Shower head messing with temp control

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Smales

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Sometimes the shower works fine, and temperature control for the water is perfect. Other times, there IS no temperature control. The water comes out either all hot - or close enough that it doesn't make any difference - or super cold, and twisting the temperature control dial has no effect. Over the years, I've replaced the temperature control cartridge (Moen 1222) several times, but it always seems to go bad. Recently, I discovered that simply taking the shower head off allows perfect temperature control, even if I simply remove the head while the temperature is out of control. I assumed the shower head was clogged or filled with limescale, so was creating back pressure that affected the temperature control cartridge. I cleaned it with white vinegar. This apparently returned temperature control, but only temporarily. Eventually, we're either burning or freezing again.

Assuming the shower head itself was simply worn out or of poor design, I replaced it for another last week. Tonight when I got home from work, there was nothing but scalding hot water coming out of the shower head. I removed the head and had total control of the temperature of the water coming out of the pipe. I put the shower head back on, and had nothing but cold.

There were no flushed or flushing toilets, no other water in the house was running, and no one had taken a shower or done anything with water in the house for at least an hour before I tried to take a shower.

Does anyone have any idea what the hell is going on? Why does the shower head - no matter which one - affect the water temperature like this? And is there anything I can do about it?
 

WorthFlorida

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Is this a tub/shower or just shower? How long has this been happening? Are there shut off valves? Some valve bodies will have build in shutoffs, others a 1/2 valve from the pipes. If you have valves as shut offs, possible the seat washers (if full turn valves) may be loose and they're moving around blocking off water flow? When the all cold or hot water is running, does it every change by itself? OR do you turn the shower off and on? Have you tried tapping the handle/cartridge during the problem? When you get all hot, flush the toilet to see if the water temp changes. Just trying to help if it is the cartridge, stop valves or something else. My first though is change the cartridge as you have done.

Moen 1222 cartridge's are pretty stable. During the 2000 decade, these cartridges the hot side was sticking close so there was little or no hot water. I changed several out in my homes, son's and some friends. Moen then placed a coating on the balancing spool and it solved the problem. If you shake the cartridge, you'll hear and feel the balancing spool rattle as it suppose to.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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Its definitely possessed.

from the description and Worths line of logic.. it sounds like a situation where the pressure balance spool is being affected by the amount of back pressure that the shower head is creating.

I've never experienced anything like that. But I would take a look at your incoming water pressure first. Maybe its beyond the capability of the showerheads flow control to manage.
 
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