Taking a hot shower is relaxing after a long day of work. But what happens when you turn the shower handle and only get hot water and no cold water? It will indeed be a frustrating experience, especially when it happens after you have replaced the shower cartridge.
Eventually, a cartridge is a crucial component of a shower system. It controls the flow of water and helps maintain the correct temperature. Over time, the cartridge can become worn out and need replacing. Nevertheless, after replacing it, when you experience no cold or hot water in the shower, it could be due to a few reasons.
There are three main possible reasons why your shower system may not be working after replacing the cartridge:
- Firstly, the new cartridge may be different from your shower system. It could be due to differences in size or fittings.
- Secondly, the cartridge may have been installed incorrectly. It could cause the water to flow poorly or not at all.
- Lastly, the new cartridge may need to be adjusted correctly to balance the hot and cold water. Consequently, it could cause the water temperature to be too hot or too cold.
Apart from these three main reasons, there are still a few reasons cold water stopped working.
In this article, we will explore why there is no cold water in shower after replacing cartridge and how to fix it.
Bear with us for a complete description.
10 Reasons for No Cold Water in Shower After Replacing Cartridge
You may be experiencing no cold water in your shower after replacing the cartridge for several reasons. We have identified ten reasons. Let’s match up with your situation.
1. Incomplete Cartridge Installation
Incorrect cartridge installation can be one of the reasons why there is no cold water in the shower. At the time of cartridge installation, when you fail to install or seat it correctly in the valve body, it can cause issues with water temperature. Besides, sometimes the hot and cold-water lines become crossed during replacement. As a result, you face an absence of cold water in your shower.
Double-checking the new cartridge installation and ensuring all connections are tight can minimize the problem if no other issue founded.
2. The New Cartridge is Not Compatible with Your Shower System
Another possible cause of the no cold water in the shower is the new cartridge might not compatible with your shower system. You can identify this problem by checking the manufacturer’s instructions or contacting the manufacturer for assistance.
Moreover, you can also examine the compatibility to match up your old cartridge with your new cartridge.
3. Defective Cartridge
A defective or damaged cartridge is also a reason for no cold water in the shower. There are several reasons why a cartridge may become faulty. One possibility is that it may be damaged during installation. It can occur if it is mishandled or not appropriately inserted into the valve body. Another reason may be due to wear and tear over time.
You can check this by taking out the cartridge and inspecting it for any visible damage or cracks.
No matter the reason, if a cartridge becomes defective, it fails to function correctly, causing a lack of cold water in the shower.
4. Thermostatic Cartridge Issues
Thermostatic cartridges, on the other hand, use a thermostat to control the temperature of the water. It can cause a lack of cold water in your shower when it malfunctions. There are a few signs by which you can identify your thermotic cartridge is the main culprit.
- The temperature of the water is unstable and fluctuates rapidly.
- The water is too hot or cold, even when the temperature is set correctly.
- The water pressure is low, or the water flow is weak.
5. Clogged Showerhead
A clogged showerhead is a very common reason for no water in the shower. A showerhead can become clogged over time due to mineral buildup from hard water, soap scum, or other debris. As a result, it can restrict water flow, making it difficult for cold water to pass through.
Even if a new cartridge has been installed, clogged shower head can cause a lack of cold water or no water at all in the shower head.
6. Water Heater Issues
There are two reasons why a water heater may be causing a lack of cold water in the shower. One possibility is that the water heater’s temperature control valve may malfunction. Consequently, it causes the water to be too hot or too cold. Besides, affect the proper water temperature coming out of the shower, even if a new cartridge has been installed.
Another possibility is that the water heater may need to produce more hot water to meet the demand of the shower. It can cause the water temperature to fluctuate rapidly, making it difficult to maintain a consistent temperature or get cold water.
7. Airlock in The Pipes
Air trapped in the pipes sometimes happens when you replace a cartridge. Air can get trapped in the lines and disrupt the water flow. It results in either no water or only hot water coming out from your shower.
However, the pipes might empty during the cartridge replacement time and allow air to enter the system. Another possibility is that there may be a leak in the pipes, allowing air to enter the system.
8. Pressure Imbalance
Another common cause of the no cold water issue is a pressure imbalance in the pipes even after replacing the cartridge. A pressure imbalance occurs when there is a difference in the water pressure between the hot and cold-water lines, which affects the flow and temperature of the water.
Various factors are responsible for this, such as a clogged or damaged pipe, a faulty valve, or an improperly installed cartridge.
