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asrprof
Sink Hot and Cold Knobs Alternate Randomly
asrprof

I'm a landlord and my tenant emailed me that in her bathroom, each of the two sinks has the following problem: One time, the left knob is hot water and the right is cold. Later, the left knob is cold water and the right is hot. This problem has been going on for "a while now," and it has been increasing in frequency. And it is only happening in the two master bathroom sinks.

I've been unable to find any mention of this problem, let alone a solution, by Googling. Does anybody have an idea what's going on and how to fix it? I could just call a plumber, but I'd like to fix it myself if possible.

johnjh2o
Re: Sink Hot and Cold Knobs Alternate Randomly
johnjh2o

Sounds like you have a tempering valve on the hot water that has gone bad. If not then the is a cross connection between the hot and cold.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Sink Hot and Cold Knobs Alternate Randomly
Mastercarpentry

My reply is probably too late to help the OP but may be of use to someone else. Richard covered this in an ATOH episode where the exact same thing happened, and the answer was nowhere near the sink! What happened was that the single-handle shower valve went bad. Inside it was a floating piston used to balance the pressure between hot and cold when the shower was used and one side of it was leaking, which admitted hot water to the cold water piping when the cold valve on the sink was opened because then the cold pipe pressure dropped. That part was upstream of the valve for the shower, so it wouldn't necessarily affect the shower itself so you wouldn't think it was bad.

At first I thought he was crazy, but once he explained it, then it all made sense. Once he replaced the shower valve (I can't remember if that balancing piston was a separate part) the sink faucets worked correctly again. He also explained that the reason you didn't notice it at more distant faucets was that it wasn't a lot of hot entering the cold piping so it would cool by the time it reached farther points, but it was enough to be noticed at the nearby sink. Sometimes I think Richard is a wizard!

Phil

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