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No water at all from shower with Moen valve that hasn't been used for years

No water at all from shower with Moen valve that hasn't been used for years


  #1  
Old 10-09-22, 01:28 PM
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No water at all from shower with Moen valve that hasn't been used for years

I have a strange problem and can't find a resolution. Would appreciate the help from experts here.

I have a shower (just overhead shower without tub outlet) that hasn't been used for years on the second floor of the house. Everything was ok last time (years ago) when it was used. I tried to use it again the other day and found that there is absolute no water coming out. There is no sound when turning on the handle. Nothing. The other faucets and toilets in the same bathroom all work normally.

I ordered a replacement cartridge (Moen 1222) and replaced the old one with it. Still no water.

When I had the old cartridge removed and before putting in the new one, I actually tried to turn on the main water shutoff value to the house and water did come out from the valve body (without the cartridge installed). It seems with good pressure and volume. However, after I put the new cartridge in and tried again, there is no water. Nothing at all.

By the way, I removed the shower head and just left just the open pipe and nothing come out of the pipe. So I don't think the shower head is the issue.

I am totally puzzled and don't have clue what might be the problem.

*******************************
Reporting back the latest:


I shut off the water to the house, took out the cartridge, removed the shower head.
Using a hand pump (a pump to inflate air mattress), I tried to blow air into the shower arm pipe.
I can clearly feel resistance. Air did not blow through freely, if at all.

Looking into the valve body with flash light, I can see 3 openings: two on either side and one on the bottom.
(Since the valve body has 4 sides that are connected to pipes like a cross shape, I was expecting to feel/see 4 internal opening. To my surprise, I could only see 3. )
I assume the two on either sides are for cold and hot incoming water.
I assume the bottom opening is the common outlet for water to go to both the tub and the overhead.

Using a pick, I can not feel any obvious blockage at the immediate opening.
Using a spool of weed trimer string (those plastic string with some rigidity) I tried to probe from the overhead shower pipe opening. It went in pretty far (~2-3 feet) as I expect the string goes over the overhead shower arch and then descent toward the valve.
I can also extend the string from the bottom opening inside the valve body for about 10 inch.
In either case, since I don't know the exact routing, I could not navigate the string all the way to reach the other end.

What could be the blockage that prevent air from blowing from the overhead shower toward the valve?
How could that be resolved?
Obviously, I would like to avoid having to knock out the the shower enclosure to get access to the valve body behind the wall to replace the whole thing.

Updated to say that I have confirmed the valve body does NOT have the two screw shut off for hot/cold water. As mentioned earlier, I confirmed water could reach the cartridge because water poured out with the cartridge removed and water supply to the house turned on.
 
  #2  
Old 10-09-22, 10:26 PM
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I threaded a thin plastic tube (about 5/32 inch I.D.) from the shower arm pipe back down. It went in about 30 inches. I was able to suck out about 10-20 ml of water using a syringe connected to the tube. I then pushed in 20 ml of white vinegar and let it sit for 3 hours. During the wait, I occasionally use the syringe to suck/push the vinegar through the tube which I left in to agitate it and hoped it will help it to dissolve any mineral deposit that may have caused the block. The vinegar turned blue/green color probably from reacting with the copper pipe. Worrying that it may cause other unintended damage, I sucked out all the vinegar and pushed in clear water to rinse.

Still no water.

The only thing left is to buy/rent an air compressor to try blowing back from the shower arm pipe opening. Not holding my hope high, though.
 
  #3  
Old 10-10-22, 08:53 AM
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I've read this thread several times. Can't see why you can't get the water to flow.
Are you sure you're installing the cartridge properly? Any packaging or plugs that need to be removed from the cartridge? Just wild guess at this point.
 
  #4  
Old 10-10-22, 10:11 AM
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I would suspect a water shutoff valve that you forgot was turned off.
 
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Old 10-10-22, 10:54 AM
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But he was able to get water to flow without the cartridge installed. And he apparently is only using the main water shut-off.
 
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Old 10-10-22, 12:47 PM
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Didn't see that. Wrong cartridge maybe.
 
  #7  
Old 10-11-22, 11:09 AM
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My guess is that either the hot OR cold water has been shut off. Most valves are temperature balancing, so if the pressure drops on one side, it adjust the other side. So i'm wondering when you turn on the water without the cartridge in place, you see water, but only out of the hot or cold side.
 
  #8  
Old 10-12-22, 11:11 PM
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Double checked

It is the correct cartridge since it was provided by Moen as warranty replacement part. It looks identical to existing one pulled out.

there isnít any separate shut off valve

As mentioned earlier, I could clearly feel resistance when using hand pump to blow air back from the shower arm to the open valve body without cartridge installed. So it looks like the outlet from the valve body to the shower arm is somehow blocked.

Called Moen support line and went through the trouble shooting with them and they suggested to have the valve body replaced and they shipped a replacement valve body under warranty to me.
 
Norm201 voted this post useful.
  #9  
Old 10-20-22, 05:07 PM
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Plumber replaced the valve and everything is working now.

Unfortunately I could not identify the exact root cause.

Upon removal, the old valve indeed was confirmed to be blocked - water/blowing air doesn't travel between the bottom and top (where normally water should be re-directed from bottom tub pipe through the molded-in internal channel up to the shower pipe).

With just the old valve holding in my hand, it was much easier to probe with a weed trimer string.

The string can enter from the port located on either the tub side or the shower side and thread into the molded-in internal channel then stop. I suspect that's where it was blocked.

But after a few tries, it mystically went pass that spot and reached all the way to the opposite site. I didn't see any debris, rock or anything falling out though. So I am left without knowing exactly what blocked it in the first place.
 
 

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