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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5

    Question Shower Water Temp Problem - Fluctuating Temps

    Updated 11/20/07

    Hey Guys Thank for the replies.

    I will clarify my issue. The shower sometimes produces good hot water other times not at all just luke warm at best.

    Update: What I have done on my end. I had a 2nd boiler guy come in to inspect the boiler and good news he found out the boiler mixing valve was bad. He replaced the internals. The mixing valve internals were corroded. Now, the water temps in the sink are 130F (down from 160F). The problem now is the shower really doesn't get hot only lukewarm.

    I have 2 ideas on how to fix the problem. Let me know what you think I should try first.

    1. Replace the spindle assembly (TA-10) in the Symmons Temptrol.

    2. Acid Bath? I heard that this might fix the problem.

    I actually tried to replace the temptrol spindle assembly but had to stop because I couldn't figure out how to remove the cap assembly that goes over the oring (T-11). Here is the link to the Symmons diagram: http://www.symmons.com/ins/temptrol_ins.pdf

    As for getting a larger tank. I know it makes sense to investigate one. But it doesn't seem right that we would need one. It's only 2 people showering in the morning. I feel like the system should produce enough hot water for that.

    I will toss in one other note I have a well system. Which I found out could cause the mixing valve to be confused cause of fluctuations in pressure.


    In summary, I still need a hot shower consistently.

    Thanks in advance.
    camp1437





    Hello Everyone

    I am new to this forum and also a new homeowner. I saw a promo from PBS for TOH ******. I know there are a lot of experts out there and I would appreciate any help. I don't mind hiring a professional to come out to correct the issue but I want to understand it first. Here is the issue:

    The shower water temperature fluctuates while taking a shower. You literally have to adjust the temperature dial ~5 to 10 times during a shower. There are some days where only a little hot water comes out. No one else is running any water and it randomly goes from warm to cold. Here are the facts I can tell you.

    I have thermo dynamic boiler S-seires (http://www.thermodynamicsboiler.com/manuals/S.pdf)

    When you flush the toilet or run the bathroom sink the shower water gets very cold.

    The max water temps throughout the house vary. The kitchen sink gets up to 158F, bathroom sink 152F and the shower 110F.

    I thought an antiscald device might be installed that would limit the hot water to the shower. However, wouldn’t the shower not turn cold when you flush the toilet?


    Does anyone have any suggestions one what the problem is?

    In need of a hot continues shower.
    Thanks
    camp1437
    Last edited by camp1437; 11-20-2007 at 07:21 AM. Reason: Updated 11/20/07

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Shower Water Temp Problem - Fluctuating Temps

    Hi DwarfWytch

    Thank you very much for your input. We recently purchase the house and haven't touched any settings on the boiler. I will adjust the temprature setting and keep you guys posted. I couldn't comprehend how or why the previous owners would have the temp set that high. It is really dangerous to wash dishes with 150F water.

    Thanks again
    camp1437

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Shower Water Temp Problem - Fluctuating Temps

    Hi DwarfWytch

    We had an home inpsection done and the inspector subcontracted the boiler portion to a oil/boiler spe******t. He verified the boil was working properly. At that time the spe******t showed me which valve adjusted the temperature. But we haven't touched anything yet. We do have a dishwasher and I agree I think that could be one reason why the water temp might be up so high. But overall, something definately seems wrong. I will adjust down the valve and remeasure the water outputs in the kitchen and bathroom. I will contact a boiler spe******t to see what they think.
    Thanks again
    camp1437

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Shower Water Temp Problem - Fluctuating Temps

    FYI on a few points:

    1. Tempering valves are installed in a hotwater line to a shower to prevent accidental scalding, particularly when children or the elderly might use it. I have a hunch your DHW temp was actually set much higher, and the tempered shower hotwater blend may have worked just fine; but since then, someone turned the thermostat down to a 'safer' 160 degrees or so. That's just a guess, of course.

    2. Hot water must be HOT in order to completely dissolve powdered laundry and/or dishwasher detergents. 160 would be enough for that.

    3. However, if someone liked to take long hot showers, or especially if more than one did, and/or lots of laundry done, etc., i.e. a LOT of hotwater usage, setting the temp up to or near maximum would extend the time before the tank emptied, even allow fresh cold intake to heat while blending in the DHW tank because the draw would be slower. Everyone would advise against doing this because of the danger of scalding, but a tempering valve would be a VERY WISE idea if someone insisted on a very high DHW setting for the reasons given.

    4. Reducing the temp setting without adjusting or even removing the tempering valve would, of course, wreak havoc with the precarious balance of #3.

    5. The fluctuations sound as if you have well water, which is often colder than 'city water' -- when the well pump kicks in both the pressure varies and a sudden surge of colder water is injected into the system; in between, the pressure tank 'stores' a small reserve that can warm slightly from the warm house air. With the tempering valve set low from being adjusted for a very high DHW setting, and then the DHW reset lower; instead of varying degrees of warm it now varies from tepid to cold each time the pump cycles. Again it's just a guess about the well & pump being part of the overall picture but it would add to the whole magillah and seems to make sense from your description.