In case the water pressure is normal throughout the house except for the lack of cold water in the shower, the issue may be a pressure imbalance in the plumbing system.
9. Blockage or Damage Cold Water Supply Line
A blockage or damaged cold-water supply line may prevent cold water from reaching your shower after a new cartridge replacement.
Blockage or damage to the cold-water supply line can occur for several reasons. It can be due to the buildup of mineral deposits, corrosion, or physical damage caused by freezing or other factors. Therefore, result in a reduction or complete blockage of water flow to the showerhead.
To diagnose blockage or damage to the cold-water supply line, check the water pressure in other areas of your house. The issue may be with the cold-water supply line if the water pressure is natural in other places but is low or absent in the shower.
10. Problems with Main Water Supply or Pipes
When you find the cartridge and installation are not the problem, the issue may be with the water supply or pipes. There’s likely a blockage or leak somewhere in the plumping system. A leaky pipe or damaged valve could prevent cold water from flowing through your shower.
You can check this by turning off the water supply and inspecting the pipes for leaks or damage.
How to Fix no Cold Water in Shower Issue Even After Replacing Cartridge
Reinstalling the cartridge is straightforward. You need to follow these steps to reinstall the cartridge properly:
Solution 1: For Incomplete Cartridge Installation
Reinstall cartridge is not so complicated. You just need to follow these steps to reinstall the cartridge properly:
- Turn off the water supply to the shower.
- Remove the handle and trim from the shower valve.
- Inspect the cartridge and ensure it is correctly oriented and appropriately seated in the valve.
- Reassemble the shower valve and turn on the water supply.
- Check to see if the cold water is flowing correctly.
Solution 2: For Incompatible Cartridge
To fix this issue, you will need to adjust the new cartridge. Follow our step-by-step solution:
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions or contact the manufacturer to identify the correct cartridge for your shower system.
- After identifying the correct cartridge, purchase or order the new cartridge.
- Locate the water supply valves and turn off the water supply to your shower.
- Remove the handle and faceplate of your shower to access the cartridge. Use pliers or a wrench to loosen and remove the old cartridge.
- Insert the new cartridge in the same position as the old cartridge. Tighten the cartridge using pliers or a wrench.
- Reinstall the faceplate and handle onto the shower.
- Turn on the water supply valves to restore water flow to your shower.
Solution 3: For Defective Cartridge
Carefully remove the cartridge and inspect it for any visible defects or damage. If the cartridge appears to be damaged or defective, you will need to replace it. These are the step you need to follow here:
- Like solution two, here you also need to turn off the water supply to your shower.
- Remove the handle and faceplate of your shower to access the cartridge.
- Now remove the faulty cartridge by using pliers or a wrench.
- Next, use a clean cloth or a wire brush to remove debris from the valve body.
- Insert the new cartridge in the same position as the defective cartridge. And check it is properly aligned and seated.
- Reinstall the faceplate and handle onto the shower.
- Turn on the water supply valves to restore water flow to your shower.
- Finally, test the water temperature and pressure.
Solution 4: For Thermostatic Cartridge Issues
To resolve thermostatic cartridge issues, you can try the following steps:
- Remove the cartridge from the shower valve and inspect it for debris or sediment; clean it if you see any dirt.
- Moving forward and check the temperature limit stop on the cartridge. Some thermostatic cartridges have a temperature limit device that controls the amount of hot water mixed with cold water. If it is set too high, it may be preventing cold water from flowing. Adjust the limit stop to a lower temperature setting.
- Stepped to the next step, check the cartridge for any signs of wear or damage. If it appears to be damaged, it will need to replace it.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or hire a professional plumber to replace the cartridge. Ensure the new cartridge is installed correctly and all connections are tightened securely.
Solution 5: For Clogged Showerhead
There are multiple solutions available for unclogging shower heads. Here you have included the easiest one. Have a look.
- Firstly, unscrew the showerhead from the shower arm using pliers or a wrench.
- Now, fill a container with equal parts water and vinegar. Submerge the showerhead in the mixture and let it soak for at least an hour.
- After one hour, take out the showerhead from the mixture and use a small brush or toothbrush to clean the surface of the showerhead. Use a pin or toothpick to remove any stubborn clogs.
- Next, rinse the showerhead with clean water to remove any remaining debris.
- Finally, screw the showerhead back onto the arm and tighten it with pliers or a wrench.
