Adjusting water temp on a Moen shower

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Eeep, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. Eeep

    Eeep New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Our shower and sinks (all Moen, from 1991) are not getting as hot as we would like them to get. I am assuming that this is not a water heater issue as the water gets hot in the tub. I am guessing that there is something going on in the valve that makes my water not hot enough for my showers and shaving.

    Is there a way to adjust the temperature? I took the "knob" of the wall and took a picture of what is behind it. Please advice!!

    Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    As far as the sink, and also the shower valve pictured, neither of these has any limit on how hot the water can get. Some Moen showers have a gear-looking device working with the handle to limit travel towards hot. Your shower does not have this.

    If you are a long distance from the WH, the much lower flow in shower and sink can take a longer time for the water to get hot, compared to shower.

    Since it is quite easy and inexpensive, I would replace the cartridge in the sink and shower. There could be some blockage or other issues in the old cartridge which are causing problems.
  3. Eeep

    Eeep New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Hmm, so you are saying that if I turn the handle all the way to either side I should get only cold or only hot water? That is how it is supposed to work?

    Eeep
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    That is correct, and if it is not working that way, then some seals have failed inside the cartridge. As I mentioned, they are inexpensive and easy to replace.
  5. Eeep

    Eeep New Member

    Messages:
    10
    I always assumed us not getting enough hot water had to do with the faucets. Now, that you have explained how they are supposed to work I am starting to think that something else is wrong. After all we have 4 faucets that all would have to be broken.

    And I have noticed that some times we get really hot water everywhere. We seem to have hot water 20 - 30 minutes after we completely emptied the hot water tank and for some very strange reason after we have run the dishwasher(?!). My wife tells me the dishwasher heats its own water.

    It makes sense to me that we get hot water after we emptied the tank. Then the tank has to reheat water, and that freshly heated water is hot. I am now wondering if something is wrong the thermometer in the water heater that allows the water temperature to fall too low... Is it possible that this is the source to our problem?

    I would like to add that there is a little red dial on the water heater. It is turned all the way to max hot.





    Attached Files:

  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,023
    Location:
    New England
    I'm not a pro, but this may be the problem...there was a problem with some hot water heaters where the dip tub disintegrated. This forces the cold water to the bottom of the tank where the main heating element is. If the dip tube breaks up, then the incoming cold water mixes directly with the hot, diluting it so you don't get much hot water out of the tank. Normally, the cold water hits the bottom, causes the heater to turn on, and the hot at the top isn't diluted. It can be replaced, but if the heater is old, it may just be time to replace it altogether.
  7. Eeep

    Eeep New Member

    Messages:
    10
    The tank has a 9 year warranty and was bought in 98 so I guess we will be on the phone with the GE tomorrow.

    Thanks!



  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    1998 is slightly past the dip tube problem era, but anything is possible. Your symptoms are somewhat anecdotal, but could point to a dip tube. You can access the dip tube by removing the nipple from the cold inlet. The dip tube can be grabbed by inserting your finger into the outlet.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,651
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    moen

    Turn off the water supply to the water heater and then turn one of the valves to the full hot position and turn it on. If you still have water pressure you have a bad Moen stem, or maybe more than one, somewhere. When you find the bad one, do not repair it. Replace it with a new stem.
  10. Eeep

    Eeep New Member

    Messages:
    10

    I just tried this. I have no hot water preassure at any faucets when I turn off the cold water supply to the water heater.
  11. Eeep

    Eeep New Member

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    10
    Alright, so I finally got around to calling the water heater people. They told me to do the following. Shut off the cold water supply to the tank. Then empty 7 buckets of water and measure the temperature in each one. I did that and the temperature in each bucket was about 125F. They are sending me a new thermostat. I have to put it in myself of have someone to do it for me... Is it hard to do?

    Thanks!
  12. Eeep

    Eeep New Member

    Messages:
    10
    The saga goes on :(

    I got a new thermostat from GE. The warranty only covers parts. I called a plumber to come install it. He said that it could not be the thermostat that causes my water temperature to be low. He said it must be the dip tube, and recommended I just get a new water heater.

    Grrrr.

    Is there a way to figure out if I have a dip tube problem or not? Do all water heaters have dip tubes??

    To me it makes more sense that the thermostat is bad. But this plumber claimed, that either the thermostat is working ---> then you have hot water OR it is not working, in which case you have no hot water. True or false?

    Thanks!





  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,023
    Location:
    New England
    Basically, the dip tube directs the cold incoming water towards the bottom of the tank so that the hot water you draw off of the top has a chance to remain hot. If the dip tube is no longer intact, then cold water will mix with the hot at the top, where it is drawn off, and shortly dilute the hot so it is only warm. All hot water tanks basically work this way. The dip tube can be replace, but sometimes the act of unscrewing the lines can cause a leak on an old tank. Not always, but sometimes.
  14. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    I don't understand why the plumber didn't take the time to check the darned dip tube while he was there. It's not that big of a deal!!!
  15. Eeep

    Eeep New Member

    Messages:
    10
    I was just on the phone with him.
  16. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Nasty Bend in Gas Line

    That's a very nasty looking bend in the gas line in the picture in Post # 5.
  17. Eeep

    Eeep New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Bob, Nicely spotted. It is however an optical illusion. I actually had to go out there and look at it because it looks really bad in that picture. It is okay though. The hose is just doing a turn towards the camera and that is why it looks bad.
  18. Eeep

    Eeep New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Fixed!

    I just wanted to let you all know how this eventually worked out. The whole problem had a surprising end. It turns out that the red plastic wheel on the thermostat prevented the actual dial underneath to be turned up all the way. It just boggles my mind. I just took the red plastic wheel off and turned the dial underneath it all the way up and now we have HOT water!

    Seems like the wheel had sort of a "child" protection on it.

    Again, thank you all for helping out and offer advice. I hope this will help someone else.
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