View Full Version : Scald Protector

08-26-2011, 11:04 AM
I live in a little apt complex, which consists of a row of 8 individual units, with a laundry room in the middle, containing a 70 gallon hot water tank.

Every time I take a shower, the cold water seems to fluctuate, causing the water to be scalding hot at times. I'm guessing this is because someone is flushing a toilet in a nearby apt. The showers are old style 3-handle Saycos.

What kind of scald-protector is needed here? Does each individual shower need one, or can you install something on the hot water tank itself?

Gary Swart
08-26-2011, 11:24 AM
Scald protection is provided at each shower. The ones I am familiar with are Delta. They come with directions on how to set the hot water limits. Hot water temperature can be adjusted at the water heater, but the output still would be too hot of safety. The Delta 1700 models not only adjust the hot water temperature, but control the volume of water.

08-26-2011, 11:42 AM
The best and safest thing would be to get your landlord to retrofit a modern shower valve in each of the showers. ANY brand sold today would reslove your problem, as all are supposed to address anti-scald problems. There are a couple of ways this can be done. Adding a pressure balance valve to your existing system would likely cost more than just replacing the entire valve with a new one that has it already built in. To make it easier, if there is no way to access the wall without tearing it up, most companies make a renovation/remodel plate that covers the larger hole required to tear out the existing valve and put in a new one. Most of these new valves are single handle versions. There are some that let you control both the volume and the temperature with separate handles and some of those are also thermostatically controlled. Cost-wise, simple pressure balanced, then the ones with volume controls, then thermostatically controlled get progressively more expensive.

From a liability viewpoint, you might be able to talk the landlord into it.

At one time, I did see an inline adapter designed to fit before the showerhead. It was supposed to shut the water off if it exceeded a certain temperature, but this is not ideal and it is responding after the fact rather than during the event. Don't know if they still make them, or how well they worked, but it would be better than nothing if you can't get the landlord to do something since it is easy to install and remove when you leave so no obvious change to the apartment.

08-26-2011, 02:58 PM
Or they could put in a tempering valve.

08-26-2011, 03:08 PM
Or they could put in a tempering valve.They being the landlord or the tenant? Where do you propose to locate it? It sounds like the HWT is shared across rental units. Tempering at the HWT can effect how well dishwashers clean.

Jim has the right idea... replace the shower valve.

08-26-2011, 04:15 PM
Safe shower temps often are around 105-degrees or so, some like it a little hotter, some cooler. But, generally, the supply needs to be closer to 120-degrees or more, so a tempering valve is not the correct answer - it might be part of the 'best practices' for overall operations, as it allows a smaller WH to act like a bigger one and precludes it growing anything nasty inside, but does not qualify, IMHO, as the right solution to this.