I bought a house a couple years ago and the previous owners added a small bathroom in the basement. The shower only has hot water and I don't know why. The toilet and sink next to it both have cold water but the shower isn't getting any. I took the cover off the shower handle but it looks like every thing is hooked up properly with a hot and cold line. Could this be an issue with the faucet that I could check for?

UPDATE: It looks like the cartridge is faulty. Cold water is present but not coming through it.


  • Did you get anywhere on this - did you unscrew the valves and check for cold water. In the USA usually cold water is on the right and hot on the left - I think it is code but not sure on that.
    – Ken
    Nov 16, 2017 at 0:45
  • @Ken I have not done this yet but I am planning on doing it this weekend (life's been busy). I did identify that the hot is on the left though. I will update this post when I have checked though.
    – Programmer
    Nov 17, 2017 at 13:34
  • Any chance he reversed hot and cold? With anti-scald temp regulating faucets, that would do it. The faucet is going "this water is too hot/add cold - repeating... Not knowing it is adding hot. Nov 20, 2017 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


According to your picture that valve looks like it has flow controls on each line cold and hot - turn the screw on the cold line - CCW a little bit and see if you now have cold water (be careful as the screw could come all the way out and you will have full on water ).

It could also be that when the shower lines were installed that the installer sweated the copper joints and it got clogged with some debris (not unusual). You would need to do two things here :

1: Remove your flow control on the cold water line - that screw and nut assembly next to the cartridge (with the main water valve turned off of course). Verify you have water there and check for debris which could easily come from someones copper pipe solder sweating job.

Have someone turn the main on ever so slightly - verify you have cold running water coming through to the shower valve.. it might also force out some debris.

If you have Water flowing - re-install the flow control valve - see if you have cold water from the shower valve ..

2: If no cold water is coming out of the shower at this point and you have cold water at the flow control - you will need to remove the cartridge and check for debris there and also that the cartridge is properly installed.

Just one other comment here - the pipe fitting for the shower cartridge is designed to be screwed into a supporting board - I would try to install a 1 by 3 or 1 by 4 in the back of that flange between it and the drywall and lengthwise between the studs - so my pipe would be supported and locked down - no movement and flexing..

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    After all that you could try replacing the cartridge as I saw already this problem caused by a faulty cartridge.
    – aofkj
    Nov 12, 2017 at 3:24
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    @aofkj you are correct it is possible the cartridge has gone bad. Op said previous owners added a small bathroom in the basement - so I am wondering if it ever worked and they just did not know what to do about fixing it. This is something any home inspector should be checking. If not having a home inspector check it - then this is something that you should do before making a commitment. Check all light switches, and plumbing, locks doors , water heater , ac etc..you are investing a lot of money.
    – Ken
    Nov 12, 2017 at 4:40
  • I do not think those screwdriver operated valves on either side of the mixing valve are "flow control"; they are stop valves designed to be full on for normal operation and full closed to enable changing the cartridge without shutting off the water to the house. Try opening the cold side by turning CCW. Open both full CCW to a stop. Nov 12, 2017 at 20:15
  • @JimStewart - no matter what they are called - they control flow. On / Off - and it could be the cold one is Closed or blocked by debris.. typically a valve like this can be partially open / closed .. the point is op needs to know if there is cold water coming to the shower at all and by checking here - he can eliminate everything prior and continue on to the cartridge - process of elimination. The op is better off turning the main water valve off so he can inspect this one - as this small valve can easily be blocked off by debris.
    – Ken
    Nov 12, 2017 at 22:29
  • @Ken I tested the hot and cold water from the faucet by opening and closing both of those valves. The hot water turned off and on just fine but the cold water didn't turn on at all. I guess the next step is to unscrew the valve and see if anything is blocked.
    – Programmer
    Nov 13, 2017 at 13:53

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