Shower Pressure and Temp. Problems

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by Mantis, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Jan 5, 2011 #1

    Mantis

    Mantis

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    Greetings!

    First off, I know nothing about plumbing, so please excuse my ignorance.

    I have a problem with the shower at my house. About 1 year ago, when I would take a show I would notice sometimes that the shower pressure was sometimes noticeably low to the point where it was kind of annoying to take a shower. Then I found out that if the shower pressure was low, i could shut the shower off... turn it back on... and the shower pressure would be just fine.

    Then about 3 months ago, the "shut off method" stopped working... then a week after that, the hot water would not last very long. I would have to rush through a shower just so I could have hot water the whole time. Needless to say this got old quick, and I quickly started looking up solutions on the internet.

    My research showed that it was the "cartridge". Every source was so certain that this was the problem and replacing it would fix my problem. So I had said cartridge replaced and as you probably guessed by now, my problem is not better at all.

    Sorry running you through every inch of the last few months and such... but I figured if I was descriptive enough someone my be able to pin point the problem by some or one of the symptoms.

    Also note, there is another shower in the house that does not have this problem.

    The shower faucet is a "Delta Monitor", not sure which series.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Jan 6, 2011 #2

    SlowDrip

    SlowDrip

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    Ok, you are going to hate me but I am still leaning towards a cartridge issue. Mainly because the cartridge is what controls the pressure and temperature to your shower. Before you reach through the screen and strangle me, let me ask a couple of quick questions.

    The monitor series has a two-part cartridge that sits on seats and springs that looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Did you replace that entire unit, or only part of it? (a lot of times a store will only give you half). Also, did you replace the seats and springs? They go behind the cartridge and look like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jan 6, 2011 #3

    Mantis

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    Haha, I would never get mad at someone for trying to help... especially when I know so little on the topic.

    I'm 100% sure that we replaced the entire cartridge... and I'm "fairly" certain the seats and springs too because when I tried to remove the cartridge originally (by myself) it would not come off for some reason and my twisting and jerking actually bent the entire "fitting" and we ended up having to replace all of it because it was leaking. Thats what I get fro trying to fix iy myself I suppose.

    Not sure exactly where the seats and springs are... but the whole fitting right down to the copper pipe ended up being replaced.

    I should mention however, the repair was done "primarily" buy a guy who works for my father. The business is an ice rink, and he had built many of our locker room from scratch (including the showers). I was with him assisting any way I could... most of you would call it interfering... lol, but... I try.

    So... did he maybe install the cartridge incorrectly? Is that possible? If so, how can I trouble shoot that?
     
  4. Jan 6, 2011 #4

    SlowDrip

    SlowDrip

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    The fact that you have hot water which disappears is strange, but it means that things seem to be installed properly. It is possible that one of the seats is loose and rotates inwards, blocking the hot water stream.

    Most delta suppliers (at least up here) will give you new seats and springs for free, if not they are available for sale in every hardware store I have ever seen for a couple of bucks.

    A good idea while you are in there and have the old seats removed is to look for any blockage around the inlet holes. It is possible that there is calcium or lime scale buildup that is clogging the hot water inlet.

    If replacing these doesn't work, I actually recommend contacting Delta. All of their products since 1995 have a lifetime non transferable warranty. It is possible that someone at their service line will have heard of this issue before, but the first thing they will tell you to do is to replace the seats and cartridge.


    Now, the tricky part is what type of monitor you have, as far as i can remember it is available only in the 1300, 1400 and 1700 series.

    The 1300 and 1400 series use the same setup and the seats can be found between the housing assembly and the cap assembly of the cartrige. Here is a PDF of manual to explain exactly where that is:

    http://dl.owneriq.net/9/9c7b3125-e10f-4a93-ab28-9b31e6fc4c69.pdf

    In the 1700 series the seats are located below the cartridge, again, here is a PDF manual:

    http://dl.owneriq.net/7/7b304250-cb1b-46d3-a2dd-5e9f84493bb2.pdf
     
  5. Jan 7, 2011 #5

    Mantis

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    Thanks for all the great info. Slow.

    I will ask the guy that helped install it if he knows if we replaced the seats and springs, but as I said before, I'm 100% sure the cartridge is all brand new.

    But I'm somewhat certain the seats and springs are all new as well because we could not get the cartridge out of the "metal fitting", so we replaced all of it right to the copper pipe. But... I will double check with him next time I speak to him.

    From the looks of your PDF files, I think I have the 1700 series. It looks the most similar and has the exact same knob for the temperature (that sort of fin style).

    But I'm so confused because one would think that replacing everything would fix the problem. Can you think of ANY OTHER reason at all why something like this would happen? Maybe something not related to the shower itself?

    Could there be a very small leak somewhere in the plumbing that we may not know about? Would that disturb the pressure and temperature? If you think this is feasible... and thought on how to check for / find said leak?
     
  6. Jan 7, 2011 #6

    SlowDrip

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    I honestly can't think of a reason why you would suddenly lose hot water in only one fixture. Have you tried running the shower until it runs out of hot water as you are describing, then turning on the hot water in a nearby faucet to see if that fixture is still working properly?
     
