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Shower Won’t Turn On? Here’s Why

Here’s a little riddle for you: Twist twist, nothing. What is it? A shower with no water, of course.

Having a faulty shower is a frustrating experience. But don’t despair just yet. There are a few possible reasons why your shower won’t turn on and some simple solutions that might help.

Shower Won't Turn On

Determine the Issue

If your shower won’t turn on, you’ll need to check the valves, look for potential blockages and leaks, assess your diverter, and look for sediment buildup among other things.

When your shower doesn’t turn on, the first thing you should do is take a look at the bigger picture. Is this a problem with your shower or the water supply to your bathroom? Perhaps the issue lies in the water supply to your entire house. 

If it’s just your shower that’s affected, the problem is likely with the shower itself. However, if the taps around the rest of your house are also not working, it’s time to check your home’s main water supply. 

Check the Pressure Valves

If your shower suddenly won’t turn on, there’s no need to call a plumber just yet – chances are, the problem is simple. The most likely culprit is the water flow valves, usually located near the base of the shower. These valves control the water flow into the showerhead. If they’re off, your shower won’t produce any water.

The most likely reason for the valves being turned off is that someone was trying to fix a leaky shower and forgot to turn them back on. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix; turn the valves back on, and you should be good to go. 

So next time your shower stops working, check the water flow valves before you reach for the phone. You may be surprised at how often this simple solution does the trick.

Blocked Shower Head

Another common issue is a clogged showerhead. Over time, mineral deposits can build up in the nozzle, causing the flow of water to be restricted. Fortunately, you can fix a blocked shower head by doing the following: 

  1. Start by unscrewing the showerhead from the hose.
  2. Then remove any debris that may have built up inside.
  3. Next, soak the showerhead in vinegar overnight. The acidic vinegar will break down the mineral deposits and clear any obstruction in the nozzle.
  4. In the morning, brush away any remaining deposits and screw the showerhead back in place.

Once the showerhead is clean, screw it back onto the hose and turn on the water. If you’re still having trouble, you may need to replace the showerhead or seek assistance from a plumber. In any case, troubleshooting should help you get your shower up and running in no time.

Low Water Pressure

As anyone who has ever taken a shower knows, water pressure is essential for a good experience. Without enough pressure, the water can trickle out lazily, leaving you chilly and unfulfilled. Unfortunately, low water pressure is a common problem in many homes. There are several possible causes. They Include:

  • Corrosion inside pipes
  • Old pipes
  • Failing pressure regulator

Over time, mineral deposits can build up inside the pipes and restrict the water flow. This corrosion is especially common in homes with hard water. If this is the case in your home, you may need to have the pipes cleaned or replaced. In some cases, simply descaling the pipes can improve water pressure.

However, if the corrosion is severe, it may be necessary to replace the pipes entirely. If you’re unsure what’s causing your low water pressure, it’s best to consult a plumber. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and recommend a course of action.

Low Water Pressure

Slightly Closed Valves

Take a look at your house’s main shut-off and meter valve. These valves control water flow into your home, and if it’s even slightly closed, it can restrict the amount of water flowing through your pipes. So, if you’re experiencing low water pressure, try opening up your main valve and see if that makes a difference.

Finally, pipe leaks can also cause low water pressure. If you suspect a leak in your pipes, have it checked out by a plumber.

Pipe Leaks

A small drip can greatly impact water pressure, and even a relatively minor leak can cause major headaches down the road (if your shower head won’t stop dripping after being turned off, read our guide). If you suspect that there may be a leak, it’s best to call in a professional to take a look. A trained plumber can quickly locate the leak’s source and make the necessary repairs. Leaks often come after wear and tear on pipes and fittings.

Over time, these components can develop cracks and holes, which allow water to escape. In other cases, leaks may be due to improperly installed pipes or fittings. Whatever the cause, it’s crucial to fix the problem as soon as possible to avoid further damage. 

A leaky pipe will waste your water, leading to increased utility bills. It also causes other problems like mold growth or foundation damage. So if you think you might leak, don’t delay – call in a professional.

