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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    8

    Default Shower water temperature flucuates

    I live in an old house (1956), house has a gas hot water heater, (18yr old) only one bathroom so no one feeds off of my hot water heater except me. When I take a shower, the temp. of the water will fluctuate. The bathtub has a three handle water supply fixture and it is about 5 years old. Even when I draw the water to take a bath, the water temp. fluctuates, so that kind of rules out the mixing valve on the faucets. Does anyone have any suggestions on this problem?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Shower water temperature flucuates

    sounds like lack of a mixing valve to me. you said you have a 3 handle faucet, one for hot, one for cold and one to switch between shower and tub? if it's original to the house then there is no mixing valve and that's why the water temp fluctuates. you can update your current set up to a new one with a mixing valve which should solve your problems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: Shower water temperature flucuates

    Get a new water heater. At 18 years old, it's malfunctioning, has blockages, minerals, rust, corrosion, or has other internal issues. You got your money out of it, it's time to replace it.

    What kind of pipes do you have in your plumbing system?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Shower water temperature flucuates

    Old 1/2 inch galvanized.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    305

    Default Re: Shower water temperature flucuates

    Quote Originally Posted by pawpaw408 View Post
    Old 1/2 inch galvanized.

    Probably time to get new pipes, too.
    It's this old house, not this built after your dad was born house.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Shower water temperature flucuates

    Quote Originally Posted by MLB Construction View Post
    sounds like lack of a mixing valve to me. you said you have a 3 handle faucet, one for hot, one for cold and one to switch between shower and tub? if it's original to the house then there is no mixing valve and that's why the water temp fluctuates. you can update your current set up to a new one with a mixing valve which should solve your problems.
    Actually what I was calling a mixing valve is the handle that converts the water supply from the tub to the shower. I know that this only consist of a rubber washer on the end of a shank that diverts the water up to the shower head. I was trying to say that this couldn't possibly be the problem.
    I probably do need a new hot water heater, because it is old and our water down here is very high in limestone deposits and 18 years is a lot of build up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Shower water temperature flucuates

    Quote Originally Posted by function View Post
    Probably time to get new pipes, too.
    Thanks man, but I don't appreciate the sarcastic remark and for your information, when I was born, we were so poor, we didn't even have indoor plumbing and that's not being sarcastic, that's the truth, big man! 1942 as a matter of fact.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: Shower water temperature flucuates

    No, Function is correct. Galvanized pipes have a life expectancy of 30 years. You pipes are well past that point. Galvanized pipes deteriorate from the inside out, with the rust building like plaque in an artery.

    New pipes was my first thought as well as the hot water pipes are the first to clog / burst as the heat of the water accelerates the internal clogging.

    Plus- as the pipes deteriorate, rust flakes get loose, much like embolisms, and clog valves.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Shower water temperature flucuates

    Are you on a well? Well water pressure fluctuates and that fluctuation, combined with galvanized pipes will cause a variation in the flow rates between the hot and cold pipes as the pressure changes. New pipes will help, consider PEX as a replacement. A new water heater probably won't make a difference unless the supply pipe is either clogged up a little or it has broken off at the top.

    If you aren't on a well, then I'd strongly suspect that the supply tube in your water heater has broken off at the top so incoming cold water is swirling around near the outlet of the water heater. You might get by with just replacing the tube, but considering the age of the water heater, the best economical decision in the long run could be a new water heater.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Shower water temperature flucuates

    I agree with keith; before condemning any one component it's important to get a heating/plumbing contractor on site to determine exactly what component is at fault.

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