Scalding Hot Water Blasts in the Bathroom and Kitchen: How Can I Stop It?
LESLIE: Jacob in Kentucky is on the line with a water-heating question. What can we do for you?
JACOB: Hi. Basically, the problem that I’m having is when I’m taking a shower and when I turn on the hot water in the kitchen, you can – I mean you could cook macaroni in the hot water. It’s really hot.
You’ve got to kind of fidget with it if you wash your hands too long or something. And in the shower, kind of the same thing. I won’t turn it on full blast on hot but just about normal and it’ll cool off after just a couple of minutes. It’ll just almost go cold and then just, as you’re taking a shower, in the duration of 5 or 10 minutes, I end up going all the way over with the hot water. Just the one knob. And I have to turn it on, I guess, full-blast hot.
TOM: So let’s see what’s going on here. How old is your water heater?
JACOB: It’s fairly new. I think it’s just a few years old, maybe three years old.
TOM: So, electric or gas?
JACOB: It’s gas.
TOM: So, first of all, let’s check the temperature of the water heater. It needs to be at about 110 degrees. And see if – there may be a temperature indicator on the valve that you can line up or you could simply measure it with a thermometer.
Secondly, in terms of the shower, what I would recommend is that you install what’s called a “pressure-balanced valve.” So what a pressure-balanced valve does is that once you have set the temperature, it maintains the mix between hot and cold so that you deliver that same temperature, regardless of what happens to the pressure on one side or the other. So if somebody flushes a toilet or runs the dishwasher and all of a sudden, you’ve got less cold water or less hot water, it’s going to adjust. So the flow may be greater or less but the temperature will never change. And that makes the shower situation pretty much go away.
JACOB: OK. Awesome. What was it called again, the valve?
TOM: A pressure-balanced valve. It’s a type of shower valve.
JACOB: Oh, OK. Awesome. I appreciate it.
TOM: Hey, ask your plumber for it. They’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.
JACOB: Alright. Well, I definitely appreciate your call.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.