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Chris Maresco
Regulating Hot and Cold on Tub Faucet

Our main bathroom tub/shower has the original Price-Pfister fixture from when the house was bult in 1965. The unit has the seperate hot and cold valves and a tub/shower diverter. We are having difficulty being able to balance the hot and cold water to a comfortable temperature. It dosen't matter if you turn on the hot water first or the cold water first, it will take several attempts and wasted water to get the water just right. I have replaced all 3 valves with new ones that I purchased directly from Price-Pfister. That didn't help. We recently purchased a single handle Delta unit from Lowe's hoping we could upgrade to a newer unit, but the original unit is nestled in between the studs and putting in the new one would require cutting studs with out damaging the tile wall. At this point we are prepared to hire a plumber and go ahead and install a new unit, but I thought I would see if someone might know what the problem is so we can keep the original unit and avoid a costly upgrade.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

Chris Maresco
Warren, Mi.

Re: Regulating Hot and Cold on Tub Faucet

I think your problem lies with your water heater. Since you've replaced three valves it is unlikely that is the problem. Try turning up your water heater just a little bit. I've seen this before a few times. Alot of people are turning their water heaters down to save money. What happens is that there isn't enough hot water unless you turn the cold almost completely off. But, then since you have the hot tap opened fully you use up the hot water in the tank then you are adjusting again. Turn it up just a little bit and see if it works.

Re: Regulating Hot and Cold on Tub Faucet

I'm thinking that TBG may be on the right trail. Electric tank-type water-heater? If so, perhaps one of the two heating elements is burned out....likely, but not necessarily the bottom element.

If an element is burned out, you'd have some decently hot water for a few minutes and then you'd have much cooler water coming down the line.

Same deal if one of the two electric water-heater thermostats is on the fritz.

If a gas water-heater, the thermostat (aquastat) may be malfunctioning and not as responsive as normal. Try turning it up just a bit and see if that helps.

Or........if this is an older water-heater....you may have a failed/broken dip-tube. That will also cause erratic temperature fluctuations.

Do you notice any of the described behavior at any other fixtures in the house or only at the shower?

Re: Regulating Hot and Cold on Tub Faucet

I'm not sure what the original person means when they can't balance the temperature. If the problem is with the hot water not lasting very long then I have to agree with the previous mention of the hot water tank being an issue. I found this to be the problem with our electric hotwater heater and the inlaws gas hot water tank.
What I found with our electric one was the bottom heating element was gone so only the top element was trying to heat all the water. This gave hot water for a short period then supplied only warm water for a while then turning colder.
The inlaws gas hot water tank ended up being the dip tube giving similar results.

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