  7. Jan 10, 2011 #7

    Mantis

    Mantis

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    No I haven't done that. That's a good idea. I'll let ya know what happens.
     
  8. Jan 10, 2011 #8

    Mantis

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    Oh and also, I have confirmed that all the seats and springs have in fact been replaced. The "metal sleeve" that the cartridge goes into for some reason would open to get the cartridge out, (we think it's dude to calcium and / or limestone build up) and while trying to get the cartridge out the metal fitting I bent it and it actually started to leak. So the guy that fixed it had to cut the entire metal fitting away from the copper plumbing... and solder the new one in. So everything is brand new.

    So confused...
     
  9. Jan 11, 2011 #9

    Mantis

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    Got out of the shower this morning, which was not "cold" but below a temp. that I would consider a "nice warm shower"... turned on the faucet and scalding hot water came out... I just don't get it.
     
  10. Jan 12, 2011 #10

    SlowDrip

    SlowDrip

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    Was the shower at any time actually "hot" or was the maximum temperature low the entire time?


    It is possible that you have the limit stop set too low if the temperature is always too cold. If this is the case, directions for adjusting it can be found here under the third question "Why can't I get enough hot water out of my shower, tub or tub/shower valve?"
     
  11. Jan 12, 2011 #11

    havasu

    havasu

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    I'm thinking Slow Drip is on to something!
     
  12. Jan 12, 2011 #12

    Mantis

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    Well yes it starts out as "hot" but very very soon after I have to adjust it again to get it hot again.... and again... and again till the hot water is turned as far as it can go.

    And I don't think it's the limit stop or anything of that nature, because I specifically remember the family friend that installed it telling me he didn't put that plastic disc back in (because he thought it would help) and to be careful not to burn myself... however, never had to worry about that lol.

    Plus this was never a problem before (the first 8 years living in the house), and started being a problem all of the sudden and it's getting progressively worse... even after replacing everything.

    What about the motor to the hot water pump? Could that be shot or on it's way out? Maybe it's not pumping the hot water as well as it used to thus resulting in low pressure and finicky temperature? Again, I know nothing about any of this so if that's a stupid suggestion I apologize.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  13. Jan 12, 2011 #13

    Mantis

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    However, I will give the disc a look see. I will try just about anything right now. Thanks Slow.
     
  14. Jan 12, 2011 #14

    phishfood

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    Normally, there is not a pump just for the hot water system. Does your house have such a thing? If it does, that is very likely where the problem is.
     
  15. Jan 12, 2011 #15

    Mantis

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    Well... there appears to be some sort of Pump or motor on the top of the water heater. My lack of knowledge on the topic prevents me form knowing exactly "what" it does and "how" it works.

    But one would assume it distributes hot water throughout the house. Only problem with my logic of that being the problem is that why is ONLY the shower not getting hot water pressure and all of the other fixtures seem to be fine?

    I feel that I'm annoying all you guys because you keep give suggestions and I shoot them down, but I'm really not trying to be problematic and negative. Keep in mind I'm here because I've explored MANY MANY avenues and did a lot of research on the problem at hand, even though my experience lacking.
     
  16. Jan 13, 2011 #16

    Mr_David

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    You say you have a pump on your water heater.
    Is it in the outlet supply of the WH
    I pulled some pictures from Google image.
    Does it look like this?

    Go look under the sink and see if you have a thing that looks like the last picture connected to the supplies to the faucet.
    This maybe your problem.
    If you have one, turn off the Hot or Cold stop valve and try your shower again.
    This fitting has failed and cold water is flowing into your hot line to the shower.
    This is a system designed to circulate the hot water to a remote part of the home with out having the luxury of a 3rd designated return line.
    It uses the cold line to return cold water sitting in hot water line back to the WH.
    I'll explain it further if needed.

    I think the magic word was pump on the water heater.

    imagesCA7LEW9Z.jpg

    imagesCAEN1PFT.jpg

    imagesCANNMM90.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  17. Jan 13, 2011 #17

    havasu

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    I had that exact same set up before my TWH and it was great, but I can see how it could fail after time.
     
  18. Jan 13, 2011 #18

    Mantis

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    Thanks for all the info David. I will check all that next time I am home, however that will not be till Sunday : /

    So I will have feedback for you on Monday most likely.

    When you say check the sink... I assume you mean the sink right next to the shower right?

    Also, the attached picture is exactly what my WH looks like, however it is not "mine", it's just an image from google. Maybe this will help some.

    Water Heater.jpg
     
  19. Jan 14, 2011 #19

    Mr_David

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    Ah Darn. That's not what I thought. What you are showing in the picture is a blower assited vent. That set up is for the exhaust of burned gases.

    Okay here's another thought. I don't see a cold water supply shut off valve to the water heater. Oh yeah not your htr, similar photo.
    Turn off the cold supply valve if you have one on the heater. now go turn on your shower to hot and see if you get ANY water.
    If you get a good volume of cold water from the hot side you may have a cross over problem somewhere near the shower
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  20. Jan 14, 2011 #20

    Mantis

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    Ok that makes sense, good idea!

    Again I'll get back to ya about it on Monday on the result.

    I will also get a picture of mine, maybe that will help even more.

    Is there anything "in particular" that I should get a picture of aside from the obvious stuff?
     

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