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Old 11-26-2012, 09:37 AM   #1
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No water in shower and Im out of things to try


I am absolutely out of options here. My issue started a while ago, keep in mind this is a fully remolded house with everything new in it. The shower worked without issues for probably 6 months. The water pressure in my shower was slowly going down and down. For a while it was a bearable inconvenience , until It got so bad it had to be dealt with and eventually I am where I'm at now with no water at all int he shower. I turn the faucet on and all I get is some noise, like kind of a sucking sound, and a trickle of water. The shower is a Delta Monitor 13 series. The list of what has been done is fairly long:

Replaced the cartridge...twice, Ran without the cartridge to blow out any debris, Checked the lines and rough out for blockage. Had a professional plumber come out and check it. He cut out the tile, checked the rough out, pulled the pex lines off and they both ran fine disconnected. Checked under the house. After all that seemingly the flow was ok to the rough out he said it had to be the water heater, couldn't be anything else, because we checked everything. Its an on demand unit. He said that the pressure on the hot side must be down enough that the balancing valve was shutting the water down so it probably needed to be descaled. So fine.

Come to yesterday I do the descale. Still no water in the shower. At this point I have absolutely no idea what to do. I'm out of options here aside from ripping the whole brand new shower out or changing the brand new water heater out. Neither of which may fix the problem.

A word of note that I found curious in this whole thing. I've ran a cartridge with the guts taken out, the balancer and all that removed and also the plumber ran a test cap in place of the cartridge. I still got no water either time when that was done. I find that a bit curious since that is eliminating what is supposedly causing the problem.

A lot of people are stumped on this one here. Any ideas before I have to start getting drastic?

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Old 11-26-2012, 10:46 AM   #2
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No water in shower and Im out of things to try


The plumber said " it has to be the water heater ". This raises the question of why didn't he isolate the heater from the system and try his assumption.

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Old 11-26-2012, 10:51 AM   #3
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Does the heater supply other items in the house? Do they function OK? If they do then not the heater.
Does the shower work if you run another tap with the hot water on? If it does then I suspect your faucet or shower head could be too low flow for the heater to be activated.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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Yes the heater supplies hot water to everything in the house and no everything else seems to be working fine. The issue is only in the shower. As for the shower working is the hot water is running somewhere else, no that doesn't work either.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:07 PM   #5
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No water in shower and Im out of things to try


Does it run on cold only ?

Did you remove the Shower head to eliminate that?
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
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Im not sure how to run it on cold only? Its a single handle shower. If the hot side is off the balancer valve will shut the water down.

Also the shower head is fine, there is a faucet too, don't know if I was clear about that and no water comes out of the faucet either. I removed both the shower head and the faucet and that didn't do anything.

Last edited by loki993; 11-26-2012 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:57 PM   #7
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I had a similar problem once with Kohler tub/shower valve (K304). It was frustrating as hell, but it turned-out to be a clogged port in the valve body - specifically, the passage/port through which the mixed/tempered water exits the valve body and goes out to the tub spout or shower head.

I was able to remove the cartridge and find the tiny hole at the back of the valve body through which the water must go to reach the outlets. It was clogged with mineral deposits (lime etc). In your case, since everything is brand new, it's probably construction debris such as sawdust or solder, flux and teflon tape etc. that's clogging the path.

That may or may not be the case with your situation. Just thought I'd offer it up as a possibility. I was able to resolve it without busting tiles, disconnecting pipes or replacing valves and/or water heaters.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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Don't know I mean I though the valve was fine. I've tried to check it as well as I could for any blockages and I haven't found any, but at this point I'm going to check again as it seems like there almost has to be one. Maybe there is some tiny hole that has something to do with flow that I haven't seen yet.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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Have you taken a hot water pressure reading at or near the valve? What is the minimum pressure required to operate the valve?
Suggestion in response to Ishmael's comment- can you use compressed air at the shower head and spout to back flush these outlets?
If it worked at one time, I'm leaning towards pressure drop or debris.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:27 PM   #10
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When I was checking out that Kohler valve, I blew through the tub spout while the cartridge was out of the valve body and there was no resistance, so I assumed there were no blockages. Of course I later realized all the air pressure was going out the shower head.

