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Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 21511
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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I have a problem. There is no hot water coming out of the

Customer Question

I have a problem. There is no hot water coming out of the two showers in the townhouse. It only comes out lukewarm or cold, however the rest of the faucets throughout give both hot and cold. What could be the problem?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. If my initial response doesn’t answer your question then let me know and we can continue our conversation.
Do your shower valves/faucets have 1 handle or more than 1?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One handle
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

Ok, it's possible that the temperature limit stop is set too low. This simple device stops the handle from traveling too far in the hot direction to reduce or eliminate the chances of scalding. If it's set too low then the handle never moves far enough for the water to get hot enough. The other possibility is that the cartridge in the valve (you probably call it a faucet, we call it a valve) is failing and needs to be replaced.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It might help if I give a little background information. Last winter, I had taken a couple showers, when I noticed that the water in one shower would not get warm, so I went to the other shower that was somewhat warmer. Gradually within a week or so, the water would sometimes come out lukewarm, cold, and sometimes just hot. The pipes outside the townhouse froze from weather. I shut off the main water to the townhouse and called the water company. A plumber came out and had to do something to the pipes that were outside the house in the ground leading to the townhouse. He told me to let him know when the water started coming out, leave a faucet running slowly to prevent the pipes from freezing again, and left. When flushing the toilet, using the faucet, or showering, I would hear a loud bang that would happen when water was turned off. That problem does not happen anymore. I was told that it was trapped air in the pipes and to bleed them out.I read online on other sites that the problem could have been that, but when I took off the handle, the limiter was set to where it would be hot. The only way that water would come out somewhat warm is if I turned the temperature dial to the water heater to Max. Do you think the cartridges in both showers went bad at the same time? I bought a kohler valve repair kit and cap assembly kit, but have not opened it yet. I can replace the cartridge, but dont think that doing that will solve the problem.
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

If the limiter is not the issue then the only other possibility is the cartridge assuming you have no hot water problems anywhere else in the house. It's possible when the work was done sediment could have fouled the cartridges. When the water is shut off then turned back on again after a repair it stirs up the sediment that clings to the inside of the pipes. So flushing out the lines would be a good idea when you have the valve apart.
Actually there is one other possibility but it's so remote I didn't mention it. That would be something restricting the hot water flow to these 2 showers. That is only even possible if they are both fed by the same branch line

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How would I find out if the pipes to the showers are being fed from the same branch? In the master bathroom, there is a standing shower and a big tub. Hot water comes out of the faucet from the tub. Just to make sure I am doing things correctly I can try flushing the other shower, to see if that helps. What is the correct way of doing that?
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

There's no way to know for sure unless the pipes are exposed (like in a basement). Unless the showers are back to back there's virtually no chance they're fed off the end of the same branch. To flush the valve you turn the water off, pull the guts out then turn the water back on. This is a lot easier if there are screwdriver stops at the valve but in most cases there aren't then this is best done with 2 people. One to turn the water on and off, the other to be sure the water stays in the shower.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The showers are not back to back, but they are on the same floor (top). I will try flushing the other shower, but dont think it will make a difference. When the pipes outside the townhouse froze, could that have caused the valves in the shower to stop working correctly or is this a regular thing to happen? The townhouse was built in 2003. One thing I noticed from the showers when I first moved in...the shower pressure was not very strong at all.
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

Like I said before shutting off the water stirs up the sediment in the pipes which can foul the cartridges. Since you're not on a slab the piping restriction is even more remote. The shower pressure issue could be due to clogged or not very good shower heads.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I misread what you said, so I should just replace the valve cartridge to see if that solves the problem?
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

I'd try flushing one of the valves and change that cartridge. If that doesn't solve the problem then you have supply piping issues which is not an easy fix on a second floor bath.