I want hot showers again.
November 30, 2008 7:05 AM   Subscribe

The water from my kitchen sink, bathroom sink and washer can get really hot. The water from the bathtub/shower is cold. How can I fix this?

We live in a 1930s apartment. The hot water everywhere else can get to nearly-boiling. The water in the shower isn't warm enough to take a comfortable shower or bath. I miss hot baths! What can we do short of calling a plumber?
posted by OLechat to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are they even coming from the same place? It sounds like they have two separate boilers, and one isn't functioning. It is extremely unlikely that there is something of sufficient ability to cool 'nearly boiling' water within the plumbing between the bath/shower and the rest of the flat.

I assume you have tried running the water for an extremely long time? And just the hot tap? Does it eventually go stone cold (yet the sink is still warm)?

If that is the case, it sounds like one of the boilers isn't working, although this is an odd system to have. Is flow good from the hot tap?
posted by Brockles at 7:34 AM on November 30, 2008

Your faucet may have a limit set, and it's too low. Here's a page about adjusting one kind. Click the last question on that page.
posted by daisyace at 7:44 AM on November 30, 2008

It's possible the valve that mixes the hot and cold is worn out, allowing cold water into the flow whether or not you have it turned on.

If you are handy, you might be able to fix it yourself. It may just involve a new part, some plumber's tape, and a wrench. But a plumber may be needed.

Do you rent this apartment? If so, the landlord would have to take care of it.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:44 AM on November 30, 2008

If you are renting an apartment why is this not an issue for the landlord to correct?
posted by COD at 7:45 AM on November 30, 2008

Try someone else's apartment shower (or ask a few of them if you're not that close) to determine whether it's your faucet or the building's boiler. Either way it sounds like a landlord issue, but at least then you know what you're asking for.
posted by rokusan at 12:32 PM on November 30, 2008

Nthin the landlord suggestion.

My hunch is that there is a bank of water heaters to serve your building, and a different one goes to your shower than your other sinks. The two water heaters are set to different temps.
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 1:47 PM on November 30, 2008

There may be an anti-scald valve behind the shower knob. It's probably set too low. Your landlord should be able to adjust it or if you're handy you can take off the valve cover and see for yourself.
posted by bondcliff at 3:49 PM on November 30, 2008

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