Shower was fixed but now it's not
September 10, 2012 9:25 AM   Subscribe

What happened to our shower? It was fixed, and now it's just a drip.

My partner recently fixed our shower, which used to drain a lot from the tub faucet while it was in use. He soaked the assembly in vinegar, and it all turns very smoothly now, and apparently the shower worked very well before he sealed it all up again. Unfortunately, after the whole thing was caulked, the shower now only trickles and doesn't spray. We've tried it with the water at its highest pressure but it still only trickles. This is his first repair job and he's pretty upset about it. I'm wondering if anybody knows what could have happened, and how we can repair it.
posted by stinker to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
I am having issues picturing this.

You said that while the shower was in use, it used to drain a lot from the faucet. This means that the diverter in the faucet is bad.

"It all turns very smoothly now." What is "it" and what does that have to do with the faucet letting water out while the shower is in use? Do you have a style of diverter that is engaged by turning something?

What did he seal, exactly? Around the faucet? Did the faucet ever get removed? Does water still come out of the faucet, or does the faucet stop letting water out yet the shower is a trickle?

Without more information, I am guessing he did something to the faucet which caused the diverter to bind, or something broke in the process of cleaning it.

I will check back to see if you or another poster can make sense of my questions.
posted by TinWhistle at 9:37 AM on September 10, 2012

Response by poster: So he replaced the diverter (sorry, I left that out), and the part he sealed was the hole in the wall around the diverter and where the escutcheon touched the tile. He didn't seal anything mechanical. The faucet was never removed. The handle moves more smoothly now because he replace the cold water handle and the piece behind it (don't know what it's called).
posted by stinker at 9:45 AM on September 10, 2012

Best answer: Pull the shower head off and clean it out.

Often, messing with the plumbing will knock stuff in the pipes loose. This gets caught in the shower head and clogs it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:49 AM on September 10, 2012 [6 favorites]

One way of checking is to unscrew the shower head, then run water through the shower. It if comes out with no problem from the arm in the wall, then it's the shower head. If it doesn't, unscrew the arm piece. Look through it, is there something obstructing it? If so, dislodge it. If not, there may be a chunk of something in the part of the plumbing behind the wall.

You can run a flexible wire through the pipe to see if that dislodges it (an untwisted wire hanger for example) or if you run into an obstruction.

If you run into an obstruction, you may have to call a plumber.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:00 AM on September 10, 2012

Did you turn the water off to do the fix? Often the pressure of turning it back on loosens and pushes all the debris to the end of the shower head, clogging it. This happens pretty much after every repair we do (old house).

I agree with Ruthless Bunny. First thing is to take off the head and see how it flows.
posted by Vaike at 11:28 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's happened to me before. After fixing the shower, some piece of chalky gunk broke loose and lodged in the shower head. I took it off, shook it out, and everything worked perfectly.

I hope that's it.
posted by stubby phillips at 11:33 AM on September 10, 2012

Response by poster: Yes, that was totally the problem. Thanks, everyone. What an easy fix!
posted by stinker at 5:29 PM on September 10, 2012

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