Shower faucets rely on different components to function, including handles and valves. Unfortunately, in many cases, faucet-related problems, whether simple or complex, also stem from them and while repairing it isn’t difficult, a shower faucet troubleshooting guide is essential.
Some of the problems you’ll likely need to troubleshoot in a shower faucet include continuous dripping, a stuck faucet, and leaks. Also, the faucet can fail to turn on and off, or you may have a shower faucet that won’t turn off all the way.
More often than not, shower faucet issues stem from wear in valves, and replacing or repairing it, restores the fixture. However, it’s best not to make assumptions, so I’ll discuss the various shower faucet problems and their respective solutions.
Shower Faucet Troubleshooting (Problems & Fixes)
|The shower faucet won’t turn on
|Faulty valve or cracked/ corroded rubber ring.
|Change the ring or the entire valve.
|The shower faucet won’t turn off
|Worn out cartridge or valves. Faulty or loose handle.
|Tighten or get a new handle. Change the cartridge.
|The shower faucet won’t stop dripping
|Deteriorated gasket and the rubber O-rings. Mineral and lime accumulation in the showerhead.
|Flush out the debris from the showerhead or replace the washer.
|The shower faucet won’t turn off all the way
|Get a new valve.
|The shower faucet won’t come off
|Mineral accumulation or rust in the shower faucet.
|Lubricate the gaps between the handle and valve stem.
|The shower faucet leaks from the spout when turned off
|Install a new spout.
1. Shower Faucet Won’t Turn On
If the shower doesn’t turn on, a faulty valve could be the cause. Faulty valves might also end up causing the shower faucet handle to become stuck or generate strange grinding noises.
If the valve fractures and the broken component covers the valve’s opening, you will have reduced water flow or pressure. A corroded or cracked rubber ring is a typical cause of defective shower valves.
Change the worn ring, but if the cartridge breaks, change the whole valve.
2. Shower Faucet Won’t Turn Off
The valves or the cartridge are likely worn out if the shower faucet won’t turn off. Alternatively, the handle might be faulty.
- Tighten the handle screw after shutting off the water supply.
- Find the valve that regulates your home’s water supply.
- Pry below the cover plate with a flat-bladed screwdriver to expose the handle screw on the faucet.
- Tighten the handle screw using a Phillips screwdriver.
- Turn on the water supply and check whether the water in the shower flows even after closing the faucet.
b) Remove the Cartridge
If the previous procedure doesn’t solve the problem, check the cartridge. To correct this:
- Cut off the water supply.
- Turn on a faucet in any sink to ensure that you have completely cut off the water supply in your apartment.
- Close the shower drain to prevent any screws or other small items from falling down the drain throughout the operation.
- Use your screwdriver to remove the small screw and the handles.
- Undo the screw that holds the cartridge and the rotating plastic component in place.
- When you see these components becoming loose, carefully slip them off.
- Identify and detach the clip that secures the cartridge. Don’t throw away this clip; you’ll need it when you put in the new cartridge.
- Remove the cartridge carefully using a pair of vice grips. Take care not to harm the pipes on the inside.
- If you have issues removing the cartridge, stop and get expert assistance.
c) Install A New One
- Check that the hot and cold portions align correctly, then slip the cartridge in slowly and reinstall all the other components.
- Tighten the screws before resuming the use of your shower faucet.
3. Shower Faucet Won’t Stop Dripping
Lime and mineral deposit accumulation in the showerhead will block the holes and make the faucet drip non-stop. In addition, the gasket and the rubber O-rings that secure connections between moving metal parts may have deteriorated.
- Turn off the water and unplug the showerhead. Unscrew the head from the pipe that extends from the wall.
- Turn it anticlockwise.
- Check the showerhead’s openings to see whether white minerals have blocked them. Also, check whether the pipe you detached from the head is leaking.
- Unplug the front faceplate of the showerhead if it supports it. Otherwise, you’ll have to wash the entire head.
- Dip the showerhead in for 6 to 8 hours in white vinegar.
- Examine the washer in the rear of the showerhead.
- Remove it and substitute it with a hardware shop replacement.
- Use a pin or toothpick to release the holes. Scrub the faceplate with a stiff brush.
