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  • Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

    Our shower suddenly developed cold water low flow/pressure today. Was fine this morning then when wife took shower early afternoon it was 1/3 or less flow.

    We had the entire shower faucet and valve set replaced approx. 6 mos. ago with: AquaSource Chrome 3-Handle Tub & Shower Faucet with Single-Function Showerhead, Model #:F3011507CP. That job also included some copper pipe work/replacement.

    Only the cold water in the shower is affected, all other faucets in the house work normally. No visible leaks seen from the tub/shower pipes. We can now access/see those thru a hole in the kitchn wall in a cabinet the was cut when the above work was done. Also checked in the crawl space and appeared to be no leaks from the bathroom pipes there either.

    Please offer any troubleshooting steps to ID the problem? Is there any info or pics I can provide to help ID problem?

    Is there anything I can do to repair? Money is VERY tight for us now so rather not pay for a plumber unless absolutely necessary.

    Appreciate your help!

    Ken

  • #2
    Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

    Could be debris that has dislodged from the piping and settled in the stem.
    That sometimes happens with a bead of solder that may not come
    loose for a while. Try shutting off water supply, pull the cold stem,
    and momentarily turn water on to flush water through the valve.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

      Will do. Do I need a special tool to pull the cold stem?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

        Originally posted by kenh99 View Post
        Will do. Do I need a special tool to pull the cold stem?
        Not familiar with that brand, but most 3-handle valve stems can be removed with a deep socket
        after removing the handle and trim to access the bonnet nut.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

          Hi! Im newbie here in this forum,im looking for plumbing experts and I need a consultant and good plumber.Hope you can help me guys. Thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

            suggest you start your own thread and provide more details about your request.

            Originally posted by chrishanson View Post
            Hi! Im newbie here in this forum,im looking for plumbing experts and I need a consultant and good plumber.Hope you can help me guys. Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

              it's only affecting the cold side of a 3 handle valve. as jim mentioned, look for debris. is this a copper system, pex, or gal pipe? also a loose stem washer will decrease flow, but typically a chattering noise would also be heard.

              deep sockets or a set of plumbing sockets will remove the stem. make sure to turn off the water and also make sure when wrenching that the stem is in the open position. same with tightening it back in. assuming this is a compression/ washer style faucet.


              it could be ceramic or washer less.

              does the handle turn multiple turns or 1/4 to 1/2 turn from closed to fully open. if so, they tend to plug easier in their waterways.

              rick.
              phoebe it is

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

                Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                it's only affecting the cold side of a 3 handle valve. as jim mentioned, look for debris. is this a copper system, pex, or gal pipe? also a loose stem washer will decrease flow, but typically a chattering noise would also be heard.

                deep sockets or a set of plumbing sockets will remove the stem. make sure to turn off the water and also make sure when wrenching that the stem is in the open position. same with tightening it back in. assuming this is a compression/ washer style faucet.


                it could be ceramic or washer less.

                does the handle turn multiple turns or 1/4 to 1/2 turn from closed to fully open. if so, they tend to plug easier in their waterways.

                rick.
                Copper pipes/system

                Handles do not turn much, like you said 1/2 turn or so.

                Just so I am clear, when you say ensure stem is in open position before wrenching, you mean open the faucet to max?

                Also, when I do the momentary flush after removing the stem, water will come straight out of the valve vs. the tub spout? Just want to be sure so we're prepared for that and minimize the mess.

                Will try all this when I get home fm work. Hoping one of the deep sockets I have will fit so I don't have to go back out to get one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

                  Originally posted by kenh99 View Post

                  Just so I am clear, when you say ensure stem is in open position before wrenching, you mean open the faucet to max?

                  Also, when I do the momentary flush after removing the stem, water will come straight out of the valve
                  Yes and Yes. Just close the shower curtain / door. A couple seconds of flushing should do it.
                  If additional problems are encountered pics will help.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

                    think solved the problem, but problems with reassembly. please forgive terminology errors.

                    need instructions on how to get the spring/rubber fitting to stay in its hole in the stem housing. House water is totally off but there is still a small flow/trickle, which seems to push the spring/rubber fitting out before I can re-insert the stem. will try to insert images below.

                    stem housing

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	ab10e052d78b2a2a2ae0916ca470fad6.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	189.2 KB
ID:	15303

                    spring/rubber

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	c900a26e1e9bc1a7a350adc9f898fcd6.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	138.4 KB
ID:	15304

                    stem assembly

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	90e7221b664a58bec50a23d4696281c4.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	155.2 KB
ID:	15305

                    am i correct that if the spring/rubber is inserted into its hole in the stem housing that the flat smooth portion of the stem will rest on the rubber/spring?

                    *Sigh*

                    prompt response appreciated

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

                      update-

                      solved the trickle - opened exterior faucet and fully drained system

                      now, primary question is how the rubber/spring assembly should go in?

                      when I insert it spring first, it seats slightly crooked with the rubber slightly protruding? is that ok?

                      tried several times to get it to sit 'straight' but it wont. .



                      Originally posted by kenh99 View Post
                      think solved the problem, but problems with reassembly. please forgive terminology errors.

                      need instructions on how to get the spring/rubber fitting to stay in its hole in the stem housing. House water is totally off but there is still a small flow/trickle, which seems to push the spring/rubber fitting out before I can re-insert the stem. will try to insert images below.

                      stem housing

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	ab10e052d78b2a2a2ae0916ca470fad6.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	189.2 KB
ID:	15303

                      spring/rubber

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	c900a26e1e9bc1a7a350adc9f898fcd6.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	138.4 KB
ID:	15304

                      stem assembly

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	90e7221b664a58bec50a23d4696281c4.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	155.2 KB
ID:	15305

                      am i correct that if the spring/rubber is inserted into its hole in the stem housing that the flat smooth portion of the stem will rest on the rubber/spring?

                      *Sigh*

                      prompt response appreciated

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

                        You have to use a screw driver or a allen wrench that is about the same size as the inside of the spring. Put the rubber gasket over the tapered part of the spring, then insert with the wide part of the spring to the inside of the valve body. The allen should help guide it into the hole, then you have to push it in with your finger to make it seat.
                        Hope that helps a little.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

                          obviously there's a trick to it, or I'm doing something wrong. I've dried the stem housing and hole where the spring/rubber fits (at least I assume it does) hopeing it would help it stay put but but can not get it to STAY in there so I can insert the stem assembly. Grrrr!

                          What am I doing wrong?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

                            Don't tell anyone, but I have had that problem before. I took a glob of toothpaste, put it on the spring shoved it in and quickly put the stem back in.
                            It might or might not work, but you can give her a shot.
                            Preferably Crest.... Just kiddin.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Shower-Sudden Cold Water Low Pressure/Flow

                              Originally posted by kenh99 View Post
                              update-

                              solved the trickle - opened exterior faucet and fully drained system

                              now, primary question is how the rubber/spring assembly should go in?

                              when I insert it spring first, it seats slightly crooked with the rubber slightly protruding? is that ok?

                              tried several times to get it to sit 'straight' but it wont. .
                              Insert spring first then rubber cup. It will protrude a little but that's normal.
                              If spring is bigger on one end that the other, insert big end first.
                              Rubber should have a little ridge around the outside to help hold it in the hole with a friction fit.
                              Last edited by Big Jim; 08-10-2011, 08:06 PM.

                              Comment

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