A safe way to clear any blockages of this type would be to:
1) remove the cartridge and tub spout
2) plug or cap the shower head
3) pump compressed air in through the pipe/stub-out at the tub spout.

That should blow out any debris that might be plugging the port that channels water from the valve body to the outlets (shower head and tub spout).
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
Have you taken a hot water pressure reading at or near the valve? What is the minimum pressure required to operate the valve?
Suggestion in response to Ishmael's comment- can you use compressed air at the shower head and spout to back flush these outlets?
If it worked at one time, I'm leaning towards pressure drop or debris.
Checking the pressure is one of the things I cant do as I have nothing to test it with. Is getting something to test with expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
When I was checking out that Kohler valve, I blew through the tub spout while the cartridge was out of the valve body and there was no resistance, so I assumed there were no blockages. Of course I later realized all the air pressure was going out the shower head.

A safe way to clear any blockages of this type would be to:
1) remove the cartridge and tub spout
2) plug or cap the shower head
3) pump compressed air in through the pipe/stub-out at the tub spout.

That should blow out any debris that might be plugging the port that channels water from the valve body to the outlets (shower head and tub spout).
Its been a bit but I think Ive blown through it before. I don't think there is a restriction in either the pipe that goes to the faucet or up to the shower head. Ill have to check again though.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #12
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No water in shower and Im out of things to try


It's pretty obvious you have a blockage in the line going to the shower and bathroom faucet.....

Do this...

Turn off the water going to the water heater....
Disconnect the hot side of the water heater....I'm assuming you have a flexible line....just bend the line up and away from the heater.....
Remove your valve and put the test cap on.
Remove your shower head....get a 1/4" to 1/2" male to female...1/2" screws onto your shower head pipe...on the other end (1/4"), screw on a male air coupling.
Take your compressor hose and hook it to that fitting...this should blow anything on the hot side back out the hot water line.
If nothing comes out....take off the cold side line on the water heater....

I'm guessing that this bathroom is at the end of the plumbing tree.

More than once I've had to flush out solder and other 'stuff' from my water lines.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:45 PM   #13
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When you ran it without the cartridge to clear any blockages, did water come out? I think it did and that to me proves you have an issue with the cartridge or the valve somewhere.
You should be able to get cold water out of the valve even if it is pressure balanced. It should be adjustable.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loki993 View Post
Checking the pressure is one of the things I cant do as I have nothing to test it with. Is getting something to test with expensive?

Probably about 10 bucks at the hardware store. Plus you'll also be able to use it later to cap one of the outlets.


Its been a bit but I think Ive blown through it before. I don't think there is a restriction in either the pipe that goes to the faucet or up to the shower head. Ill have to check again though.
What I'm suggesting has nothing to do with the hot and cold feeds to the shower. You and your plumber have already ruled those out as the problem by disconnecting them and flushing them out. I'm only talking about the outlets from the valve body. Both outlets are served by one tiny port somewhere in the inside/back of the valve body. If that port is plugged and you blow through one outlet or the other without plugging the other outlet, there will be no resistance - the air will simply go out the open outlet. You need to plug the one that's not being blown through. That will force the air to expel any obstructions from that tiny port inside the valve body. And again...the cartridge needs to be removed while you're doing this.

Last edited by Ishmael; 11-26-2012 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
What I'm suggesting has nothing to do with the hot and cold feeds to the shower. You and your plumber have already ruled those out as the problem by disconnecting them and flushing them out. I'm only talking about the outlets from the valve body. Both outlets are served by one tiny port somewhere in the inside/back of the valve body. If that port is plugged and you blow through one outlet or the other without plugging the other outlet, there will be no resistance - the air will simply go out the open outlet. You need to plug the one that's not being blown through. That will force the air to expel any obstructions from that tiny port inside the valve body. And again...the cartridge needs to be removed while you're doing this.
A 1/2" sharkbite cap on the tub line(after the spout is removed)
ddawg's setup on the shower arm, and add air

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