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How can I shut off water to shower only? Or is it bkr possible? I don't see a shut off valve, am I missing it? This picture is the back of my tub where wall was remixed.

I want to cut off only shower water as of right now, the hot water coming into water heater is off. We need it on for dishwasher.


  • The shower valves outside the wall are under your control. Why would you want to shut it off inside the wall? What do you mean "the hot water coming into water heater is off"? Cold water goes into and hot water comes out. – Jim Stewart Nov 18 '17 at 11:53
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    no there is not ordinarily a valve to shut off water to just the shower. What is the actual problem? – agentp Nov 18 '17 at 14:07
  • So the cold water that comes into hot water is off then. Although that confuses me because the cold water in tub can still be turned on by the cold water handle where as the hot is indeed off unless I open valve on water heater. – Nick Black Nov 18 '17 at 15:28
  • The problem is we bought a house a couple weeks ago. The hot and cold water knobs were laying there pulled off. They had been stripped. The hot water valve mechanism (don't know correct jargon) is stuck in the on position. So if I open the valve at the water heater, it just releases water into the tub continuously. We can't use the dishwasher right now until this is fixed. I'm trying to turn just the shower off. – Nick Black Nov 18 '17 at 15:32
  • You can get special handles which attach to a stripped valve stem. This type has a knife inside which bites into the brass stem and allows the valve to be used. – Jim Stewart Nov 18 '17 at 16:02

The immediate fault is that the hot water valve is stuck open. Get some pliers and try to shut the hot water valve on the tub/shower. Locking pliers (Vise-Grips) would be easiest, but you could use regular pliers or a pipe wrench.

Note that you will have to determine which direction to turn it off. Some of these shower valves have "counter rotating valves" in which the cold is turned off one way (usually CW) and the hot the other way (usu CCW). But in some shower valves both close the same way.


You can temporarily cap off the shower with a 1/2" FNPT pipe cap attached where the shower head would go, or install a shower head with an on/off switch.


Ultimately, I would plan to replace that shower valve, sooner rather than later. It is understood that you turn the whole house off to do any extensive work on a tub/shower valve. Always has been. Hopefully you can get the previously owners to defray the cost.

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