Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I assume, but am not sure, that this is caused by someone else in the house competing with the shower for cold water.

I'm guessing an anti-scald valve might be necessary but perhaps there is a way to keep the cold water pressure higher so that it doesn't drop as much when someone flushes a toilet or something. The shower in question is on the 3rd floor.

Added: I have since learned of at least three approaches. 1) pressure balanced valve 2) thermostatic mixing 3) anti-scald shower head

Here is a good site comparing the first two: http://www.hometips.com/buying-guides/shower-valve-anti-scald.html

The anti-scald showerheads I have found online are very inexpensive (under $30) but poorly reviewed.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Adjusting the whole-house water pressure is unlikely to solve this problem, simply because you set your shower temperature based on some initial balance of hot and cold. When other people draw cold water only, the pressure difference will still have the potential to affect your shower temperature.

Instead, you should get a pressure balanced valve or shower fixture. These fixtures automatically reduce hot water pressure when cold pressure falls, so instead of a temperature spike you simply get a momentary decrease in output pressure. You can find pressure-balanced fixtures (which would replace your existing shower fixtures) or an independent pressure balancing valve (which you'd want to install near the shower but would allow you to keep your existing fixture).

share|improve this answer
    
Manifolds can be used to provide balanced pressure throughout the entire system, though installing a manifold in an existing (trunk and branch system) would be costly. For new builds a manifold systems can be a good choice, though can cost more since it typically requires home runs for each fixture. –  Tester101 Feb 4 '12 at 17:50
    
I wonder... if you replaced the existing system and added a manifold, would you still be required by code to install pressure-balanced shower fixtures? –  Shimon Rura Feb 5 '12 at 1:03
    
Thermostatic mixing valves seem related, is there a reason to prefer that over pressure balanced valves? –  Michael Bishop Feb 7 '12 at 22:17
    
Michael: After looking at some thermostatic shower valves, I gather they are perhaps more precise than just pressure balanced ones, but possibly also more expensive. The only thing I can say for sure is that if you are not replacing your existing shower valve, you cannot just install a thermostatic valve upstream to solve the original poster's problem; a thermostatic valve would have to be in the fixture you use to set your shower temperature, or else you'd be stuck maxing out at whatever temperature the thermo-valve was set for. –  Shimon Rura Feb 9 '12 at 4:13

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.