- When you replace the head and turn on hot water, all the debris inside the showerhead will flush out.
4. Shower Faucet Won’t Turn Off All the Way
If your shower faucet doesn’t turn off all the way, it may mean the valves are faulty.
Replace the valve.
5. Shower Faucet Won’t Come Off
It could be because of rust or the accumulation of minerals in your shower faucet. Follow the procedure below to fix it:
- Use a slot screwdriver to pry off the faucet cap, then a Phillips screwdriver to detach the handle holding screw.
- Grab the handle and pull it away from the valve stem.
- Spray lubricant or apply a few drops of penetrating oil into the gap between the valve stem and the handle.
- Pull the handle off after a few minutes.
- Put a piece of wood on your faucet’s body.
- Insert the tip of your slot screwdriver underneath the handle and press up on the handle, employing the wood as a fulcrum. It will produce enough power to disengage the handle.
6. Shower Faucet Leaking from Spout When Turned Off
A faulty valve is the leading cause of this. Look at the procedure below to restore the shower faucet:
- Remove the spout by scouring the caulking with a box cutter. Turn the spout anticlockwise.
- Remove any old sealant residue.
- Wrap Teflon tape around both ends of the new longer nipple pipe threads three times in a clockwise manner.
- Thread the new pipe nipple into the 90-degree elbow within the wall and tighten it.
- Thread the new spout onto the pipe and turn clockwise to tighten it against the wall.
- Turn on the water to flush any debris.
- Add a small amount of caulk.
How To Fix Shower Faucet Stem
- Cut off the water supply at the main.
- Prevent tiny bits from falling into the drainpipe by covering the shower drain with a towel.
- Pry off the little circular index cap from the shower’s faucet handle with a pocket knife.
- Undo the screw keeping the handle in place, pulling it clear of the valve stem.
- Strip the escutcheon by hand to uncover the stem.
- Use pliers and a valve socket to remove the worn-out stem from the wall.
- Using a seat wrench, remove the current seat within the valve.
- Apply pipe thread sealant to the threaded end of the brand-new stem seat.
- Tighten the replacement stem seat into the valve using the seat wrench.
- Tighten the replacement valve stem by hand, then with pliers and valve sockets.
- Follow the previous eight procedures to fix the new stems and seats on the faucet handle and diverter.
- Use the plumber’s putty to the rear of the escutcheon plate beforehand-tightening it to the stems.
- Attach the handles to the valve stems.
- Reattach the index covers to the handles.
- Take the drain cloth, restart the water, and double-check your work.
Fixing Shower Faucet Diverter
- Cut off your shower’s water supply.
- Tape off the drain, so that little screws or other essential pieces do not fall into the drainpipe.
- Tighten the screws located beneath the diverter valve’s faceplate.
- Dismantle the shower diverter.
- Reinstall the diverter, taking care not to cross-thread the pieces. Tighten the diverter using a wrench, making sure not to over-tighten it.
- Restart the water supply. Activate the shower diverter to route the water flow to your showerhead.
How To Fix a Leaky Shower Faucet Single Handle
- Cut off the water supply to the shower.
- Remove the faucet handle and keep it somewhere secure.
- Use a small screwdriver to remove the cartridge.
- Remove the hex screw.
- Use pliers to remove the old cartridge. If you are having problems removing the cartridge, use a cartridge puller.
- Check that the cartridge you bought is compatible with your faucet.
- Hand-tighten the hex screw until it gets to its lowest position, then tighten the hex nut.
How To Fix a Leaky Two-handle Shower Faucet
- Turn off the water supply to the shower.
- Pop off the metal cap above the faucet using a flathead screwdriver. Then remove the faucet handles.
- Remove the stem.
- Remove the old washer and replace it with a new one.
- Reassemble your faucet and turn your water supply on to check for leaks.
Final Remarks on Shower Faucet Troubleshooting
As you can see from the post, troubleshooting your shower faucet is not that challenging, and knowing how to uncover problems with your shower faucet will save you money. Therefore, before resorting to shower faucet replacement, make sure you exhaust all the possible reasons why it’s malfunctioning.
However, if the problems persist or you are unsure about the procedure, contact a professional plumber.
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