Fixing Shower Temperature Fluctuations
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Elsie in California on the line who’s dealing with a shower that goes from hot to cold and all over.
That doesn’t sound very pleasurable, Elsie. What’s going on?
ELSIE: Oh, it sure isn’t. It’s very shocking.
I live in a ranch-style house. The water heater is in the garage at one end of the house and the two bathrooms are at the other end of the house. And whenever someone flushes the toilet or turns on the tap or the sprinkling or drip system comes on, the water will go from hot to pure cold and I’ll have to readjust it.
TOM: And the reason that happens is because the water pressures are imbalanced. In other words, you adjust the temperature in your shower and that’s based on the pressure of water that’s coming from the hot and coming from the cold. And once that’s locked in, the temperature stays where you want it. But when someone down the line, say, spills off some of the cold water because now they’re flushing a toilet or washing their hands, then the – there is going to be less cold water going into that same mix, which means the water temperature is going to get higher or hotter.
And so, the solution is a new valve for the shower and it’s called a “pressure-balanced valve.” And what a pressure-balance valve does is it maintains the mix in spite of the pressure differential. So, what could happen in that scenario is if you adjusted it and then someone flushed the toilet, you may get less pressure overall. So the shower may be not quite as strong but the temperature won’t change, the mix won’t change. The mix is locked in; it’s set right there, regardless of how much pressure variation you have on the hot water and the cold water coming into it.
So, common problem, straightforward solution. It’s called a “pressure-balance valve.”
ELSIE: Okay. Well, thank you so much. I listen to your program every week. I have your book and I’ve learned so much from both of you.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.