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I need to substitute the cartridge of my pull-out shower handle that now can only be pushed back in with violent kung-fu moves. The problem is that there isn't any visible shut-off valve for the bathtub/shower as there are for the sink and the toilet and, living in a condo, I can't switch off the water to my apartment without affecting the whole column (which needs a week notice).
I had some hope that the shut-off valve was located behind the faceplate and indeed it appears to be the case. Does the screw visible in the pictures on the left of the cartridge open and close the water shut-off valve? I thought better to get some more expert opinion before starting to apply some strong torque to unstuck it. I'm used to shut-off valves with a lever control but I can imagine that behind a wall this type is more efficient. Also in this shower design, there is just a single shut-off valve for both hot and cold, correct? Thanks

[Is a shut-off valve inside the red circle?1

enter image description here

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  • I seriously doubt your valve has a shutoff. I have never seen one installed for a bath/shower combo. It doesn't mean they sometimes could be there though. Can you shut off the water just to your condo? Is your water meter independent from the other units?
    – RetiredATC
    Aug 14, 2022 at 15:23
  • This seems highly unlikely, especially the "single shutoff for hot and cold" but I'm not terribly familiar with this type of shower valve, so I'll lets someone who knows better take a crack at it. Speaking of which, what is the make/model of the shower valve in question, as you don't specify that in the question, and it likely matters.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 14, 2022 at 15:23
  • Would be odd be have a shutoff behind/in a wall hidden. That little valve looks more like a bleeder or adjustment screw type than a shutoff.
    – crip659
    Aug 14, 2022 at 15:32
  • @Enercwal, I wish I knew. The condo complex was built in 1991 and I bought my apartment in 2004. It seems that no one knows the original equipment that was installed. From what I can tell it's a Moen shower, I would like to know the model to buy the right replacement certridge. @ RetiredATC, unfortunately the water can only be shut off for the whole column of 3 apartments
    – MarcoD
    Aug 14, 2022 at 21:36

2 Answers 2

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I'm surprised some of the regular posters haven't seen stops on shower valves. I've got them on mine and have worked on many showers that have them. You have to remove the trim. not all showers have them though. Try turning those screws clockwise to turn off water. have an adjustable wrench because you might have to tighten the nut around the stems afterwards because the valves haven't been used in a long time, if ever. Internet picture of a typical valve with stops.

enter image description here

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    It's been 14 years since I had to screw around with a shower valve, and that was wholesale replacement (old three handle) with new (single handle.) Got one coming up, but that's wholesale placement of new, and I haven't got very far on it. In both cases there are normal shutoff valves before the shower valve (because that's the way I'm wired...compartmentalize the plumbing failures/work.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 14, 2022 at 16:00
  • Thank you very much. There is indeed a twin valve on the other side that I had missed. Let me ask a few more question before I start working on it: 1) to close the valves I should turn both in the clockwise direction, right? There is no weird specular symmetry 2) If the valves present a lot of resistance, is it safe to subject them to increasingly high torque not having the possibility to shut the water off upstream? Shall I use some W40? 3) Is there any way to identify the cartridge type to get the appropriate extractor tool if I don't manage to extract it with my tools? Thanks
    – MarcoD
    Aug 14, 2022 at 21:19
  • @MarcoD Turn both clockwise to turn off. The valves shouldn't need a lot of torque, no WD40. It looks like you have a Moen valve and the cartridge is probably a 1225 but pull the old one out to be sure. They normally come with a plastic socket type piece that fits over the stem and pushed in. You then turn it with a wrench to break the seal and then pull out the cartridge, There's a clip toward the front of the valve that has to be pulled out before you can remove the cartridge.
    – JACK
    Aug 14, 2022 at 22:20
  • @MarcoD Try some CLR or some other calcium/lime remover. Those valves have probably never been operated.
    – JACK
    Aug 15, 2022 at 23:31
  • @MarcoD You're trying to turn the small stem with the slot for a screwdriver-- right??? not the nut behind it..... Try loosening the nut turning it counterclockwise just a bit and then try the slotted stem again after some CLR.
    – JACK
    Aug 15, 2022 at 23:39
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The valves are exactly the ones you marked in red and there are two, one for cold water and one for hot water, they are located on the sides of the cartridge in order close them just turn like clock pin from left to right.TO MAKE SURE THE WATER IS CLOSED TURNS THE SHOWER HANDLE BEFORE PROCEED .

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  • Thank you very much. There is indeed a twin valve on the other side that last night I missed because of the awkward position necessary to look in that direction at that angle. What do you mean with "pin from left to right" after instructing of turning them clockwise?
    – MarcoD
    Aug 14, 2022 at 22:07
  • sorry I misread what you wrote. You meant a clock pin and, since I wasn’t able to move the screws, I thought you meant there was something like a security pin. Finally I was able to get the screws to relent. It took the full force of my electric impact driver. Thanks for your help!
    – MarcoD
    Aug 15, 2022 at 23:55

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