoy your shower, so what happens when the cartridge won’t get hot?

Low water heater temperature, an incorrectly installed cartridge, and an unadjusted anti-scald valve are some of the reasons a Delta shower won’t get hot.


You can correct this problem by adjusting the temperature of the water heater or the anti-scald valve. If the issue is an improperly installed cartridge, reinstall it, making sure the H on the cartridge’s side is on the shower handle’s left side.

The anti-scald valve in a Delta shower limits the shower handle’s rotation to hinder scalding. The limit can be adjusted to raise the water temperature if the shower water doesn’t get hot enough, and here’s how to do so:

  • Remove the shower handle with an Allen wrench to access the anti-scald valve at the cartridge’s tip.
  • Increase your shower’s water temperature by rotating the limit stop in small increments in an anti-clockwise direction. Continue adjusting until you get your desired water temperature.
  • Screw the shower handle back on.

3. Delta Shower Cartridge Stuck

So, your delta shower cartridge replacement isn’t going great because it’s stuck. While this is an issue that can affect cartridges from various manufacturers, it can cause issues like erratic temperature control and subpar water pressure.

Shower cartridges get stuck if the rubber in the O-rings and the other parts holding the cartridge together collect minerals from various sources such as hard water. The minerals bind the shower cartridge’s plastic and rubber into the shower valve’s metal.

Lubricating the O-rings usually prevents a stuck cartridge, but that won’t work forever. Below is how to remove a stuck Delta shower cartridge.

  • Turn off your bathroom’s water supply and run the faucet to empty the pipes.
  • Remove the hex bolts holding the shower handle in place using an Allen wrench, then pry it out with your hand or a flathead screwdriver.
  • Use your hand to pull the trim sleeve once the handle is out.
  • Remove the bonnet nut that holds the cartridge. If it’s stuck, apply lubricating spray and pry it with an adjustable wrench.
  • Try pulling out the Delta shower cartridge with a cartridge remover. If that doesn’t work, use a flathead screwdriver.
  • If any of the above tools don’t work, soak the housing of your cartridge in vinegar and let it sit overnight or for a couple of hours to let the minerals dissolve. Next, pry the cartridge with a cartridge puller, screwdriver, or hand.

4. Delta Shower Cartridge Won’t Go In

After taking out your Delta shower cartridge because it was faulty, you realize it won’t go back after fixing the problem. This is a problem considering the cartridge serves a specific purpose, so you must figure out how to put it in without breaking it or the other parts of the valve.

This issue arises from replacing your old Delta shower cartridge with a different model or the lack of lubrication.


Ensure you choose a similar Delta shower cartridge to the one you had before. Also, clean the brass housing carefully, apply the plumber’s silicone grease, position the cartridge well, and then reinsert it.

Delta Shower Cartridge Won’t Go In

Can A Delta Shower Cartridge Be Reversed?

A delta shower cartridge can be easily reversed if one fails to align the cartridge correctly during installation. While you can learn to use your faucet with the cold/hot sides reversed, this can be quite annoying, so you are better off correcting the mistake.

Typically, the hot side of a shower faucet is on the left while the cold is on the right. You can easily reinstall your cartridge if it’s reversed without calling a professional plumber if you have the right tools, follow the correct procedure, and be attentive to avoid making the same mistake.

To correct the issue, you will need to shut off your bathroom’s water supply valve and take the Delta shower valve apart to access the cartridge. Remove the cartridge, rotate, then put it back.

Keep in mind that the left-hand side is generally hot when it comes to plumbing projects, whether it’s the shower, vanity, or kitchen faucet. In addition, don’t forget to test your shower once you reinstall it to ensure the cold and hot sides are now in the right position.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do I Know If My Delta Shower Cartridge Needs Replacing?

Several symptoms indicate that it’s time to replace your Delta shower cartridge. These include difficulties turning the shower handle, reduced water pressure, cold and hot water mix-up, water leaking or dripping from the showerhead even after turning off the handle, and the water not getting hot.

However, remember that Delta shower cartridges are high-quality, highly durable products with a lifespan of 30 to 40 years. Therefore, you should be able to use your cartridge for many years to come with proper maintenance.

2. When Should You Replace Your Delta Shower Cartridge?

You should replace your Delta shower cartridge when it’s old and worn out. Moreover, it’s time to get a new cartridge if your shower stops getting hot enough or it stops working.

Closing Remarks On Delta shower cartridge troubleshooting

The proper functioning of your shower heavily relies on the condition of the cartridge; that’s why you must keep it in good condition and fix any issues swiftly. Delta shower cartridge troubleshooting makes repairing or replacing a faulty Delta shower cartridge easier.

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