Does Your Shower Have No Cold Water? Here’s How To Fix It

With summer in full swing, cold showers are better than ever. There’s nothing more refreshing after a hot and sweaty day than taking a quick, cool dip to cool off and clean up. If your shower has no cold water, you may be in a bit of a bind here. Luckily, DreamyHome has all of the fixes you could need.

The most common cause of a shower with no cold water is a defective pressure-balancing valve in your shower’s cartridge.

There’s good news and bad news with this. Good news – it’s fixable. The bad news is that it’s a rather involved process. Keep reading to learn how to replace a pressure-balancing valve and when to call a pro.

Fixing A Shower With No Cold Water

Okay, first off, let’s make something clear – you’re going to need to be at least slightly mechanically inclined to do this, and you will need a special tool. If the idea of disassembling your shower is scary or you don’t want to buy a tool, hire a professional. It’ll usually cost you around £100 to do for parts and labour, and will make things a bit easier on you.

Now, if you’re dead-set on repairing this yourself (look at you, Mr./Mrs. Handyperson), then keep reading.

The Tools

To perform this repair, you’ll need several things:

  1. A screwdriver (flathead and/or phillips, depending on the shower)
  2. Cardtrige puller with a matching 101-152 mm head
  3. Pliers (needlenose are helpful here)
  4. Hex keys and/or Allen wrenches
  5. Silicone grease (AKA plumber’s grease)
  6. Hands (not technically necessary, though I found them to help)

The Steps

If you need a video aid to visualize, click here. To fix a shower with no cold water, do the following:

  1. Turn off your water supply.
    1. Check below your sink or directly below your bathroom if you have a basement. It really depends on your home’s setup on where you’ll find the shutoff.
  2. Cover your shower drain to prevent losing screws. A paper or regular towel works great here.
    1. If you don’t do this, you risk losing parts and more importantly – damaging plumbing thanks to loose screws.
  3. Remove your faucet handle and any additional covers.
    1. This is where the hex keys come into play. Depending on the maker, the style of attachment may vary, but it’ll either be a screw or hex screw in all likelihood. There may be additional covers in place depending on your faucet.
  4. Take a picture. This will save you time on remembering where everything goes.
  5. Using a commercial cleaner (or vinegar + baking soda) remove any mineral deposits that you see.
  6. Using your pliers, remove the retainer clip on the faucet.
  7. Remove the cartridge and replace it with your new one.
    1. This is where you use plumber’s grease.
  8. Resinstall everything in it’s place, according to the photo that you definitely took.
  9. Check the water by running your shower!

Other Fixes for a Shower With No Cold Water

If this didn’t fix your issue, there are a couple of other things to check first.

If you’ve replaced your cartridge to no avail, take a walk and do the following.

Check your home’s other faucets –

This is usually a good indicator of what’s wrong in the home. If your other faucets don’t provide cold water, you likely have a shutoff valve in your home that’s activated. It doesn’t really matter how this happened; give it a look. Switching it back may solve your problem.

Mineral buildup in your pipes –

As mentioned in our article about cleaning an electric shower, cleanliness is important to your shower’s functions. Buildups of limescale or other minerals can cause major issues with your water temperatures.

Check your water pressure –

Poor water pressure could affect your shower’s temperatures. If your pipes are unable to bring cold or hot water quickly enough to you, it’ll come out lukewarm. Check out our article here about other potential causes of varied water temperature.

Consider upgrading to an electric shower –

If this is a common problem for you, it may be worth it to make the leap to the 21st century. Electric showers are great in just about any home for one major reason – they heat the water separately from your boiler. This means you don’t have to worry about running out of hot or cold water, regardless of exterior circumstances. Check out our guide to the best electric showers available today for more information.

Call a professional –

While nobody likes to hear this, pros exist for a reason – not everyone can confidently make these types of repairs. If your shower still has no cold water, this may be the best bet. The same goes for lack of hot water.

We recommend calling a professional in this case because it’s important not to cause further damage to your home’s plumbing. Misuse of cleaners or tools could actively damage your plumbing or even cause leaks. This will result in more expensive repairs in the future – so if you’re not comfortable, make the call.

Final Thoughts

As with all things in your home, showers are surprisingly complicated. If your shower has no cold water, there are a few things that could be causing this. While it’s most likely that your cartridge needs to be replaced, it could also be a fault in your water pressure, a shutoff valve, or mineral buildups. By following the steps laid out above, you’ll be back to chilly showers in the summer and hot ones in the winter in no time.

And don’t feel ashamed of calling professionals for help. I know it’s a bit of a touchy subject for many people, but help isn’t bad. If you’re not comfortable with making repairs and buying specialized tools, get your local plumber to come and take a look. It’s not worth damaging your home’s plumbing to save a few bucks. And maybe consider upgrading to an electric shower – we’re in the 21st century, so your home should be too!

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.