There's No Cold Water in My Shower, Only Hot

no cold water in shower.

Taking a cold shower isn't most people's favorite activity, but it's a lot safer than a scalding hot shower. If your shower only sprays out hot water, no matter how low you've set the temperature, something's wrong.

Various issues could lead to a lack of cold water in your shower. Everything from defective faucet parts to water heater problems could be to blame.

We'll help you understand why there's no cold water in your shower, how to replace broken components, and then answer an important frequently asked question about this problem:

Why Is There No Cold Water in My Shower?

To determine the cause of cold water issues, perform a simple test by turning on multiple showers in your home. If none of the showers have cold water, someone may have accidentally turned off your main water supply line. Turn the supply line on using the shut-off valve to see if this fixes the issue.

If the other showers’ cold water settings work, you're likely dealing with a defective pressure-balancing valve. To fix it, you'll have to replace the valve cartridge.

Why Is My Pressure-Balancing Valve Malfunctioning?

A pressure-balancing valve serves two purposes:

  1. To regulate the water pressure
  2. To regulate the ratio of hot and cold water flowing from the faucet or showerhead

Over time, corrosion and mineral buildup can wear away at the cartridge, breaking it. This tends to happen more often in infrequently used showers.

Replacing a pressure-balancing valve's cartridge is fairly straightforward. However, it does require faucet disassembly. If you're not a fan of DIY plumbing jobs or lack previous DIY plumbing experience, you can leave this task to the professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing.

How to Replace a Failed Shower Cartridge in 10 Steps

To replace your shower cartridge, you first need to buy a replacement at a hardware store. We recommend disassembling and removing the old cartridge before buying a new one. Bring the old cartridge with you to the hardware store to find a matching model.

While you're at the hardware store, it's a good time to ensure you have the proper tools. The tools you need for the replacement job include:

  • Phillips and flathead screwdriver
  • Cartridge puller
  • Allen wrenches
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Plumber's grease or silicone
  • Locking pliers

Once you have the tools you need, follow these 10 steps to replace the cartridge:

  1. Shut off the water supply to the shower. Usually, there will be a shut-off valve near the shower. If you cannot find that one, you may need to shut off the water at the main shut-off valve.
  2. Cover the shower drain with a cloth to prevent small hardware from falling into the drain.
  3. Remove the screws holding the shower handle(s) and any metal covers in place. Next, pull the handle free from the stem.
  4. Snap a photo of the faucet’s internal parts to use later on during the reassembly process.
  5. Remove all parts inside the faucet structure.
  6. Use a cleaning solution or distilled white vinegar to dissolve any existing build-up.
  7. Pull out the retainer clip using needle nose pliers.
  8. Remove the cartridge using the cartridge puller.
  9. Install the new cartridge. Use plumber's grease or silicone lubricant to slide it on smoothly.
  10. Reinstall all faucet parts, including the valve stem and retainer clip, using the photo you took earlier as a guide.

Once you've installed a new shower cartridge, turn on the water supply to see if the shower now has cold water. If it doesn't, it's time to call a professional plumber.

No Cold Water in My Shower FAQs

What do I do if there's no cold water in my home?

If there's no cold water in your home, check the main water shut-off valve. Most of the time, cold water stops flowing if this valve has been closed. Hot water will continue working for longer since it's supplied by your water heater tank. If this fixes the issue, you're good to go.

However, the water shut-off valve isn't the only cause of a lack of cold water. Another common cause is a kinked water supply line. Check the water supply line near the affected fixtures and see if they are kinked. Unkinking them will likely solve the issue.

Frozen pipes can also cause cold water issues. The pipes that supply cold water to your home have a greater risk of freezing. When they freeze, cold water won't get to the fixtures in your house.

Finally, the issue may be caused by a clog. A severe enough clog can prevent cold water from reaching your shower or faucet. These clogs tend to be caused by limescale buildup and require professional intervention to clear.

Contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing for Shower Repairs

Many homeowners would rather find a professional plumbing service to take care of the shower cartridge replacement for them. If you need professional help or have other bathroom plumbing concerns, our trusted local experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing are here to help. Call us to speak to one of our plumbers or request an estimate online.