The lifespan of a shower valve depends on how often you use it and what kind of water is used. With proper maintenance, most valves will last around twenty years. If the rubber seal breaks and water leaks out, it is time to replace it. Regular use will also help ensure that your valves function properly.
However, on average shower valves lasts 20 to 30 years without any noticeable damage. This is because most parts in the handle, stem, and flapper are handcrafted to ensure longevity.
Do shower valves go bad?
yes, they can. Just like any other valves, shower valves may undergo wear and tear as well. Continuous exposure to water and other chemicals can impair the durability of the metal parts which makes them hard to use and maintain. It will also cause a short circuit which may result in the leakage of hot or cold water in your bathroom.
Over time, the stem that controls the water temperature in a shower valve will elongate due to constant use. When this happens, a new flapper or cartridge must be used to effectively operate the shower valve again. If this is not done, there is a likelihood that you will not be able to get any hot or cold water from your shower head.
Signs You Could Have a Faulty Shower Valve
Many people do not think that their shower valve could be faulty. They would rather rip out the entire plumbing and hire an expert plumber to replace the shower valve. However, if you frequently experience water gushing out from your shower valve, it may be time to have a look at the problem. The following are some common signs of a faulty shower valve:
1. Leaking of hot or cold water
Sometimes in time, there will be problems with your shower head because of corrosion due to flow of water. Usually, the leak will start from the handle and work its way down to the flapper. If you still see a continuous flow of water, it is an indication that your shower valve is faulty.
2. Bad smell coming from the showerhead
It is quite normal for hot and cold water to leave a certain smell after your shower. However, if this odor persists for an extended period of time, that means your shower head either has a leak or has fully detached from the pipe system.
3. No water pressure
When you turn on the tap, there is no water or there is only a little amount of water coming out from the showerhead. This could possibly be due to clogging but may also mean that your shower valve is broken and needs to be replaced.
4. Tepid water
Sometimes hot water will not be able to reach the temperature that you have set or cold water cannot get as cold as it should. This can mean a problem with the shower valve.
5. Leak from the shower handle
If you keep on experiencing water coming out from the handle, it is probable that there is a leak or your shower valve is broken.
6. Showerhead does not rotate
Often, the problem with shower valves depends on how well they are installed. If your shower head does not rotate, this could mean that some problem in your plumbing system is causing the problem.
7. shower handle hard to turn
If you have difficulty in turning off/on the water from the shower handle, it is probably because either your shower valve is faulty or there is a problem in the system.
When should a shower valve be replaced?
When a shower valve does not function properly, it is the right time to replace it. There are several signs as to when you need a replacement for your shower valve:
- You can hear the sound of water dripping from your shower head even when it is turned off.
- There is mildew or rust on your shower head or the pipe that leads to the water source.
- Your shower valve feels loose and wobbly when you manipulate it.
- if there are signs of leaks in the valve when you turn on the shower
Why do shower valves fail?
One of the most common causes that causes a shower valve to fail is the misproportion in the pressure between cold water and hot water pressure valves.
They are proportioned to shut off at a certain pressure. Another major problem is where the water supply leaks into the hose when there is a pressure loss or water flow. This causes erosion which will eventually affect the performance of the shower valve.
Another flaw in some of the plumbing systems may be due to worn out washers, nuts and bolts which can lead to debris being clogged in the shower valves.
These are just a few of the reasons why shower valves fail. The rest of the problems may be caused by human negligence or dirt and other harmful substances that may clog the pathways inside the shower valve.
If you are experiencing problems with your shower valve, then it is recommended that you get it checked immediately to avoid having worse problems later on.
How much does it cost to replace a shower valve?
To replace a shower valve on average costs $400. This cost can range from $250 to $550 depending on the type of shower valve, the labor, and sometimes depending on the brand.
The removal process varies based on the type of valve that is being replaced. In most cases, a professional will remove and replace the existing shower valve in a matter of hours. A professional will first identify where your current water shut-off is located in order to shut off the water supply to your bathroom.
As the resident shower expert at ShowerJournal.com, Wayne Lee loves to share the helpful tips and tricks he’s picked up over the years during his job as a handyman.