Lukewarm "hot" water during bathroom addition.

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Piper308

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Hello, and thank you to all the replies in advance. First time posting, have a question about lukewarm water temps during a bathroom addition.

I have a 2.5 bath house, which I am having a basement full bathroom addition (toilet, shower, etc.) completed at this time. The contractor (professional), who is going through the permit process has done a wonderful job. This project was agreed by both parties that it was not a priority, therefore the final completion has been postponed several months. The current status is completed except for final fixtures (vanity, toilet, and shower controls) have not been installed. This addition required a grinder pump install, and plumbing connections to a pre-existing "rough in" from the original home builder.

A few months back, right around the time of the final basement bathroom plumbing was completed, I started to notice a loss of hot water within the house. Mainly the water points that seemed to be an issue were at mix valve water faucets. Such as the kitchen sink, and showers. (I did not consider the bathroom addition to be a factor at this point)

I started to trouble shoot this issue, replacing the dip tube on a 12 year old gas water heater which did not change the lukewarm water issue (tube was NOT broken). I eventually replaced the gas water heater with a Bradford White 50 gallon unit (40,000 BTU), and had an expansion tank installed since there was not one to begin with. The new water heater is hot at a single source sink faucet (separate hot and cold knobs), but still lukewarm at mixing valve faucets (kitchen, showers). The brand new water heater is set at temperature "C", which is the highest setting I have ever used on a gas heater, and is the second to highest setting on the unit. I still only have lukewarm showers.

I went another step further, and replaced the shower cartridge and mixing valve on my shower. I adjusted the temperature controls on the cartridge even putting the red scold prevention ring on the opposite side of the valve so it doesn't stop the full range of the shower valve. I still have lukewarm showers.

The shower water is mild to hot for a few mins, then goes lukewarm for the rest of the shower. Sometimes, if I have washed dishes or something causing the water heater to kick on, I can get slightly warmer showers, but nothing like before the bathroom addition.

With all this in mind, is it possible that the unfinished bathroom addition is causing some sort of cross mixing of hot/cold water since the final shower/sink controls have not been installed? Could it be that the original hot water heater might not have been the problem with lukewarm water? (I needed to replace a 12 year old unit anyway) Is it possible this issue will resolve once the fixtures are completed and working in the bathroom addition? Or am I just nuts.

I am also wondering if the issue is the expansion tank. Of course my lukewarm water issues pre-dates the expansion tank which is why I replaced the WH and added the expansion tank. So, I must deduct the lukewarm water issue is something unrelated to the WH and expansion tank.

Could a pressure drop of the hot side cause mixing valve faucets to not blend correctly? Where would this pressure loss come from? Expansion tank? New bathroom addition?

Any thoughts? Thank you again for any guidance you can provide.
 

Reach4

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With all this in mind, is it possible that the unfinished bathroom addition is causing some sort of cross mixing of hot/cold water since the final shower/sink controls have not been installed?
Yes. Measure the temperature of the "cold pipe" and see if it runs warm while using hot water at one of the problem places.

You can use an IR thermometer, or gauge by hand.
 

LLigetfa

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With all this in mind, is it possible that the unfinished bathroom addition is causing some sort of cross mixing of hot/cold water since the final shower/sink controls have not been installed?
Yes. The cartridge or a dummy plug may need to be inserted to prevent crossover. If the rough-in valve body has integral shut-offs, then closing those should fix it.
 

Piper308

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Additional Clarification...
The single source faucets (separate hot and cold valves), start very hot 150F but falls off within a few mins to around 120F.

I just verified that the new addition shower is plumed, and live going into the shower valve housing. There is no shower valve installed, therefore this is where I believe some hot/cold water mixing might happen.

Thanks Again.
 

John Gayewski

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Yes as stated above. The shower valve needs the cartridge to keep the hot and cold separate. Some of them come with a little plug to keep them separate prior to the cartridge install.
 

Piper308

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Yes. Measure the temperature of the "cold pipe" and see if it runs warm while using hot water at one of the problem places.

You can use an IR thermometer, or gauge by hand.
Thanks, the cold supply on a separate valve sink did run warm for a min or so when hot water was used in the kitchen sink that has a mixing valve.

I guess this proves that some mixing is happening in the bathroom addition?
 

Piper308

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Yes. The cartridge or a dummy plug may need to be inserted to prevent crossover. If the rough-in valve body has integral shut-offs, then closing those should fix it.
Thanks, I know the contractor did put additional shut offs in the addition. I can't wait to shut them down and see if my shower is back to normal.
 

LLigetfa

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There is no shower valve installed, therefore this is where I believe some hot/cold water mixing might happen.
Again, it depends on what brand rough-in , whether it it has integral shut-offs, and whether a test cap or test plug is inserted. The Delta R10000 for example ships only with a test cap which can create a cross-over. Integral stops or a test plug fixes that.

23-12-36-38 (Phone).png
 

Bannerman

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Additional considerations:

Is a hot water recirculation loop installed in your home? You didn't mention one but a loop will allow a pump to circulate water from the WH through the home so as to reduce the time and wasted water waiting for hot water to arrive at distant fixtures. A loop will utilize a check valve(s) to ensure water will flow in the correct direction even while the pump is not operating. A check valve that is stuck open may allow cooler water in the return line to flow backwards to faucets.

Is there a mixing valve installed after the water heater? Again, you didn't mention one but mixing valve will limit the temperature to downstream faucets even as the WH temperature setting maybe much higher. A defective mixing valve can allow cold water to continue to mix with hot even as the downstream temperature is cooler than the adjustment setting.
 

Piper308

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Wow, you guys are amazing!!!!

I looked at the shower install valve body, it just has a Delta dummy plug. Can't tell if it shuts off supply lines or is allowing them to mix.

I can tell you, that I shut down the water to the bathroom addition at the new what cut offs for the addition, and my regular shower water is HOT again.

So, I will leave the water supply off until the final valve is installed..

Thank you all again! My wife will stop yelling at me finally!!
 

Piper308

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Additional considerations:

Is a hot water recirculation loop installed in your home? You didn't mention one but a loop will allow a pump to circulate water from the WH through the home so as to reduce the time and wasted water waiting for hot water to arrive at distant fixtures. A loop will utilize a check valve(s) to ensure water will flow in the correct direction even while the pump is not operating. A check valve that is stuck open may allow cooler water in the return line to flow backwards to faucets.

Is there a mixing valve installed after the water heater? Again, you didn't mention one but mixing valve will limit the temperature to downstream faucets even as the WH temperature setting maybe much higher. A defective mixing valve can allow cold water to continue to mix with hot even as the downstream temperature is cooler than the adjustment setting.
No recirculation loop or mixing valve post WH. I was checking for this as well, cause I had seen another post about stuck check valves.
 

Reach4

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So, I will leave the water supply off until the final valve is installed..

Thank you all again! My wife will stop yelling at me finally!!
Good. Don't forget to turn down the WH. We don't want that delivering 150F water.
 

LLigetfa

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I looked at the shower install valve body, it just has a Delta dummy plug. Can't tell if it shuts off supply lines or is allowing them to mix.
Did you look at the picture I attached? The cap does not prevent cross-over while the plug does.
 

savtakzop

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When this water flows into your water heater tank, the minerals tend to build up at the bottom of the tank. The resulting sediment can reduce the lower heating element's effectiveness, causing only lukewarm to flow from your hot water tap techzpod mobdro download
 
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