5 Problems With American Standard Shower Valve (& How To Fix)

Plumber installing water tap in bathroom

The American Standard valve is among the most reputable products you’ll ever come across. Like any other valve, they, too, are employed to connect cold and hot water lines. The result is the enjoyable shower you always have every morning or evening. 

Apart from valves, the American Standard also produces quality showerheads, trim kits, and faucets. Despite having a positive reception in the plumbing industry, these valves also encounter problems that customers find annoying. For instance, after some months of constant use, the valves might produce less water or emit noise. 

Does it mean that such problems should mark the end of your warm shower? Certainly not.

Here, we consider American Standard valve problems and quick solutions. Let’s get going. 

Clogged Shower Valve

Your shower might be functioning normally but certainly starts to produce less water through the showerhead. In some cases, you might start experiencing water leaks through the handle. This might confuse you, especially if you aren’t an experienced plumber or this is the first time you’re experiencing it. 

Generally, such problems arise from blockages in the water system. The American Standard might be a victim of mineral deposits blocking the waterway. This might also arise from unfiltered hard water. 

When this happens, you must address it with urgency to limit the consequences. But how?

  1. Before anything, turn off your main water supply. Proceed to remove the shower handle.
  2. Remove the plating and nickel collar. At this point, you’ll clearly see the cartridge. Proceed to remove the cartridge and place it in a bucket of vinegar and water. Leave it there for a few hours. Take a soft cloth and put it into the vinegar solution. Use the cloth to get rid of any minerals from the valve.
  3. After a few hours, get the cartridge from the vinegar solution and rub it with a toothbrush. This will get rid of any debris from the cartridge. 
  4. Finally, reinstall the cartridge, nickel collar, plating, and shower handle in the order you removed them. 

Although the process is straightforward, there are cases where involving a plumber is the best idea. However, be prepared to spend some money on maintenance fees. 

Leaking Shower Valve

It’s a common thing to spot your American Standard valve dripping. Some people have even reported cases of moss growing below and around the handle. However, very few are aware of the sources of these problems. 

Normally, the American Standard valve leaks when the water pressure gets higher than recommended. Additionally, water leaks result from worn-out rubber sealings. 

To correct the issue:

  1. Inspect the water system to ensure the leaks are only coming from the valve or handle. Other problems might cause leaks from other sources. 
  2. Inspect your water supply main valve. Adjust it to a pressure of about 50 PSI. If the problem was high water pressure, the dripping should stop.
  3. If the problem persists, remove the trim kit and handle. Check for corrosion cases on the o-ring covers or seals. Replace the worn covers.

Valve Not Shutting Off

Another common problem with American Standard valves is the handle requires a lot of force to open or close. A loose shower handle or a damaged cartridge causes this problem. 

To correct the situation, inspect the handle’s tightness. If it’s loose, stabilize it by ensuring the main handle screw is tight. We recommend replacing the screw if it appears stripped. 

Remove the cartridge if the handle is working well, but the valve still can’t shut off effectively. Replace it with a cartridge. At this point, we expect the valve to function effectively. If it doesn’t, then contact a plumber to handle the valve. 

No Cold or Hot Water

Your American Standard shower was working normally but certainly starts to produce less cold or hot, and you’re wondering what might be wrong. The problem might arise from an anti-scald device on the cartridge, which blocks the handle movement. As a result, it becomes difficult to control the water temperature. 

Additionally, it could emanate from a clogged temp line. Furthermore, inlet spools might be in different positions, leading to an imbalance of cold and hot water. All in all, the valve needs to be looked at and, if possible, replaced.

Here are the steps:

  1. First, remove your American Standard shower handle. Spot the anti-scald device and adjust the limiter position to ensure an even supply of cold and hot water. 
  2. Adjust the cold and hot inlet’s balancing pools if the issue isn’t solved. Ensure they’re in the same position. 
  3. If there is less cold water, the pipe might have frozen. To unfreeze it, heat your cold water line with a hair dryer. Turn on your shower to let minerals get out. 

Noisy Valve

This problem can pick on any shower valve, the brand notwithstanding. You’ll notice your shower valve producing a whistling noise. This results from a thin valve that vibrates due to high water pressure. Usually, the valve gets thin after corroding.  

Noise could also come from worn-out rubber. This happens when the rubber rings and washers are weak. We also noticed that noise comes from a shaking valve system.

To correct the issue:

  1. Limit the water pressure to the allowed range. We recommend having a pressure regulator for this purpose. 
  2.  Remove the trim kit and handle from the wall. You can then remove the cartridge and valve. Inspect the valve and determine the parts that need replacement. If you identify debris on your valve, clean it thoroughly. 
  3. Reinstall the components back in place and test to see if the noise stops.


Almost all the problems in American Standard valves are also found in other brands. Some include noisy valves, not shutting off, leaking valves, or clogged valves. Such minor complications shouldn’t scare you from investing in an American Standard valve. 

If your valve develops any of the problems, follow the above recommendation for a DIY fix. However, having a competent plumber by your side would be a wiser move. 


Shower Heads and Faucets

How to Replace a Shower Valve: 12 Steps | wikiHow