Are you worried about your shower? Let Captain Plumber save you the trouble!
The shower is something we use every day, so you can imagine how much wear it endures. Running water is probably the next best thing after sliced bread to be discovered! If you were to make a list of some of life’s most pleasurable moments, taking a shower after a long day’s work has to be among the top ten!
Hence, it’s understandable if you get frustrated when you can’t enjoy a refreshing bath because of a faulty shower valve.
A regular modern bathroom can contain a lot of shower and bathtub options for comfort and flexibility. These options are mostly controlled by the shower valve. The shower valve is usually located behind the shower handle or wall.
You may not bother about it or even remember it until something goes wrong. Almost all shower problems require plumbers to repair or replace the valve.
How Important Is My Shower Valve?
Your shower valve plays two major functions. The first is to regulate the water “pressure” flowing from your shower head and the second is to regulate the water “temperature”.
If you can imagine waking up at 6 am to take your bath only to have scalding water hit you in the face because the heater was on overnight, then you would appreciate the functions of a shower valve.
They prevent you from having to deal with such unnecessary pain and discomfort and make your bathing experience a pleasurable one.
Types of Shower Valves
Shower valves may either be hidden from plain view (concealed) or visibly exposed. A concealed shower valve has only the knobs showing while exposed shower valves have the pipework system visible.
Commonly found shower valves in modern households today include:
- Thermostatic/Temperature Controlling Valves
Thermostatic shower valves work to regulate and maintain the desired temperature of your bathing water. They are important because they prevent sudden temperature changes (from other persons using water in the house) from affecting the ideal temperature of your bathing water.
Thermostatic valves can either be digital or manual. Manual thermostatic valves are less expensive than their digital counterparts and are the most commonly used thermostatic valve in homes.
- Pressure Regulatory Valves
Because of their design, pressure regulatory valves are also known as “anti-scald” valves because they help maintain a steady pressure when there is a sudden change in water temperature.
These temperature fluctuations usually happen when someone else in the house turns on the dishwasher or suddenly flushes a toilet.
So if you want to keep enjoying hot water at a comfortable flow, all you need do is to set your ideal water temperature and your pressure regulatory valve would maintain the pressure at that temperature.
- Diverter Valves
Diverter shower valves usually work with thermostatic shower valves and are necessary if you have up to two or more showerheads.
Diverter valves change the direction water flows, from the showerhead to the tap head or vice versa
Diverter shower valves are usually of three types:
- Tee Valves, in which the valve is directly connected to the tap head;
- Two-Valve Diverter, which has two knobs, one controlling temperature and the other diverts water;
- Three-Valve Diverter, which has three knobs – one for hot water, another for cold water, and the last that diverts water.
- Transfer Valves
Unlike diverter valves, transfer valves allow water to flow in more than one direction. So you can have your main shower running and still be able to give your dog a bath using the handheld shower at the same time.
Most transfer valves control just two outlets at a time, but recent models can handle up to four different outlets simultaneously.
Transfer valves are often digitalized, meaning you would not have to bother about deciding the perfect temperature and pressure for your bath.
What causes shower valve issues?
You’re probably wondering how your once awesome shower can suddenly start acting up with no warning. Well, here are some common problems shower valves have that just may explain why.
As time passes by, dirt particles and lime from your water supply build up within your shower valves, which negatively affected them and causes unstable temperature changes
Constant usage leads to wearing and tearing of your shower valves and their components, which makes them not function as well as they used to.
Signs of a faulty shower valve
Call a plumber if you notice any of the following signs:
- It Starts To Leak
When your showerhead leaks for no reason at all – especially when it’s screwed on tight, you would need to call in a professional plumber to salvage the situation and prevent the water leak from causing damage to your walls and foundation.
- Frequent Water Pressure Fluctuations
Taking a shower can be fun until you suddenly realize that every time someone opens a tap elsewhere in the house, the water pressure drops. That’s most likely a good time to have your shower valve repaired or replaced.
- Water Temperature Changes Suddenly and Often
You need a professional plumber to work his magic if you notice you get doused with cold water -sometimes briefly, sometimes longer- anytime someone turns on the dishwasher downstairs.
- No water comes from the faucet when the shower is turned on
- Strange noises from the faucet when turned on
Repairing/Replacing Your Shower Valves
If you’re any good with a tool and know how to follow simple instructions, with a little help, it might not be difficult to clean up the dirt or lime build-up in your valves so they can work just a little better.
Simply remove the cartridge -and anything else you can easily remove- and soak the parts in any suitable remover solution for a few minutes. Take them out, allow them to dry, and then rub some silicone grease on the parts before coupling them back together.
It is important to fix a faulty shower valve or replace it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage can be done. You cannot handle a faulty shower valve on your own. Only a professional plumber with the experience, knowledge, and tools can fix a faulty shower valve or replace the entire unit to restore your peace of mind.
Our plumbers are experts in shower valve repair and replacement. We are highly skilled, licensed, and fully prepared to help you in such situations. Captain Plumber is available to you anytime you call. Our technicians will check the source of your problem and select the tools, parts, and methods needed to guarantee that your shower is reliable.
We offer routine maintenance that can serve as an effective preventive measure for shower valve problems. Our professional plumbers can also provide consultation on shower valve repair and replacement services.