Very little hot water in shower - 50 gal tank not issue - Please Help!

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by rweinstein, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. rweinstein

    rweinstein New Member

    Dec 15, 2004
    Any help here is greatly, greatly appreciated.

    I have a gas 50g Kenmore Power Miser 8 water heater in my basement.

    Even with the thermostat all the way on high, I have very little hot water when I shower (2nd floor). It is hot for like 15 seconds and then goes lukewarm for a few minutes, then cold.

    In the same bathroom, I have a sink and when I shut off the shower, I can immediately get scolding hot water out of the faucet.

    Also, when I run out of hot water in the shower, I have gone to the water heater in the basement with the water still running and emptied a few gallons of water from the heater and the water is very hot. I also flushed the Water Heater.

    My conclusion is that the water heater is not bad and I am having an issue with the Hot water not making it up to the second floor shower, but am stumped as to why there is very hot water in the sink right next to the shower.

    Other info is that when the hot water is on in the shower and I turn on the hot water on the sink, only ice cold water comes out, but when I shut off thew shower, the water turns very hot again.

    Another note is that I have another shower on the second floor that never gets hot water, only lukewarm water. The house was built in 1930 and we bought it 6 months ago. This second bathroom was the kids bathroom, so we thought they may have a governor on the valve to not have hot water, but took it apart and were unable to get it hot.

    Please let me know if any of you have thoughts as to what else I can test or do to get hot water to my shower.

    I am positive that the issue is not with the water heater, unless the dip stick inside is broken and the incoming cold water is not going to the bottom of the tank, but going right out the top.

    This is costing me a fortune and I don't even have hot showers.


  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Well, the symptom in the shower could point to a dip tube, except you say that you can get hot water contiuously out of the lav faucet? If this is true, it probably points to the shower valve. If you have a pressure balanced or temperature controlled unit, those components could be stuck, dirty, or jut broke.
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  4. rweinstein

    rweinstein New Member

    Dec 15, 2004

    Thanks for the reply. It's good to get other opinions, it really helps. If anyone else has something in mind, it would be great.

    Both my showers do have a valve that regulates both hot+cold, so I would agree that they could be a viable cause.

    My other thought was that the pipes to the shower were more corroded than the faucet, but that does not seem as likely.

    How can I jack up the hot water portion of the regulator? I would have to shut off the water to the house and drain the system to take them off, right? I wish there were just an easy knob to turn to increase the hot water percentage, but the units aren't that easy to figure out.

    What is strange is that when the shower is on, there is zero hot water in the faucet, but immediately when the shower goes off, hot water comes out of the faucet again.

    I don't even know what to test anymore.
  5. mk23666

    mk23666 New Member

    Feb 16, 2007

    I didn't notice if you have a tub and shower combo or just a shower. If it's a combo then I wonder if the same happens when you run the water in the tub? If not then it most definitely is the shower controls acting up. I'm also assuming that you are running a mixture of cold and hot at the same time when taking a shower so again it sounds like it is the anti-scalding device giving you trouble.

    Here is my problem ... isn't it a drag that they don't put the temp degrees on the water heater's control dial? What's with the Hot/Warm/Vacation and the various spots in between? How about some numbers of degrees so I won't dial up the heat and get the pressure/heat release valve going off when you least expect it. (already happened once and I replaced the valve to a 210 degree one but I still don't know just what temp it at since I don't have a thermometer that goes above 118 degrees. ARRRGH!
  6. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Is there a tempering valve in the line from the water heater to the shower. I had one that failed and caused too much cold water to mix with the hot water, so the shower was never hot enough in the winter when the feed water was cold.

    I took the control stem out of the tempering valve, which caused it to pass only hot water. Then I use the shower control to set the temperature.
  7. Dan Pick

    Dan Pick New Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    Plumbing Sales
    Speedway, IN
    Limit Stops

    If the faucets have been replaced with pressure balance valves the high temperature limit stop could be set too low. Having the hot water heater all the way up is extremely dangerous with children. This needs to be resolved soon...
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    If the shower has a cartridge replace it. Do you know what brand the shower valve is? Moen? Delta? Kohler?
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