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Background

Hi there. Newbie here from South Africa.
A couple of years back we moved into our first home. We have this problem where the water in our shower keeps oscillating between too hot and too cold.
Adjusting the water requires very slight adjustments on the taps to correct. The correction is delayed and overshooting is common. The hot water tap needs to be opened up a lot and the cold water tap only needs slight cranking.
The geyser is a low pressure keyser with a pressure regulating valve (Latco Valve) on the input of the geyser only.
The cold water is feed directly from the water main line.

Question:

What can I do to fix this oscillation?

What I have tried:

From Google I have seen a drawing where the "Latco" low pressure regulating valve is installed before the geyser input AND before the cold water that goes to the showers and rest of the systems in the house.
I am however not sure if this is a good or correct way to install the pressure regulating valve. All the previous installations I have seen the valve was only installed on the geyser input.

Any help will be highly appreciated.

  • 1
    I'm not familiar with South African terminology, but we have similar problems here. You need the hot and cold pressures at the shower to be similar enough they will mix nicely. Putting the pressure reducing valve before the hot and cold, as mentioned, should work. Otherwise a pressure reducing valve on the cold at the shower should also work. If you can get them in SA a Pressure Equalizing Valve is probably best, works on both hot and cold and will automatically adjust eg bes.co.uk/water-pressure-equalising-valve-16711 – Owain Sep 27 at 9:43
  • Thank you so much for the many solutions. I will have to see if I can get the Pressure Equalizing Valves, that would be nice. – 9953-div-37 Sep 27 at 11:05
  • it could be that geyser (I'm assumin thats a gas burning tankless water heater) needs serviceing – Jasen Sep 28 at 0:00
1

Stating the obvious -

Your issue is that there's a significant difference in pressures of the hot and cold supplies to the shower. This means that the 'sensitivity' of the two valves i.e. the change in flow for a given angle of opening is different, so that makes it difficult to control.

Using a monoblock mixer instead of separate taps in this situation doesn't help much - you end up with the control almost all the way to the 'hot' end and it's still very sensitive.

Options -

  1. Take the cold supply from the same supply as the supply to the geyser - this is the solution you found by search. This does work.

  2. Add a second pressure regulator to the cold supply so that it holds it down to the same pressure as the one feeding the geyser.

  3. Thermostatic mixers have a bimetallic element built into the valve that automatically shifts the valve to keep the outlet temperature constant. The control then sets the desired temperature, not the mix directly. I've found that these are also a bit slow to respond to changes in pressure, say from someone flushing a toilet, though they will still have better control over temperature than a regular mixer in this situation.

  4. Pressure balance mixers have a spool valve (there are other kinds, but this is the type I've used) which can move to partially block off either supply to the mixer if the pressure falls on the other supply. There's then a regular mixer valve as part of the same valve body. I've found that these work very well - it's the pressure that can change rapidly, not the temperature of the water, and in your case would serve to equalize the supply pressures.

And finally, my solution, since I live alone and there's no-one else to complain about it... I set the thermostat on the water heater so that it's comfortable for the shower with no addition of cold water. It's still hot enough for the washing machine - I set that to 'hot wash' where I'd normally use 'warm wash'. Dishwasher has its own heater. The downside on systems that have a hot water tank is that the amount of heat stored in the tank is less, you use more of the contents of the tank per shower, so it'll run out sooner if multiple showers are taken in succession. The upside is that less heat is lost while there's no usage.

  • Thank you so much for your valuable insight into this, all good solutions and I have learned quite a lot. Now I will have to see what I can find to implement the solutions. I have been meaning to set the temperature a bit lower as well, may reduce the electricity bill. – 9953-div-37 Sep 30 at 4:57

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