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  • plugged shower valve?

    I have a shower with an old valley single handle valve. The problem is poor flow through the valve. When it's wide open I get less than 1 gpm through it. There's plenty of pressure. If I remove the valve innards and turn on the water, it blasts across the shower with force. But with the valve assembled, I don't get much more than a trickle out the top. It's not the shower head either, as removing it still leaves only a trickle.

    This has been an underperforming shower for as long as I've owned it, about 6 years, but recently got even worse.

    Am I correct in guessing that something's plugging the valve? Either way, is there anything I can do to correct this without removing the valve body?

  • #2
    Re: plugged shower valve?

    it sounds like the pressure balancing spool is stuck and not allowing a balanced flow through the valve.

    i'm not very familiar with a valley cartridge, but a replacement cartridge should solve the problem.

    if you post a photo of the cartridge i/ we can confirm it

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: plugged shower valve?

      I personally would like to know what the heck an Earth Bee is doing with a shower valve to begin with?

      Mark
      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: plugged shower valve?

        This isn't a picture, but maybe it will help. http://www.plumbingsupply.com/vashosin.html

        Mine looks just like first drawing at this link, the before 1993 model.

        From that site, a photo of the cartridge:

        http://www.plumbingsupply.com/images/cartridge-6680.jpg

        From memory, that's identical to what's in mine. One other experiment I did was to assemble it minus the rearmost piece of the cartridge (the one with the two holes) and apply pressure. Seems like this should have provided an unobstructed flow to the showerhead. There was a moderate leak blasting out around the handle but still only a trickle going to the showerhead.

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        • #5
          Re: plugged shower valve?

          Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
          I personally would like to know what the heck an Earth Bee is doing with a shower valve to begin with?

          Mark
          It's not like I'm an extraterrestrial bee. I still need to shower.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: plugged shower valve?

            I believe replacing the cartridge should fix your problem as your valve is old enough not to be pressure balanced.

            Mark
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: plugged shower valve?

              Could there be something in the line between the shower head and the valve?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: plugged shower valve?

                Originally posted by tchads View Post
                Could there be something in the line between the shower head and the valve?
                I'm sure anything is possible but the cartridge is cheap enough and easy enough to replace I would start there. For something to be restricking the riser it would have either had to be there from original construction or the wall would need to be torn out to replace the riser.

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: plugged shower valve?

                  Well, I replaced the cartridge and the two spring/seal things but no improvement. Then I had the bright idea of backflushing the from the top of the riser back through the valve body. Couldn't do it with water, as there's no shutoff for the shower supply, so I used compressed air. First time one little unidentifiable fragment shot out of the hole in the valve body. I reassembled and retested and noted a small improvement. Repeated the process and the second time a small collection of unidentifiable (looks almost like wood splinters and some sort of fiber) crud flew out. End result is adequate flow and one happy bee. Make that two, the queen was even more ecstatic.

                  I do have another question now. Is the preapplied grease adequate or should I apply more? Seems like the old cartridge was more heavily lubed.

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                  • #10
                    Re: plugged shower valve?

                    The grease may be adequate but if it has gotten old you may want to clean it off and apply new plumber's grease.

                    You should not have anything in your riser. Do you know what type of pipe you have in the house? Can you feed something like a coat hanger or welding rod down from the top of the riser? If your riser is really restricted you may have to open your wall as a last resort.

                    Mark
                    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: plugged shower valve?

                      Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                      The grease may be adequate but if it has gotten old you may want to clean it off and apply new plumber's grease.

                      You should not have anything in your riser. Do you know what type of pipe you have in the house? Can you feed something like a coat hanger or welding rod down from the top of the riser? If your riser is really restricted you may have to open your wall as a last resort.

                      Mark
                      I tried poking something through from both ends, but there are too many tight turns. The compressed air seems to have pushed out enough of the crud to where it works fine now, with no need to open the wall.

                      I suspect the crud came in with the water and got stuck somewhere in the passage in the valve body. I can't believe anything that got through the tiny passage in the valve would get stuck in the 1/2" riser.

                      Makes one wonder about the water supply though.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: plugged shower valve?

                        crud? brown in color? I bet you have galvanized pipe and they are crudded [rusted closed]
                        I just went through the exercise of re-plumbing our home last May.

                        If you get the fixture problem addressed you may want to try a different shower head.

                        Go to the speakman website and look at their anystream 2005 series!

                        Also did you run water without your shower head on? This will also verify your flow has improved.

                        good luck

                        Cactus Man

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: plugged shower valve?

                          Pipe is all copper, at least in the house. I did run without the showerhead in between blasting the other way with air, and crud came out in both directions.

                          I've also previously cleaned sand out of the filter screen in the shower head. Maybe I need to install a trash screen where the water comes into the house to avoid a repeat occurrence.

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