    6. Since you're new to this forum, take note that DwarfWytch is well known here for bizarre responses, but this time she is right on the money: Get a plumber on the job to get this sorted out, since ultimately useless albeit well-meaning speculation by us fellow bloggers cannot be nearly as authoritative. In your apparently complicated dysfunctioning system, we become much like doctors attempting to diagnose illness over the phone.

    Well water or not, I'm pretty sure the DHW temp setting was higher and the tempering valve adjusted accordingly, then the DHW setting was reduced but the tempering valve not readjusted accordingly. Let's see if the plumber agrees. Or there could be some other, really odd situation no one here could even guess at -- another reason to call in a plumber!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Shower Water Temp Problem - Fluctuating Temps

    Did you prefer "unregistered"? Just got around to it after a couple days. No new identity, and no shame in saying it like it is: You gave a piece of good advice, for once.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Shower Water Temp Problem - Fluctuating Temps

    The Thermodynamics S series, like many other boilers uses what's known as a domestic coil to heat up approx. 1 gallon of hot water at a time for all hot tap water uses.

    This is obviously an inadequate amount of hot water for most households of more than one person.

    After the one gallon of hot is gone, you get a little lukewarm and then COLD water until the coil can recover its one gallon capacity.

    Though I'm not ruling out a misadjustment or problem with a tempering control in the current system,
    the one gallon domestic coil is not considered an adequate way of supplying the hot domestic.

    A very widely done, and more sensible way, is to install a 40 gal indirect HW heater that is zoned to the boiler & thus doesn't burn any fuel on its own.

    Though they cost ~$700 they are very efficient and IMHO well worth it.
    Last edited by JacktheShack; 11-08-2007 at 01:33 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Shower Water Temp Problem - Fluctuating Temps

    Hi Guys

    Thanks for the input. Here is the latest update. I had a maintenance guy who works on boilers check it out. He explained how the system worked and said there was only one hot water feed to the kitchen and bathroom. He adjusted down the temp on the cool water mixing value on the boiler. The other tempering controls were set to 160F and 180F and he said that they were fine. He claimed the issue must be the shower mixing valve (siemens).

    Anyone know if this makes sense? I am tempted pull the 2 screws on the frontplate and see if the shower mixing valve is easy to adjust.

    JacktheShack do you know if the 40 gallon tank is required to be in the area? The boiler is in a finished basement and I don’t see how we would have the room. Any other options?

    I had a good shower one day this past week. Does it make sense that if the boiler is already running that it will burn more oil and provide more hot water?

    Thanks for your help
    Camp1437

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Shower Water Temp Problem - Fluctuating Temps

    Camp 1437:

    Indirect hot water heaters come in sizes ranging from 28 gallons to 50 gallons; most people select the 40 gallon size to have enough hot water to supply a normal household's needs.

    If the basement is finished, a 3' X 3' section near the boiler can be framed and sheetrocked off.

    If this is not feasable, the HWH can be installed in a similarly small space on the 1st floor.

    Since the HWH has no flame, or exhaust flue it is safe and silent.

    It's desireable to place the HWH as close as possible to the bath, kitchen and clothes washer piping and fixtures so the heat loss thru the pipe lengths is minimized.

    Recommended IHWH's would be Triangle Tube Phase 3, Crown Megastor, Buderus, Burnham, Weil-Mclain.
    Last edited by JacktheShack; 11-17-2007 at 08:27 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Shower Water Temp Problem - Fluctuating Temps

    Hey Guys Thank for the replies.

    I will clarify my issue. The shower sometimes produces good hot water other times not at all just luke warm at best.

    Update: What I have done on my end. I had a 2nd boiler guy come in to inspect the boiler and good news he found out the boiler mixing valve was bad. He replaced the internals. The mixing valve internals were corroded. Now, the water temps in the sink are 130F (down from 160F). The problem now is the shower really doesn't get hot only lukewarm.

    I have 2 ideas on how to fix the problem. Let me know what you think I should try first.

    1. Replace the spindle assembly (TA-10) in the Symmons Temptrol.

    2. Acid Bath? I heard that this might fix the problem.

    I actually tried to replace the temptrol spindle assembly but had to stop because I couldn't figure out how to remove the cap assembly that goes over the oring (T-11). Here is the link to the Symmons diagram: http://www.symmons.com/ins/temptrol_ins.pdf

    As for getting a larger tank. I know it makes sense to investigate one. But it doesn't seem right that we would need one. It's only 2 people showering in the morning. I feel like the system should produce enough hot water for that.

    I will toss in one other note I have a well system. Which I found out could cause the mixing valve to be confused cause of fluctuations in pressure.


    In summary, I still need a hot shower consistently.

    Thanks in advance.
    camp1437
    Last edited by camp1437; 11-19-2007 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Added a Link

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