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Old 12-11-2011, 08:46 PM   #1
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


I'm having a difficult time with my shower faucet...

I just moved into my new place and installed a new furnace and hot water heater but my shower seems to struggle with hot water. When I turn the shower on, I get hot hot water pretty much right away, but then it immediately tapers off. It's an old, clawfoot bathtub with a faucet that looks like this...

http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pro...0c7c5c_300.jpg

There is a small drip from faucet but I'm trying to figure out if the drip and the hot water problem are related. I can't imagine that a small drip is causing the temperature problem but I thought I'd ask. Should I replace the whole faucet? Just a part? Or is it something else?

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Old 12-11-2011, 11:25 PM   #2
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


Some faucets have a built in temperature regulator. But those are usually single handle and another for the temperature adjustment.

Then maybe a wrong size faucet washer was installed (too large), it heats up, expands, then cuts off the hot water? To test for that, turn on just the hot water. See if the hot water stops flowing entirely or pretty much.

If it has a cone shaped faucet washer, try a flat. Like these...

Cone shaped...



Flat...


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Old 12-11-2011, 11:36 PM   #3
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


I put my hand on the hot water pipe and it was hot for about 20 seconds and then dropped as the water temp coming out of the faucet dropped. Sounds like it's a problem unrelated to the tub but I'm only noticing it there because I never run the sinks for long periods of time. I turned the sink on for a few minutes and it did the same. It looks as if I'm only getting a limited amount of hot water supplied to the entire house.
I went down to the water heater and checked the hot water pipe coming out...feels pretty hot. Would there be a mixing valve in between the hot water tank and the faucets that could be causing problems? I can't imagine the tank has a problem producing hot water because it's 2 weeks old.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:37 PM   #4
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


On the note about the washer, the pressure doesn't change as the temp drops so I can't imagine that anything is impeding the flow.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:13 AM   #5
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


How far away is the hot water heater in feet that the pipes would run?

Is that the only hot water heater? (There is no instant hot water heater in the bathroom, under the sink?)

And in some homes where the hot water heater is far away, you need to run the water for awhile to get hot water - I'm sure you have done that elsewhere? Anyway try running it for awhile and see if it gets hot again???

Also there might be a "hot water circulation system" which would have an electric pump and a "check valve". If you have that, it could be malfunctioning.

Or there could be some sort of mixing valve. If you have access to the pipes in a basement and see a gizmo on the pipes, post a picture if you can.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:20 AM   #6
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


Plumbing gizmos can also be hidden behind access doors like this...



Mixing valve...

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:16 AM   #7
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


Double check your water heater, to make sure that you don't have the supply and hot reversed.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:12 PM   #8
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


This is strange! I've been poking around in the basement all night and have figured out the following...

There are three lines going into my bathroom....cold for the toilet, and then a cold and a hot going up below the sink. There isn't anything going up into the tub, so I'm assuming that the lines going to the sink branch off in the wall. Is there any place where the hot and the cold would mix in the wall? I tried shutting off the cold, then running the hot and then when I went back to the basement, the cold line felt hot to the touch. Does that make sense?
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:08 PM   #9
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


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Originally Posted by DexterII View Post
Double check your water heater, to make sure that you don't have the supply and hot reversed.
Did you do this?
Do you have a single handle faucet with a cartridge?
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:10 PM   #10
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


I've checked the heater and everything is fine with the hookups. I have a double-lever faucet.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:18 PM   #11
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


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I've checked the heater and everything is fine with the hookups. I have a double-lever faucet.
The reason I asked about the faucet is that sometimes a cartridge fails and will draw water across the valve even when it's off. Make sure you have good cartridges in all your faucets. Try turning off the angle stops under the sinks and then run the tub's HW
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:30 PM   #12
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


Tried this but the tub faucet does not have a cartridge. If you check out the picture of the tub faucet in my first post, you'll see that this type of faucet is just a double lever faucet.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:53 PM   #13
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


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Tried this but the tub faucet does not have a cartridge. If you check out the picture of the tub faucet in my first post, you'll see that this type of faucet is just a double lever faucet.
I wasn't talking about the tub faucet. Reread my post. Turn off all the supplies to the rest of your faucets, then run the tub.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:50 AM   #14
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


whats the temp on your water heater set at?
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:04 AM   #15
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Faucet gets really hot, but then cools down


Temp is set at almost the highest...that was the first thing I checked!
I have tried isolating the tub from other pipes but nothing. I don't have some exposed pipes in the basement, but they are on,y exposed indoors on the ceiling and that wouldnt explain the temp variation being so rapid so fast. If it turn the faucet off, then on again....the water is super hot for a split second.
Based on how the temp varies so quickly, the problem has to be isolated either in the bathroom wall or in tub faucet and it has to have something to do with the cold water supply somehow leaking in when the water is turned on. Only problem is that I can't seem to find any place where the hot and cold pipes actually meet! Would they meet in the wall where this is absolutely no access to adjust it?

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