My daughters recently began complaining that the shower in their bathroom wasn't getting as hot as it used to. It used to get hot enough to steam up the mirror but was now it was warm at best. Sometimes it seemed a little better and sometimes would barely get above cold.
It has been very cold here in the Atlanta burbs recently and the hot water in the rest of the house has been taking longer than usual to come up to temp so I decided to insulate the exposed hot water pipes - something I should have done long ago - and flush the hot water heater. Neither made any difference.
Googling around for hot water problems yielded some links for shower controls with set screws designed to keep the water from getting too hot in order to prevent scalding (and hence, lawsuits). So I took mine apart and voila!
Here is what I did to get more hot water and what I think happend to cause the problem in the first place. It took all of about 45 minutes and was super easy. The best part was the look on my daughters face when she came out of the bathroom after her first truly hot shower in quite a while.
The feature which limits how high you can turn up the hot water and how much hot water will mix with cold water is designed to prevent scalding. Performing the procedure in the this document may cause the water to get very hot and may scald.
The procedures in this document fixed a faucet which was broken and was providing little or no hot water at all. Think twice before adjusing the temperature safety control, especially if you have small children. Please always use prudence and common sense.
Pictured is a standard builder's grade single-knob Price Pfister water control and so the procedures here are specific to this model. Yours may be different and if it is, Google your model, ask the guy at Home Depot or Lowes or call a plumber.
You don't need to turn the water off to the whole house if you do only what is pictured here. If you take anthing more apart - like pulling out the cartridge - you will get wet and may potentially flood. Do only what is pictured here.
Tools and Supplies You Will Need
You will need a phillips head screwdriver. You may also want to have some waterproof caulk handy. Most bathrooms are equiped with a work surface similar to what is pictured below.
Step 1: With the facuet turned off, remove the decorative button and the thin metal temperature indicator ring behind the botton. Just pry it out with your fingernail or gently with the tip of a screwdriver and set it in a safe place.
Step 2: Use a phillips head screwdriver to remove the screw which holds the knob on. Pull the knob off and set both the knob and the screw in a safe place.
Step 3: Unscrew the chrome ring which holds the main cover on. Just grab it with your hands and turn counter-clockwise. You can cover the ring with a rag so as not to scratch it and use a large pair of pliers if it happens to be stubborn but it should turn freely. Just pull it off and set it in a safe place with the rest of the parts.
Step 4: Here is where the fun begins. The cartridge which controls hot and cold water is now exposed. On the front of the cartridge is the plastic temperature limiter which is keyed to prevent the faucet from being turned too far toward hot. The temperature limiter can simply be removed by pulling on it with your fingers as shown in the picture below.
The plastic temperature limiter looks like this...
And the front of the cartridge with the limiter removed looks like this...
Continued Next Post....