Shower Knob Turns But No Water (8 Possible Reasons Why!)

It’s usually frustrating when the shower knob fails to turn when turning it. It’s even more frustrating when it turns, but water doesn’t come out. So, does your shower knob turns but no water?

The reason why your shower knob turns but no water is probably that the knob is loose or stripped, the shower valve is faulty, the water pressure is low, or the showerhead is clogged. It could also be that the pipe is leaky or blocked or a defective scald-prevention limiter.

So, you must look at all these possibilities as one could be why you don’t have water despite turning the shower knob. Once you diagnose the problem, it will be easy to fix it, and I’ll help you do that.

I’ll explain why water is not coming out of the showerhead when turning the knob and address each issue. Let’s get started!

Why Is There No Water Coming Out of My Shower

Why Shower Knob Turns but No Water

Here are possible reasons why water is not flowing down the showerhead when you turn the shower knob:

1. Loose Knob

If the knob is loose, you can expect it to turn, but it may not initiate water flow down the showerhead. So, you have to check the knob to ensure it is holding tight and turning well.

How to Fix It:

If the shower knob is loose, the solution is to tighten it properly, and you’ll need a flat head screwdriver and a Philips screwdriver or a hex/Allen wrench.

If you don’t have the above tools and want more for your home DIY, consider getting the SWANLAKE 117PCS Magnetic Screwdriver Set.

The set comes with 117 pieces which include Philips screwdrivers, Torx screwdrivers, square bits, hex bits, among many others.

Once you have the right screwdriver, you should go ahead and tighten the knob using these steps:

  • First, turn off the shower water
  • Use the head of a flat head screwdriver to lift the covering on the knob to uncover the hidden screw
  • Use a Philip screwdriver or wrench to tighten the screw on the knob
  • Put the metal covering back and retest the knob

The fix is successful if the knob turns after that and the water runs down. But if the problem persists, consider the other possibilities.

2. Stripped Knob   

Sometimes, the shower knob turns but no water, not because of a loose knob but a stripped one. So, consider checking out the knob keenly if you cannot fix the issue by tightening it.

How to Fix It:

You must take out the knob to look at it and fix it accordingly. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Use an Allen wrench or flat screwdriver to lift the metal covering on the knob
  • Use the screwdriver to loosen the screw and pull it out
  • Then pull out the knob and inspect it
  • If the knob’s splines are stripped, get a plumber’s tape and tie it around it
  • Apply 3-4 rounds of the plumber’s tape before putting back the knob
  • Screw the knob back in place and try turning it

Note that the above fix is best for a knob that is not heavily striped. If it is, then you should consider replacing it. That’ll ensure the problem doesn’t repeat itself any time soon.

3. Faulty Shower Valve

Water is likely not to come out when you turn the knob if the valve is faulty. So, you have to check the valve stem to ensure it is intact and in good condition. If it’s not, you may have to replace the entire valve.

Also, check for signs of rusting as rust may block the valve.

How to Fix It:

Check out for a worn-out valve stem or a rusty valve. In the case of rusting, consider rubbing it off using a wire brush like the Lavaxon Wire Brush.

But if the valve stem is stripped, consider replacing it.

how to fix a shower knob that won't turn on

4. Low Water Pressure

Sometimes, the shower water flows at low pressure because of a clogged shower head, but that’s not the only cause. You have to watch out for a closed valve, a defective mixing valve, a water heater issue, or a defective pressure regulator.

Once you establish the source of the low pressure, then you should address it accordingly.

How to Fix It:

You must establish what’s causing the low shower water pressure and act on it. If something is faulty, be it the mixing valve, water pressure regulator, or water heater, you should preferably replace it.

And if you cannot diagnose the issue, consider calling a plumber.

5. Leaky Pipe

If there is a leak on the shower pipe, there is the likelihood that the shower knob won’t turn water on. The danger is that you may be losing much water without realizing it and hence expensive water bills.

Some common causes of pipe leakage include:

  • Loose or faulty O-ring
  • Loose or faulty washer
  • Pipe cracks
  • Worn out valve
  • Water supply issue

The good thing about a shower pipe leakage is that you can diagnose it early, even before you get to the point of turning the knob and failing to get water.

