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Thread: Are all shower faucets heat regulated?

  1. #1

    Default Are all shower faucets heat regulated?

    In the winter the shower water gets cold after a shower or two. While I was away on a trip, my spouse had the water heater replaced but it had no effect on shower water temps. We have very mild water and don't get a lot of mineral build-up in the pipes or water heater.

    The clown that replaced the water heater now wants to rip open the shower wall to replace the "heat regulator" but this is just a basic 15-year old Moen shower faucet, the kind that building contractors often installed inexpensively i moderately priced track homes 15 years ago. It's not one of the fancier thermostatic models.

    What are the odss that there is some kind of water temperature heat regulating device in the shower faucet wall?

    Anybody?

    tia,
    sheb
    Last edited by sheb; 02-15-2005 at 05:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default

    If it's a Moen valve, replacement would be easy, just pull the knob and cover plate and you would have access to the cartridge.

    If you have the old style without the temperature or pressure balance, there is nothing to replace execept the the mixing cartridge.

    I could see removing some wall perhaps if he was removing and replacing the entire valve with a new one, but is that what you want?

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    Well, everyone's shower is a little different - teenagers can last 1/2 hour or more - that's 75 gallons or so. All new showerheads use about 2.5 gallons/minute or less. How big is your hot water heater, and what temperature do you have it set at? Note, while the heater is warming the incoming water, it is also diluting the hot water that is there already in the tank, so you can't get the full amount hot, even if you started with that amount. Course, you rarely use the hot undiluted with at least some cold. Many of the heaters specs list a first hour volume. Check yours.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
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    Default Uninsulated Pipes

    If it is only happening in the winter, you might have uninsulated hot water pipes (ie hot water pipes running through the attic or crawl space exposed). From what I understand you can lose over a degree per foot. So at 30 feet you are looking at a 30 degree drop. That can make you turn the shower hotter, using more hot water and making it seem you are running out of hot water faster. I know from experience that even here in SoCal when my exposed pipes where running through a 55 degree attic my shower would run out of hot water in about 15mins, after I insulated them (Pipe insulation for $0.97 for 6 feet) the shower was hot faster and and stayed hotter longer. I bet you my heating bill is going to drop too!

    But then again, it could be something totally different

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry
    If it's a Moen valve, replacement would be easy, just pull the knob and cover plate and you would have access to the cartridge.

    If you have the old style without the temperature or pressure balance, there is nothing to replace execept the the mixing cartridge.

    I could see removing some wall perhaps if he was removing and replacing the entire valve with a new one, but is that what you want?
    I don't think there's anything wrong with the valve. I think it is not a pressure balanced valve so I don't think the presure balancing diaphragm or piston is misperfriming. I think the high flow showerheads are jsut outrunning the 50 gal heater during the winter.

    sheb

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default moen

    There is no "heat regulator" in the wall, so you have to question why he told you that. The majority of shower valves are pressure regulated, not temperature regulated, so replacing it would not affect the need to adjust the valve as the hot water began to run out and cool down.

  7. #7

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    Yes. that's what I thought. This valve is old enough that I don't think it's pressure balanced even. If somone flushes a toilet, the person in the shower knows it, which shouldn't happen if the valve is one of the pressure balanced types. I don't think they came into widespread use unitl about 10 years ago.

    thanks,
    sheb

    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    There is no "heat regulator" in the wall, so you have to question why he told you that. The majority of shower valves are pressure regulated, not temperature regulated, so replacing it would not affect the need to adjust the valve as the hot water began to run out and cool down.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default regulator

    There were a few, but by now, unless they have been serviced, the balancing spool is probably frozen in position and needs to be changed.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't know how long it will last (hope a very long time!), but I really like the performance of the temperature controlled valve I put in during my bathroom remodel. First was exposed to them in a hotel in London - worked great.

    Depending on where you live, the incoming water temperature can be significantly lower in the winter. Where I live, in the summer, the incoming water is about 50-60 degrees. In January/February, it is about 35 degrees. That really cools off the hot water tank much quicker in the winter. I've been tempted to put in a storage tank inside (where it stays about 65 degrees), so the water going into the hot water tank didn't have such a big difference until you've drained most of both of them. Any thoughts about the utility of that?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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