Broken Water Pressure Regulator

The pressure regulator is a device installed in plumbing systems to maintain constant water pressure. Its setting should be around 45-60 psi (pounds per square inch). However, you can make the necessary adjustments to suit your home’s needs. 

If your regulator becomes faulty, replacing it could be the best solution. Remember to see the services of a professional plumber for this task. 

Using the Shower During Peak Hours

Another common cause of low water pressure is taking a bath or shower during peak periods. This issue is especially common in apartment buildings where multiple people are trying to use the shower simultaneously. 

While it may not seem like a big deal, using the shower during these times can reduce the water pressure, leading to small drips or a complete lack of water.  If you find that your shower isn’t turning on during peak periods, try avoiding using it during these times or see if any other residents in your building are also having this problem.

Another possible explanation for low water pressure is an issue with the municipality’s water supply. Unfortunately, if the problem lies outside your home, there may not be much you can do about it. In any case, it’s always worth giving your local water company a call to see if they’re aware of any issues in the area.

Faulty Mixing Valve

If you’re having trouble getting your shower to turn on, there could be several causes. First, check to see if the water supply to your shower is on. If it is, then the problem is likely with the mixing valve. This valve controls the mix of hot and cold water from your shower head

Over time, the seals on the mixing valve can wear out, resulting in a loss of pressure. You can solve this issue by having a professional replace the valve. 

A Faulty Anode Rod

One of the most common reasons why showers won’t turn on is because of a faulty anode rod. The anode rod is tasked with preventing corrosion from the inner parts of your water tank. It consists of aluminum or magnesium.

The sole use of this rod is to attract oxidizing elements that would otherwise rust inside the tank. However, if it becomes a victim of corrosion, it can cause the shower to malfunction. 

The best solution is to seek the services of a professional plumber and ask them to replace the anode rod.

Sediment Buildup in the Tank

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of taking a cold shower because the hot water tank was empty, you know the importance of sediment buildup prevention in water heaters. Not only is it annoying, but it can also be detrimental to your plumbing system. Over time, sediment buildup can cause your water heater to overheat and eventually break down. 

To avoid this costly repair, it’s best to have your water heater flushed regularly. Flushing removes sediment before it has accumulated to dangerous levels. It also extends the life of your unit.

Worn Knob

Over time, wear and tear can cause the valve system in your shower to break down. When a stripped shower valve stem starts to fail, it can be tricky and frustrating to manage water temperature and flow. 

Early signs of this issue include difficulty adjusting temperature and water flow. Eventually, the knob fails to open a passage for the water after you twist it open.

Luckily, there’s a solution: getting the knob replaced. So if you’re finding it difficult to control your shower experience, it might be time for an update. Fortunately, replacing a worn knob is a fairly easy process that anyone can do in just a few minutes.

Broken Shower Valve System

Faulty Diverter

If your shower doesn’t turn on when you turn the diverter, it could signify a worn or damaged diverter. The diverter valve is responsible for redirecting the water flow from the tub spout to the shower head. 

The initial sign of this problem is low water flow from the shower head. If you don’t have the diverter checked at this point, you will likely get no water out of the shower head.

To fix a malfunctioning diverter valve, you’ll need a shower valve socket tool, which reaches deep into the wall to facilitate removal. After that, it would be best to call a plumber to replace the diverter. 

Faulty Solenoid Valve

If your electric shower suddenly stops working, it’s most likely due to a faulty solenoid valve. This issue is a relatively easy problem to fix, but it’s important to call a qualified electrician to do the job. 

Once the solenoid valve has been replaced, your shower should work like new. However, if the problem persists, it may be due to a more serious issue, such as a faulty power supply. In this case, it’s best to consult with an electrician to determine the cause of the problem and find a solution.

Key Takeaways 

Being unable to figure out how the shower operates is common and frustrating. Blocked pipes, low water pressure, sediment buildup, faulty components; as you can see, there are plenty of possible reasons your shower won’t turn on or isn’t working like it used to. 

Hopefully, you’ve found a solution to your shower problems. If not, it would be best to seek the services of a competent plumber. But before you call the plumber, be sure to check these potential problems first.

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