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Old 08-29-2016, 10:41 PM   #1
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Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


Here is the video version for the visually inclined:


Here is the text version: I bought this 1974 home about a year ago. When I bought it the master bath shower faucet had the hot and cold backwards. (IE: If you point the faucet to "H" it sends cold water, if you point it to "C" you get hot water.) So question 1: How do I reverse that?

The second question: At some point over the past 12 months the cold water stopped flowing. That is, if you point it to "H" you get no water at all. (Remember that pointing it to "C" gets you the hot water.) This means that if your shower is getting too hot your only option is to simply turn the water level down, and if you get really hot then you basically have to turn the water off completely.

Why is my cold water not working, and how can I get the "H" and "C" set up correctly? Thanks all!

Matthew
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:20 PM   #2
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


That doesnt look like a Moen faucet, but my guesses are the following:

1 - the hot and cold being reversed van be corrected by removing the cartridge and turning it 180 degrees and reinstalling it.

2- the cold that ised to work but doesnt work now is probably because one of the rubber "pads" on the side of the cartridge has dislodged and is blocking the cold supply.

You probably need a new cartridge or at least a rebuild of the one you have. If you call the manufacturer they will usually send you a new cartridge in the mail. That would be my first call. I will give you directions as if this is a Moen since i would guess yours is similar. First turn pff both the hot and cold supplys to this shower. Then, remove the shiny chrome tube. It may unscrew or it may just pull off. Then, with a Moen, there is a U shaped retainer that holds the cartridge in. Remove that retainer. Try to pull the cartridge out but you may have to wiggle it a little. If that doesn't work you may have to buy a removal too that works like a gear puller. Ask at home depot or z plumbing supply house. Pull the cartridge out, and then see if you can feel something blocking one of the inlet holes. Turn tje hot and cold supplies on for just a second. To blow out any debris. Grease up the new or rebuilt cartridge with silicone plumbers grease and reinsert it and then reinsert the retainer. Turn on the supplys and try the shower. If hot and cold are still reversed remove the cartridge again and turn it 180 degrees and try again. Hope that helps.

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Old 08-29-2016, 11:26 PM   #3
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


Most likely the original problem was that the cartridge was 180 degrees out of the correct position therefore hot and cold was reversed.


Also most likely when you removed the handle before, the handle was in between cold and hot. When you put it back on you put it at the closed position (straight down).

Now cartridge is 270 degrees out of correct position.

Try this.
Remove handle, using pliers turn cartridge until cold comes out, then turns to warm, then hot as you turn the cartridge counter clockwise.

Then turn cartridge clockwise until water stops. Reinstall handle in the down position.

Last edited by hkstroud; 08-29-2016 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:57 AM   #4
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


Thanks guys!

The time that I took it apart before all I did was remove the two screws that held the main plate in place; I didn't have an allen wrench that could take off the handle, so I couldn't do much more than remove the screws for the plate. (And because the handle was still in place I couldn't even get the plate fully off...)

Anywho: How do you turn off the hot/cold water? Do you have to do it at the source (hot water heater and at the curb for the cold water)? Clearly plumbing is not my strong suit, but I don't mind a DIY fix if I can learn from it.

Thanks again all!

Matthew
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:48 AM   #5
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


Usually there are individual shut offs for each fixture.

Check for an access panel for your shower. Sometimes they are behind the shower in a closet. Also check basement if you have one for isolation valves.

If you cant find any, you will have to turn off main water to house.
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:02 AM   #6
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


You should have an access panel (aka trouble door) on the other side of the wall behind the faucet. If you have that open the door and there should be shutoffs there. If not go to your basement and look in the ceiling for shutoffs on the pipes that go upstairs. If not there turn off the valve where the water comes into your house. It should be as soon as the pipe comes in and may be next to the meter.

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Old 09-02-2016, 06:08 PM   #7
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


Thanks all!

I turned the water off at the street and took everything apart. Looks like the "o-rings" were bad, but I couldn't find any replacements, so I spent $40 on an entire new cartridge. The problem now is that the water pressure is so low one could barely take a shower (I clocked it at under .5 GPM). Do I need to just buy an entire new faucet set? How best can I proceed?

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Old 09-02-2016, 07:21 PM   #8
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


Remove shower head and turn on water. See what kind of pressure you have. May have debris in there still that needs flushing out.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:43 PM   #9
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


If still low pressure after removing showerhead, turn off water, remove cartridge, Have someone turn water on and off for a second while you check pressure and flush system, if good pressure, replace cartridge and retest.

If you get the same result you may have the wrong cartridge or you are installing it wrong.

If it turns out to be the wrong cartridge, Return the cartridge and get your money back.

If you are sure it's danco give them a call or go to their website, click on support, they will talk or text you through it. http://www.danco.com/
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Old 09-03-2016, 12:40 AM   #10
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


Thanks!

I took off the shower head and it is getting a whopping 2 GPM, four times what it was getting before. So it looks like it is the shower head that is slowing down the water now.

Thing is, the shower head says it is rated at 2.5 GPM, so it should be running just fine.

Take a look at the photos below. Does that look normal? Why is there an O ring in there? Where does the water go? To me it just looks like a dead end. (The photos were taken after I took out a tiny amount of white crufty stuff.)

Photo 1

Photo 2
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:03 AM   #11
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


You are welcome. Good job. You found your problem.

It gets forced out the little holes which look like they are all clogged.

Needs cleaning. Remove o ring and soak it in some clr or white vinegar for awhile. Run a paper clip through those holes and unplug them from the inside and showerhead side. See if it helps. If not, get a new shower head.

Some have water saver washers in them that can be removed to get more pressue.

Last edited by jmon; 09-03-2016 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:27 AM   #12
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


What is all that white stuff?

Do you have a water softener that may need servicing?

It may be a good idea to remove the aerators from your other fixtures and flush and clean them to. Just a suggestion.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:38 AM   #13
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


Just in case you like gadgets, an ultrasonic cleaner (even just the home version) cleans out mineral deposits quickly with vinegar.

I fill the ultrasonic cleaner pan with water. Place a plastic tub with vinegar in it. Then place my thing-to-clean in the vinegar tub. I like watching all the mineral deposits coming off in slow motion like white clouds. Takes just 3 min, depending on how crusty the thing is. If the thing is long, I clean one end at a time.
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Old 09-05-2016, 12:41 AM   #14
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Re: Shower faucet has hot/cold backwards and there is no cold water


Thanks all! After cleaning out the head with some vinegar and a brush it is back to normal. AND I turned the cartridge around so hot is hot and cold is cold. It was frustrating but everything is 100% fixed!

Thanks for giving me the confidence to get this done!
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