Whenever I go to take a shower, I have to turn the handle to the absolute hottest setting just to avoid freezing. I know the hot water works in my house, so that's not the issue. It just seems like I should be able to make the water hotter if I could just turn the handle more. Is there a way to accomplish this easily?

  • What type of climate do you live in? are the pipes run on an exterior wall, or through the air conditioning vent? – Tester101 Jul 22 '10 at 15:44
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    It is possibly that lime scale is gumming up the valve and preventing the thermostatic part allowing hot water through. You should not alter the temperature control to make it hotter,these are preset in the factory,if you alter it upwards,and if the valve suddenly starts to work properly,you will likely get badly scalded. – user43209 Sep 6 '15 at 11:58

Many faucets have an adjustable range. In the last one I installed there was plastic ring with v-grooves around the outside of it: to adjust the range you positioned two stops that hooked into the v-grooves.

Recommend the TIA* approach to see what you can see - it may be very straightforward. Just don't drop the screws down the drain!

*Take It Apart

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    Also, turn off the water to the shower before taking the faucet apart. – acrosman Jul 22 '10 at 16:42
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    Or if you don't turn off the water first, have the courtesy to keep a video camera running. – Rod Fitzsimmons Frey Jul 22 '10 at 17:17
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    It worked! Hooray for warm showers. – Mike Sherov Jul 23 '10 at 0:11

In our new house, the shower controls in the kids bathrooms are adjustable so you can set the temperature to prevent scalding. Even if the kids push the control all the way to HOT, the water will only be comfortably warm.

I'm not sure about all controls, but on ours you pop the face off the control. Inside there are 2 (I think) geared rings that you can position to set the maximum temperature.

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    This is by code, and its purpose is so that when the kids sleep over at a friends house with an older shower valve that does not have the limiter they get REALLY scalded. – cdonner Jun 10 '11 at 18:21
  • Seems pointless when sinks are not also protected the same way.. unless the assumption there is that people don't wash hands but do shower. Perhaps my house is the outlier with limited showers and unlimited sinks. – Enigma Mar 6 '13 at 21:49
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    I'm not sure, but I suspect it doesn't apply to sinks because the risk of major injury is significantly less. You might burn your hands, but you can quickly get them out of the water. In the tub or shower, your entire body is exposed and it is more difficult to get out, especially for small children. – aphoria Mar 7 '13 at 12:58

Doityourself has a good article called "How to Repair a Shower Faucet: Water Doesn't Get Hot" that covers how to troubleshoot and repair a cartridge-type shower faucet, which I suspect is your problem.


How old is your hot water heater? I ask because I ran into the same issue. I'd turn my shower on full hot, no cold water at all and I'd still only get warm - semi-hot water when realistically I should have been scalded. Turns out my hot water heater was set too low (was set on the "A" setting out of "A, B and C" with "C" being the hottest). I set it to "C" and that solved the issue for a while. It started doing it again, I called around and found out that as a hot water heater gets older it loses it's heating capability. My water heater was about 12 years old and wasn't heating efficiently. Got a new water heater and now I get steaming hot water again.

  • It's definitely not the hot water heater. I get plenty of hot water from every other faucet. I think it has something to do with the shower handle. Thanks for the info though. – Mike Sherov Jul 22 '10 at 15:02
  • Is your water heater electric, natural gas, or oil? – Vebjorn Ljosa Jul 22 '10 at 15:03
  • @Vebjorn, oil. I also had it looked at when I moved in and it's in perfect condition. – Mike Sherov Jul 22 '10 at 15:24

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