Solution 6: For Water Heater Issues
If you find the water heater is criminal, then you need to reset the water heater. It could happen because the temperature setting on your water heater is too high. Check the temperature setting and adjust it as necessary.
- The dip tube is a component in your water heater that delivers the cold water to the bottom of the tank. Examine whether the dip tube is damaged or broken. It can cause a lack of cold water in your shower. In case of any damage, replace it if necessary.
- The mixing valve is a component that blends hot and cold water to reach the desired temperature. If the mixing valve is not working properly, it can cause a lack of cold water in your shower. Check the valve and replace it if necessary.
- Leaks in your water heater or plumbing system can affect water pressure and cause a lack of cold water in your shower. Check for leaks and repair them as necessary.
Solution 7: Fix Airlock in The Pipes
Fixing the airlock issue is as simple as eating an apple. Yes, you need to follow some steps to bleed the air out of the system:
- Turn off the water supply to the affected area. You can usually find the shut-off valve near the water meter or where the main water line enters your home.
- Open all of the faucets in your home, including the showerhead, and let the water drain out completely. It will help to release any trapped air.
- Close all of the faucets and turn the water supply back on. Allow the water to flow for a few minutes until all the air has been expelled from the pipes.
- Finally, turn on the shower to see if the cold water is flowing correctly. If not, you may need to repeat the bleeding process.
Solution 8: Settle Pressure Imbalance
A pressure imbalance occurs when the cold-water supply line has a blockage or restriction. You can take the mentioned step to diagnose and fix pressure imbalance:
- Start by checking the water pressure in your home. You can use a pressure gauge to test the pressure at the main water line or a faucet. If the pressure is lower than usual, this may indicate a blockage or restriction in the cold-water supply line.
- The next step is to check the valves under the sink or in the basement to ensure they are fully open. If they are partially closed, this could be causing the pressure imbalance.
- Now remove the aerator from the showerhead and clean it thoroughly. A clogged aerator can restrict water flow and cause pressure imbalances.
- You can analyze for leaks in the cold-water supply line. A leak could be causing the pressure imbalance.
- If none of the above steps resolve the issue, you may need to check the pipes for damage or blockages. It may require the assistance of a professional plumber.
Solution 9: For Blockage or Damage Cold Water Supply Line
Here is a quick solution for fixing a blockage or damage in the cold-water supply line when there is no cold water in the shower after replacing the cartridge:
- Like other methods, inspect the cold-water supply line first and turn it off.
- Forwarding and examination for any blockages or damage, such as kinks or cracks. If you identify a blockage, use a plumbing snake or drain cleaner to clear clogs in the pipes.
- But if you recognize any damage to the cold-water supply line, such as a cracked pipe or faulty fitting. You will need to replace it as soon as possible. You can cut out the damaged section and install a new pipe or fitting.
- After inspecting and repairing the cold-water supply line, turn the water supply back on and test the shower to ensure that cold water is flowing.
Solution 10: Fix Problem of Main Water Supply Line
You can try the mentioned step to solve the main water supply line problem.
- To find and solve this problem, first, you check other areas of your home to see if they are also affected. If multiple locations are affected, it may be a problem with the main water supply line.
- Locate your home’s main water valve and ensure it is fully open. Whether it’s partially or fully closed, open it all the way to restore water flow.
- Check the main water supply line for blockages, damage, clogs, or leaks. If you identify any issues with the main water supply line, try to repair it.
- You can also contact your water supplier when you can’t identify or resolve the problem. You may need to contact your water supplier to check for any main water supply line issues.
Frequently Ask Question
Why does my shower still leak after replacing the cartridge?
Answer: After replacing the cartridge in your shower, there could be several potential reasons if you are still experiencing a leak. One possibility is that the O-ring may have twisted during installation, allowing water to pass through.
Another possibility is that the new cartridge itself may be faulty.
How long should the shower cartridge last?
Answer: The lifespan of a shower cartridge can vary depending on factors such as usage frequency, water quality, and the cartridge’s quality.
However, on average, a shower cartridge lasts 1 to 5 years. Some high-quality cartridges may last even longer, up to 10 years or more.
In conclusion, no cold water in shower after replacing cartridge can be a frustrating problem. Reading our article lets you easily diagnose the causes and fix the issue quickly. However, our abovementioned solution will help you solve the case and ensure a comfortable and safe shower experience. If the problem persists, you better take professional help.
Paul Newman is a blogger who writes about plumbing and home improvement. Over the past 20 years, I have worked as a plumber. My passion is to share my knowledge and experience with others to improve their homes.