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Plumbing Pro
Plumbing Pro, Plumber
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Experience:  Licensed plumbing contractor state of Il, & Chicago
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having problem with our shower pressure fluctuating. we live

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having problem with our shower pressure fluctuating. we live in an older home but it was compeltely renovated 3 years ago. new plumbing, fixtures, water lines. etc...every other line in our house seems ok, not noticing any problems anywhere else. you turn the shower on {we have a bathtub slash shower setup} and everything is fine and the pressure is good. but sometimes before you even get in or often shortly after you start showering or before you finish, you can feel and hear the pressure decrease all of a sudden. just like if someone turn the clothes washer on or flushed the toilet, but yet none of that is happening thats just the best way to describe it. there is no problem with the temperature fluctuating it seems to stay constant. the only thing i have tried is a new shower head but i cant tell if that helps as it is different than the last and therefore has differnet pressure and sound to it. i also checked the water heater t and p valve by opening it and testing it and it was fine. any ideas?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Plumbing Pro replied 4 years ago.
Hi, and Welcome to Just Answer. I will do my best to Answer your question to the best of my professional ability. let be begin by asking you some questions first be fore i give you my answer, Are you on well water ? or city water . Does this happen all the time or only once and a while? Is this a house, town home, ext. ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
hello. it is single family dwelling on city water. it seems to happen pretty much everytime you try and take a shower. like i said i tried a new shower head but i cant tell if that fixed the problem or just hid it. sometimes it will happen before you get in. sometimes after a few minutes, there is never a set time for the pressure decrease.
Expert:  Plumbing Pro replied 4 years ago.
The way a newer shower valve works is by mixing hot and cold water together so you can have a comfortable water temperature when you are using the fixture , its a single handle shower valve . What happens if the cold water pressure drops from the city water supply that feeds your house then instead of you getting scold with too much hot water the pressure will decrease so that you will keep the set temperature and you don't get burnt. Same goes for if the hot water pressure were to drop , witch is feed from the cold water as well. Peak hours like in the morning and in the evening the city water main will drop its water pressure because this is peak time and every one is taking a shower before they go to work and same goes for in the evening when every one is coming home, this drop in the city water main can cause each house to loose a couple of pounds of water pressure . Since you said this is the only fixture that this is happing to, this its most likely a problem with that exact fixture . Every shower valve has a shower cartridge this is the part of the valve that mixes the hot and cold then diverts the water to the shower head or tub spout. These cartridges can build up sediment and minerals and cause this type of problem. You can take out the cartridge and blow out the valve by turning the water on while the cartridge is out, this will blow out anything that could be causing a restriction . Also if the cartridge it self is clogged up then it can be replaced with a new one for around 20 dollars depending on what bran fixture it is. Also depending on what bran and model fixture you have they have what is called a balancer inside witch is a piece of brass or plastic that regulates the hot and cold water flow , like i was saying before when the main water pressure drops this balancer will move and keep the water temperature the same so the user doesn't get burnt from scolding hot water. Depending on what bran and model you have the balancer is built in the valve body it self or in the cartridge , these can have mineral build up inside them and cause this problem .
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thank you for the quick and detailed reply. just one last question. you said above a single handle shower valve? our shower does have a hot and cold knob each. would this be the same thing as you described? also how difficult is it to replace a cartridge or check the balancer? thanks again
Expert:  Plumbing Pro replied 4 years ago.
the balancer is only in a single handle type fixture since you have two handles , one for hot and one for cold , that doesn't not apply to you . But they still have cartridges in each one and when minerals get caught in them your problem can accrue, it is not too hard to replace a cartridge , first you will have to take off the handle they are held on by a set screw , once the handle is off you can then unscrew the retaining nut that hold the cartridge in place , some models have just a u shaped pin that can be removed rather then the nut. Make sure you turn the water off to the house first and turn on a sink hot and cold when to relief the water pressure . For a service plumber that is local and a moms and pop type of company can do the service call for around 110-220 dollars plus the new parts, but that is up to you .
Plumbing Pro, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 1284
Experience: Licensed plumbing contractor state of Il, & Chicago
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