Fixing Hot Water Spike Problems

It has happened to most of us at one time or another: we’re enjoying a nice leisurely shower; the shampoo is all lathered up; just as we go to rinse our faces, someone in another part of the house either turns on a faucet or flushes a toilet. Quick as a wink, the hot water temperature in the shower spikes and we get burned! For most of us, this type of mishap is merely an inconvenience that gives us pain and ruins our day; but for more vulnerable people like infants, children, and slower-moving senior citizens, more serious scalding is a very real possibility.

Did you know that 90% of hot water scalding incidents happen at home? The effects of these types of burns are swift and severe and can affect a person’s quality of life for years to come. Fortunately, there are some simple plumbing solutions to hot water temperature spikes in the tub or shower: here is an overview.

Mixing valves are easily installed by any quality plumbing service: they are attached right to the hot and cold water source that feeds the shower or tub. When someone flushes a toilet when you are in the shower, the water line experiences a decrease in pressure either on the hot water side or the cold water side; as a result, the balance between hot and cold water that you set by hand for your shower is lost and you will experience a spike in temperature. A mixing valve detects changes in pressure when they occur and automatically balances it again, effectively preventing accidental scalding.

Plumbers usually carry two different types of mixing valves; the most common type is a pressure balanced mixing valve, and there are thermostatic types as well. The main difference between the two is the engineering of how they operate, but the goals of both are the same: to prevent temperature spikes before they happen and keep your family safer. Another alternative is to replace your regular shower faucet with a pressure balance faucet.

The bottom line is: if you’ve been accepting dangerous temperature spikes in your tub and shower as inevitable hazards of your home life, you don’t need to throw up your hands and just “live with it.” Contact your trusted Denver plumbing contractor or a contractor in the state where you live and ask him about his solutions to temperature spikes. Chances are good that they’ll be simpler and more cost-effective than you ever imagined.