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Thread: HOW TO: Hotter Shower Water

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Acworth, GA
    Posts
    122

    Default HOW TO: Hotter Shower Water

    Hi everyone.

    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.


    Safety Warning

    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.


    General Information

    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.




    Procedure

    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....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Acworth, GA
    Posts
    122

    Default

    Step 5: As stated above, the keyway in the temperature limiter prevents the hot water from being turned up too high. In the case of this particular faucet, the piece had somehow rotated one or two notches clockwise and simply had to be rotated slightly counter-clockwise and put back in.

    Rotate the temperature limiter slightly counter-clockwise and push it back in. The keyway will now allow the faucet to be turned futher toward hot and allow more hot water to mix with the cold water, raising the temperature of the shower.

    A before and after picture showing the postion of the temperature limiter is shown below. The picture on the right shows the limiter set to allow more hot water.



    Another view is shown below.

    Before (colder)...



    After (hotter)...




    Step 6: While you have the cover off, clean up any mold or dirt which may have collected on the surface under the cover. The gastket on my cover had deteriorated after many years of use and had a bunch of gunk underneath it as well. Wash off the cover as needed and apply a bead of caulk on the cover as necessary.




    Step 7: Test before you put everything back together. Put the knob onto the shaft - you don't need to screw it in - and test to ensure that the water does get hotter and that you can turn the water off all the way. The knob should rotate freely.

    Ouch. HOT!




    Step 8: Put everything back together in reverse order of how you took it apart. First push on the temperature limiter. Then put the decorative main cover in place and screw on the chrom retaining ring until it is tight enough to hold the decorative cover against the shower wall. Then put the knob back on and secure it with the phillips head screw, making sure you don't overtighten it or you could strip the shaft underneath. Then put the temperature indicator ring and the decorative cap on. Wipe up any excess caulk which may have sqeezed out from the edge of the cover.

    Step 9: Enjoy your hot shower.




    -Tim-

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Vermillion, South Dakota
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    1,749

    Default

    wouldnt it be easier just to turn up the dial on your water heater?
    I strongly abide by the motto, "Safety third."

    I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Acworth, GA
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    122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FIND View Post
    wouldnt it be easier just to turn up the dial on your water heater?
    Easier? Yes. Effective? No.

    Turning up the temp at the tank will raise the temp of the water in the tank and in the pipes but the faucet will only allow a certain volume of hot water through the faucet based on the how agressive the adjustable temperature limter is set. It wasn't a case of the water being hot enough, just wasn't enough of it.

    After making the mod, I realized that there is no point in raising the temperature of the water if it can't get through the faucet in the first place. All that does is raise my gas bill.


    -Tim-

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Youngstown, OH
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    15,618

    Default

    the beauty of having no little ones in our house is having that ish cranked as high as it can go.
    I've twiddled with my fair share of those temp limiters.
    cool thread
    Kim
    2007 Mazdaspeed6 GT
    2001 Cougar C2
    2002 Honda Shadow Spirit 750
    former owner of 1995 Contour GL

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoneStock99 View Post
    It wasn't a case of the water being hot enough, just wasn't enough of it.
    Wouldn't it have been easier to just change out the shower head?
    2013 Dodge Dart 1.4T/6mt
    Viper powered project with father
    99SE traded in 04/13

  7. #7

    Default

    My water heater is cranked all the way down and it still has scalding hot water. It does help that my 50 gallon water heater has maybe a 10' run to the shower head The joys of a small house with a centrally located bathroom.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Yarrr I be sailin' the high seas off the coast of Massachusetts!!
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    1,930

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by steelblueSE View Post
    Wouldn't it have been easier to just change out the shower head?
    That wouldn't be free.
    Ten fathoms deep on the road to hell,
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    Prince Spaghettiville
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyTomFlint View Post
    That wouldn't be free.
    and it still wouldnt get him an increase in water temp after the valve.

    what he meant by not enough of the hot water was they valve wasnt allowing enough hot water through to increase the temp of the water exiting the shower head.
    1998 SVT Contour #2147 - SOLD!!!!!

    BUY MY STUFF!!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Elmhurst, IL
    Posts
    1,289

    Default

    Ahh the ASSE 1016 compliant preassure balanced mixing valve.

    Ask me how and why I know that crap!! and im not a plumber!

    Anyway...as mentioned those valves sense the difference in water pressure between the hot and cold supply lines to thereby limit the temp coming out of the shower head/ spigot. This preasure sensing feature is what will prevent scaliding when a toilet is flushed (and the cold side preassure drops) or something of that nature.

    Also, I don't think the gasket deteriorated. If that was the bottom portion of the cover shown in your picture, there should NOT be a water tight seal on the bottom. Reason is, if any water somehow gets behind that cover, it needs a way to escape. You would want to put a bead of silicone from 6:35, all the way around to 5:25. Leave that 10 min section open for drainage.
    -Adam-
    00 SF/MB CSVT #1464 - 2005 port-matched 3L - SOLD
    00 SF/MB CSVT #0939 - 2005 - GT3076R - 3.0T- SOLD
    Repairs / Installs? Yep, I do that.

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