6 Common Signs of a Bad Shower Valve

Shower valves are one of the most impermanent technologies among the setups in your bathroom. Having said so, some manufacturers provide up to 5 years of warranty. 

Therefore, you should not be surprised if the shower valve starts behaving unpleasantly in or after this period. 

Some of the common signs a shower valve shows are not having enough water pressure, rigid control, imperfect water temperature, dripping, etc.

But don’t be worried. You can solve most of those problems by replacing a thing or two.

How Do You Know if Your Shower Valve is Faulty?

  • Insufficient Water Pressure

If the water pressure in your shower head is not good enough, it’s safe for you to assume that the jet or the valve is not clean. 

Rust and slime can build up on the shower valve, resulting in insufficient water to pass through.

  • Trouble Using the Controls

If you find that your faucet or the hot and cold water control is rigid, it might be happening because the valve is not greased enough. A faulty cartridge inside the valve can be another reason as well.

NB. If you are confused about shower valves and cartridges, then read this article to get a clear idea.

  • Irregular Water Temperature

If you see the water that is coming out is either too hot or too cold you need to check the hot water line. If the supply is alright, you need to check if the cartridge is working correctly.

  • Dripping

If water drips from the shower head or the valve itself even when your tap is turned off, you have leaking problems. 

It might be a sign of a faulty valve or broken cartridge inside the valve. We are going to talk about the fix later in this article.

  • A Broken Part Inside The Valve

If a part inside your shower valve is broken, you will face many issues like clogging, lower water pressure, stuck control, etc. 

However, you can open the valve and check for yourself. We suggest you take help from a professional if you haven’t done this before.

  • Installation Problems

If you find that you are getting ample water supply from the shower head, but water also comes out from the sprout, there is a chance that your shower valve might be installed upside down. Call a plumber if you are facing this.

Recommended reading: Standard Shower Valve Height- Expert Guides.

What Happens When a Shower Mixing Valve Goes Bad

If the water pressure is not enough, you will notice drastic changes in your daily bath. Installation problems can cause the water pressure to go down. 

If your handle doesn’t move smoothly, or if you can’t set the temperature up to your expectations, your showering experience will not be the same. Please remember that irregular water temperature is also a safety concern for you and the family.

Dripping costs you a lot as an energy bill. Dripping will also stain your bathroom floor as well in the long term.

Recommended reading: Types of Shower Valves

How do You Test a Shower Valve?

If you moved on to a new house or just installed a new showering system in your bathroom, you should test if the shower valve is working correctly. There are a few things that you should keep in mind:

  • Turn the Handle

To check if the handle is working correctly, you need to turn the handle of the shower mixing valve and the faucet in every way it allows you to.

  • Check the Water Pressure

You will find a pressure gauge with a lot of modern shower heads. You need to turn on the water, let it flow for a minute, and then turn it off. 

If the valve and everything else is not working perfectly, the reading on the gauge will drop significantly.

  • Test the Boiler

Turn on the hot water valve to determine if the shower is working properly considering the temperature department. Then, check the pipe attached to the boiler from the shower head.

The pipe’s exterior is made of appropriate materials so as not to burn your hand. But, you will understand if the temperature is good enough for a nice and warm bath.

  • Look for Dripping

Lastly, check if the shower head is dripping. It happens because of a faulty valve or cartridge. Set the temperature, turn on the mixing valve, and let the water flow for a minute or two.

Then turn the valve off and wait for a few minutes in your bathroom to see if your valve inside the shower head is leaking.

What Should You Do if Your Shower Valve is Leaking?

A turned-off shower drips water for a few reasons. Firstly, check if the seal inside your valve blocks the water from passing through. If it’s partially damaged, it will not perform up to its potential. Changing the seal should fix your problem.

Next, you need to find out if your shower valve is clogged. If it is clogged, it will hold water every time you turn on your shower. After you are done bathing, the stored water will leak until it runs out. 

Waiting without taking the necessary steps will only cost you more in time and money if you see any of these signs. See what you need to fix, do it yourself or seek professional help.

Recommended reading: How To Fix A Leaking Shower Head


  • How Long Does a Shower Valve Last?

A properly installed shower valve can work up until 4 to 5 years.

  • How Much Does Plumber Charge for Shower Valve Repairing?

Depending on the valve, a plumber can charge you anything between 150 and 300 USD (without the cost of the material).

  • How Much Does a New Shower Valve Cost?

The minimum price is at least 30 to 35 USD. However, a shower valve can cost more than 300 USD with all the modern features.

In conclusion, if you are experiencing any of the common signs that your shower valve is showing, don’t worry! You can easily fix most of these problems. So grab a wrench and get started or just be sure to call a professional to help you with any complicated repairs.

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