Big Brother's Home Services

5 Reasons Your Shower Is Not Working — and What to Do About It

Whether you love to get steamy or you alternate between cold and hot showers based on your mood, one thing is certain: nobody likes to deal with a sudden deluge of cold shower water. No matter if you’re struggling with a dripping faucet, leaking shower valve, or no water at all, identifying the root cause of your plumbing problems can save you time and money. Watch out for these five reasons your shower is not working, and put a stop to cold showers once and for all!

Clogged Showerhead or Shower Faucet

If you can still use both hot and cold water through your tub faucet or sinks but you can’t seem to get a satisfying shower, the problem might be all in your head — your shower head, that is!

The Problem:

Especially if your home has hard water (an excess of calcium and magnesium minerals in the water supply), mineral deposits can build up inside your showerhead and water heater tank over time. As the buildup continues to worsen, you’ll notice that your shower has to work harder and harder to maintain adequate pressure, regardless of water temperature. Eventually, you may hop into the tub one day only to suddenly notice that your shower faucet doesn’t work at all!

The Solution:

While hard water is an annoying problem, dealing with it in your shower is a relatively easy fix. To remove hard water deposits, detach the showerhead and soak it in a solution of vinegar and hot water for several hours to dissolve the minerals. If your showerhead has a lot of buildup, you might need to use a brush to scrub away stubborn deposits. 

After soaking, rinse the showerhead thoroughly with cold water, then reattach it. If cleaning doesn’t work, consider replacing the showerhead with a new one from your local hardware store. Some modern units come with a built-in cartridge to combat hard water accumulation.

Water Pressure Issues

Low water pressure is another one of the most common reasons for a faulty shower faucet. If you find yourself trying to get clean with no success even with the hot or cold water flowing at full capacity, you’re dealing with a water pressure-related plumbing problem.

The Problem:

If removing mineral deposits inside your showerhead doesn’t help water flow improve, you might have a clogged pipe, corrosion inside a drain, or leaking water line, among other possibilities. Besides making it more difficult to enjoy a hot shower, water pressure issues can be a sign of more significant plumbing problems.

The Solution:

Start by checking your sink and other faucets in your house to determine if water is slow to reach these areas as well. If the issue is isolated to your shower, inspect the shower valve to ensure it’s fully open. If you suspect a blockage, you might need to clean the aerators or head as mentioned earlier.

If low water pressure persists throughout your house, it could be due to a problem with your water lines or a faulty pressure regulator letting air into your pipes. Contact a professional plumber right away to inspect and fix the issue.

Faulty Diverter Valve

In a shower-tub combination, the diverter valve directs water between the tub spout and the shower head. If you have to pull a lever or turn a knob to activate the shower arm in your home, your bathroom likely utilizes a diverter system.

The Problem:

A faulty diverter valve can cause water to flow only from the tub spout or spray weakly from the shower arm. This problem often arises due to wear and tear or debris buildup inside the valve.

The Solution:

To fix a faulty diverter valve, start by inspecting it for visible signs of wear or damage. If it’s dirty, clean it with hot water, vinegar, and a brush. Sometimes, the rubber washer inside the valve might need to be replaced. If the valve is broken or too worn out, you may need to replace it entirely, so we recommend calling a professional plumber for this task. 

Water Heater Problems

The temperature of your shower is controlled by your water heater system, so it’s no surprise that a problem with your hot water heater can cause a problem with your shower.

The Problem:

Problems such as a faulty thermostat, broken dip tube, or issues with the pilot light (in gas units) can result in a lack of hot water. Inconsistent water temperature can also be caused by a malfunctioning hot water heater tank.

The Solution:

Check your hot water heater’s thermostat settings to ensure it’s set to the appropriately warm temperature. If you use a gas-powered unit and the pilot light is out, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to relight it. Then, check the hot water heater for any visible signs of damage or leaks. 

If you suspect a broken dip tube, tank corrosion, or other internal issues, it’s best to contact a professional plumber for water heater repair in Bountiful. Regular water heater maintenance can prevent these problems and ensure a consistent supply of hot water for your showers.

Plumbing Leaks

A plumbing leak can cause a wide range of water supply problems, including in your home’s showers. Especially if your home is on the older side, you may encounter leaks as your pipes and drains age.

The Problem:

Common signs of leaks include dripping faucet(s), water stains on your walls or ceiling, damp spots, and increased water bills. Leaks can occur in various parts of your plumbing system, including pipes behind your shower wall, shower and sink faucets, and your hot water heater tank.

The Solution:

If you suspect a leak, start by inspecting visible pipes and connections for any signs of water or dampness. Listen for dripping sounds and check for unexplained water stains. If you find a leak, you might be able to fix it by tightening pipe or faucet connections with a plumber’s wrench, although this should be done with care. 

For leaks behind walls, in inaccessible areas, or impacting your water heater tank, we recommend contacting an emergency plumber in Salt Lake City rather than attempting DIY repair. We have the tools and expertise to fix leaks and restore your water supply without damaging your home.

Your Shower Superheroes

Dealing with a malfunctioning shower can be a hassle, but understanding the common causes and solutions can help you address the problem quickly and efficiently. Whether it’s a clogged showerhead, water pressure issues, a leaky hot water heater tank, or a burst pipe, knowing what to look for and how to fix it can save you time and frustration. 

If your shower fails to start or you’re struggling with water temperature issues, don’t hesitate to call Big Brothers Home Services. Our team of experienced plumbers is ready to help you get your shower and other essential plumbing systems back in working order ASAP, whether we have to replace piping or make a simple water heater repair.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment and enjoy your wonderful water supply once again!