Steamed Up in Smyrna

Did you know that your plumbing is protecting you?  If you’re getting steamed up because you can’t get your bath water hot enough, it may be that the regulator is set to restrict scalding water from coming in.  Join the discussion with Ken, Jared and In the House show listener, Pat from New Smyrna, FL.

Jared: Let's talk to Pat in New Smyrna. Pat, how can we help you today?
Pat: Hi. I just had a second floor with a new bathroom added onto my house. There are all new bathroom fixtures, and I have a new gas water heater, but the showers won't get hot enough. The plumber says it's the shower regulator where you turn the water on because the water in the sink is hot enough; he said the government regulations won't allow a shower to get a certain temperature. What can I do about that?
Jared: There are two things, primarily, that would cause water to not be hot at your sink or shower level. One is the water heater, so you would need to make sure that you're getting hot water in other locations. We know in your situation you are, so this is not the case. The second thing, like your plumber suggested, is that many of the new plumbing fixtures do have anti-scalding regulators.The principle is that we don't want people to get scalded, especially small children. The valve itself will have a regulator in it to restrict hot water from coming through.
I am unable to tell you how to get around that for legal reasons; but there are entire sections on some plumbing websites on how to remove those regulators. Some of the regulators, though, over time, can be defective. We have seen where it will not allow any hot water at all to go through. If you are finding that the water is not hot enough for a normal person to bathe, then it could be that that actual regulator is defective. In that case, I would take it back to the store and get a new one.
Ken: What kind of temperature do you have coming out of the shower faucet when you turn it on?
Pat: Luke warm.
Ken: Oh, wow. That is a problem. Have you tried switching them out, or is it your whole house that's doing this?
Pat: No. It's just all the new ones.  When I installed the old ones couple of years ago, you could just take the shower head off the handle, and you can change that little regulator to where you want to it stop at, where you want the hot water valve to stop. But the plumber said, "No, you can't do that with the new ones. They're set to be what they are," and that's as hot as I'll ever get.
Jared: There is a way to do it, but you'll have to research it on your own, or ask your plumber to do it. A lot of times they will; those are often soldered in place, but it can be done. Just use caution and be very careful if you make any regulator adjustments.  Thank you for the question, we appreciate your listening to the show.

Pat: I enjoy listening to it. Okay, thanks.
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