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Thread: Delay before water turns on in stall shower

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Zagnut's Avatar
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    Default Delay before water turns on in stall shower

    I have a problem with a two handle faucet on a stall shower. Recently neither the hot nor cold water turns on immediately when the handle is opened. There is about a 20 second delay. During that time some small amount of water trickles out and then the water flow suddenly becomes normal. This happens on both the hot and cold sides. The only change I have recently made was to install a washer on the hot side about 4 months ago to correct a drip from the shower head. I removed the valve stem and installed a new domed washer. That fixed the drip. Thereafter the shower worked fine. Now several months later I have this problem with the delay when the handles are turned on. At first the delay was not long, but it has gotten longer over the last month.

    It seems to me that after the shower is turned off the water must be leaking out of the line between the shower head and the valve. However, there is no evidence of leakage in the ceiling of the first floor below the shower. I am on a municipal water supply and have excellent pressure everywhere else in the house. I have stopped using the shower until I can figure out what is happening.

    The house was built in 1974 and has the original valve and stems.

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member Tee_14's Avatar
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    Sounds like it is your shower head. Take your shower head off and see if there is any delay.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Zagnut's Avatar
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    I did take off the shower head and there is still a delay. There appears to be no mineral build up in the shower head. However, just to be sure I bought another one. Same problem occurs.

    Is it possible for the water to back out of the pipe to the shower head without there being a leak in the valve? It doesn't sound logical to me. However, There is no evidence of leakage below the shower.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Depending on the valve design, an internal sticky part could do that.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member Zagnut's Avatar
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    Thanks for your comments. I have come to the conclusion that I have to replace the valve. I have eliminated everything else as the cause. So even though I don't know why it is happening, I am convinced that the valve is the problem.

  6. #6
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Check the faucet washers. It sounds like they may be loose or there is a piece of one floating around.

    John

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