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Thread: Water Temperature?

  1. #1

    Default Water Temperature?

    I'm having the craziest problem with my shower and probably hot water. I usually start the shower and let it run for about 1-2 minutes by itself to heat up. Once I get there I hop in, but I find myself constantly having to increase the temperature using the knob since the water just gets colder and colder slowly over time. It does this some of the times, but not all of the time. Sometimes it's fine, but then there are other times (usually rare, it's only happened once or twice) where I go to get in and the water is already ICE cold. It seems to tend to happen more in the winter (even though it's only 50-55 up here in the Northeast). Even stranger, there are times when it'll get colder and colder so much that I'll have the knob all the way up where it can't go any farther to hot and the water will still be cold. Suddenly I start to feel the water warm up and within about 5 minutes, I'm back to perfectly warm running water (and I need to turn the knob back down to a normal position so I don't burn myself).

    I have no idea what is going on. It happens completely randomly. It pulled one of the stunts where it gets colder and colder with no hot water coming out at all tonight and I've just had it. I've also tried the water in other parts of the house when it was completely ICE before I even got in and they didn't have hot water either.

    Let me know what you think. Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    You have a pressure and or temperature balancing valve and the spool for pressure or the temp control is malfunctioning. Do you know the brand of valve you have? Can you post a pic of it if you don't know?

  3. #3
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    There is what is called a "dip tube" on the cold water inlet of your water heater. If it becomes split or if it breaks off, the hot water at the fixture will turn cool right soon after you start using the shower. Instead of taking cold water to the bottom of the tank, cold water soon finds its way across to the hot water outlet and your shower soon becomes tepid and then cold. The fix is to replace it. Plumbers have the dip tubes and so do the big box stores and hardware's.

  4. #4
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    I missed the part about the other parts of the house having the problem and plumber1 is probably right.

  5. #5

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    Hmmm... wonder if maybe the HW heater is plumbed backwards?

  6. #6

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    Did the problem just begin, or has it always been this way?

  7. #7

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    Well I don't really remember when it started. Lately it's been fine enough for me to take a shower without worrying since I can get out before it gets cold, but last night was when it got cold quick. It's been happening for a while now. I'm not technically inclined when it comes to plumbing though. Where would the dip tube be located? I could try to get a picture of it if possible.

  8. #8
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    The dip tube is inside the water heater. It would have to be replaced by a plumber or someone who is very mechanically inclined.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The dip tube is basically an extension of the incoming cold water pipe that feeds cold water to the bottom of the heater, rather than at the top (where you take off the hot water). It is usually made of plastic. They sometimes disintegrate - there was a raft of defective ones awhile ago. They usually last the life of the heater, though. This keeps the hot hotter, longer, and directs the water towards the heating element.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #10

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    This picture should help:
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