Some notable signs of shower leakage include mold, visible stains on your bathroom wall, and moldy smell. And of course, there is the unexplainably high water bill.

How to Fix It:

Since there are many possible causes of a leaky shower, you have to address each issue individually. But if you find that the problem is beyond your DIY expertise, talk to a plumber right away.

6. Clogged Shower Head

You cannot expect a clogged shower head to allow water to pass through, and if it happens, only a little water will come out. So, you have to check for clogging.

The shower head clogs from mineral deposits, rust, or scaling in most cases.

How to Fix It:

Here’s how to make water come out of shower head:

  • Disassemble the clogged shower head from its mount
  • If there is rust, use a rust remover like EVAPO Rust ER012 to get rid of it.
  • Then soak the showerhead in a vinegar solution overnight to dislodge the clogging
  • Rinse the showerhead with clean water as you brush gently with a soft brush
  • Put back the shower head as it was and then turn the knob
how to fix water knob in shower

7. Blocked Pipe

Like water won’t flow out of the shower if the showerhead is clogged, it will not flow if the pipe is clogged. The clogging causes here are similar to those of a clogged shower head. The only difference is that you may have a more challenging time de-clogging a shower pipe than a showerhead.

How to Fix It:

Since it may be harder to deal with a clogged pipe than a clogged shower head, you should consider replacing the affected shower pipe.

8. Defective Scald-Prevention Limiter

If you only get cold water and not hot water when you turn the knob, then it’s likely that the temperature adjustment or scald-prevention limiter is not working. It could be defective, which means you should replace it.


Check for a faulty scald-prevention limiter by removing the knob. You can try readjusting the limiter if it looks out of position. But if it’s in place but not working, you should replace it.

Sometimes, however, the problem could be your shower heater. So, it’s advisable to call a plumber to look at things. They’ll give you a proper diagnosis depending on what’s wrong with your shower heater.

How to Replace the Shower Knob

We talked about replacing the shower knob if it’s extensively stripped. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Turn off the shower water supply from the main –You can locate the main water supply outside your house or somewhere in the basement. Turn the lever main until it is at a right-angle with the pipe. But if it’s a wheel, turn it clockwise for two complete rotations.
  • Cover the drain – You can use a piece of cloth, a fabric, or nylon paper to hold the screws and prevent them from dropping into the shower drain.
  • Remove the knob cover – For you to access the screw that’s holding the knob in place, you must remove the covering on the knob. You can do that by just lifting it with a flat screwdriver.
  • Unscrew the knob – Using an Allen key, unscrew the knob by turning the Allen key anticlockwise. It’ll only take a few complete turns to unscrew it.
  • Pull out the old knob – Now that your old shower knob is loose, pull it out and put it in a plastic bag to take it to your nearest shop to find its replacement.
  • Install the new knob – Most shower knobs only require you to push them in place and then screw them. So, do that!
  • Return the cover – Ensure you put the knob cover back in place after tightly screwing the knob.
  • Test your new knob – Go ahead and turn the water on and try turning the knob. Test both cold and hot water to ensure all is well.
Why Is There No Water Coming Out of My Shower

People Also Ask

1. Why Is There No Water Coming Out of My Shower?

There are different possible reasons to explain why water is not coming out of your shower. It could be that the main supply is off, there is a significant leakage or piping issue, or that the water pressure is not enough to allow water to flow out of your shower head.

You should also check for pipe or showerhead blockage that could prevent water from coming out.

2. My Shower Knob Turns But No Water?

If your shower knob is turning normally, but there is no water even though the main water supply is on, the chances are that you are dealing with a loose or striped knob, defective shower valve, clogged shower head, or pipe or significant leakage.

It could also be that the water pressure is low. So, check for all these possibilities.

3. How Do You Fix a Slow Running Shower?

You can only fix a slow-running shower if you know the reason behind it. In most cases, showers suffer low drainage, primarily because of clogging. So, start by checking for possible clogs like hair, debris, and soap scum and then remove them using a drain snake, plunger, or commercial drain cleaner like Drano.   

Shower Knob Turns But No Water: Closing Remarks!

Now you know why water doesn’t come out when you turn on the knob. Even more important, you know how to go about it. Thus, you may quickly fix the issue without an expert plumber’s intervention.


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