4 Problems With Delta Shower Valves (and How To Fix)

Plumber Repairing Delta Shower Valves

As one of the many customer-oriented companies locally, Delta Faucet Company continues creating long-lasting transformations in our homes. Founded in 1929, the company makes and markets good-quality shower fixtures, toilets, and faucets. 

Locally, the brand is well-loved and trusted for its dedication to quality and good customer support. However, man is to error, and Delta fixtures and faucets are no exception. 

Therefore, it’s vital to identify some of the common Delta shower valve problems and how we fix them. 

1. Clogged Non-Return/Check Valves 

A common problem with some Delta shower faucets is inconsistent water coming from the showerhead. The non-return valves allow water to flow only in one direction. When you’re bathing, the valve allows water to flow from the source towards the shower head and prevents backflow when there’s insufficient source pressure. 

And it’s rarely the shower valves’ fault that you are getting less and less water flow. However, the valves will sometimes become sticky and reduce the water flow. 

Other issues that can limit your water flow include:

  • Dirty shower head jets
  • Kinked/ damaged shower hose inlet
  • Clogged inlet filters

How to Fix

  • Different Delta shower faucets have different non-return valve positions. Therefore, refer to the user manual, look for one in your faucet, and remove it. 
  • You’ll then inspect for any debris or sticky substances. And, since the non-return valves are mechanical devices, cleaning the dirt will restore it to an excellent working condition. 
  • If you use a pointed object such as a screwdriver to push in the valve and you feel that it’s still rigid, the chances are that there’s a solid obstacle that’s restraining it. 
  • Remove the top part of the non-return valve and the spring. Clean both parts using a wet cloth and assemble them into your shower faucet.

2. Dirty/Clogged Shower Diverter/ Cartridge Valves

Shower diverter valves are essential parts of our shower faucets as they aid in directing water between your showerhead and bathtub faucet. And despite Delta’s dedication to producing good quality faucets, their shower diverter valves tend to get dirty or clogged. 

You don’t need to panic when this happens, as you only need channel lock pliers, a screwdriver, an Allen key set, and some white vinegar. 

Steps to Clean Your Clogged Diverter/ Cartridge Valves

  • First, shut off the water supply to the faucet and proceed to open the shower valves. 
  • Wait for some time to allow the shower to drain the water and remove the handle and trims from the valve body.
  • Use the lock pliers, open the cartridge, and pull out the diverter valve.
  • Soak the valve and cartridge in vinegar for 30-60 minutes to clean up all the dirt and debris blocking the valve.
  • While waiting for your cartridge to clean up, flush the shower opening using cold water. At times, some debris collects behind the cartridge. An easy way to flush your shower is by opening the cold water line to allow the water to run through gently. 
  • However, don’t attempt to use hot water as it may spew all over your body, and you may suffer from hot water inflicted burns. 
  • After the soaking period elapses, place your cartridge in water for 2-5 minutes and rinse it thoroughly. 
  • Replace the valve in its original position, and secure the temperature stop. Finally, secure the trim and handle and test your showerhead. 

3. Permanently Running Hot or Cold Water

Some Delta faucet owners experience an issue whereby the shower will run cold or hot water exclusively rather than a mixture of the two. If you’re experiencing such a problem, debris is blocking your faucet’s inlet filters. 

Also, faulty non-return filters block off water from one side of the faucet. For example, a clogged hot water non-return filter will inhibit the forward flow of water to the showerhead. 

Additionally, the pressure-balancing valves might be faulty. Their role is to adjust the hot and cold water pressure from your showerhead. 

If you don’t use your shower faucet for extended periods, corrosion and mineral buildup cause the valves to be rigid and hence improper water flow.

How to Fix

  • Turn off your shower faucet water supply. 
  • Unscrew the faucet handle using either a screwdriver or an Allen key (the type of screw varies depending on the shower faucet models).
  • Master how the inside of the faucet looks as it will aid you during reinstallation. Alternatively, take a picture or record a video of the uninstallation process. 
  • Extract the internal parts of your faucet and place them in a jar of vinegar. 
  • Use needle-nose pliers to remove the retainer clip, which will release the cartridge. 
  • Inspect the cartridge for damages or blockages. If it’s worn out, replace it with a similar model while paying attention to the orientation. You don’t want to install your pressure-balancing valve backward. 
  • Refer to your early video or photos you took and reinstall the valve stem and the remaining faucet parts.

4. Water Dripping Out of the Showerhead When Off

If your Delta shower head is older, the chances are that it might start dripping when it’s off. The problem results from weak, broken, or stiff seals, a faulty shower flow cartridge, or a faulty thermostatic cartridge. 

How to Fix

Ensure that you have a replacement Delta cartridge before embarking on the repairs.

  • Shut off the water supply to your leaking Delta shower faucet.
  • Protect your bathroom floor with either a bucket or a towel. Also, cover the drain to avoid parts of the faucet from falling in. 
  • Unscrew and remove the knob and the backing plate if necessary. Unscrew the two screws holding the escutcheon trim plate to the wall.
  • You’ll see a hole in the wall around the valve body and pull the outside sleeve outwards.
  • Release the cartridge by wiggling it until it comes off. Use a clean rug to remove any debris or mineral deposits in the valve area.
  • Install your new cartridge and secure it in place. 
  • Finally, reinstall all other parts you’d earlier removed to access the valve. Be very careful not to overtighten them, as you might need to repair your Delta shower faucet in the future. 

Final Remarks

A shower valve is crucial to the normal working of your shower faucet. It would be best if you kept it in an excellent working condition. Shower valves usually last for 5 years, while good quality Delta valves last for 20 years. 

However, rubber seals will deteriorate faster and may cause leaks. Mineral deposits and debris will also block your non-return valves. Therefore, consult a plumber before concluding that you need a new shower valve assembly. 


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