Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The 50/50 Shower Situation

It was nearly midnight and all I wanted to do was take a shower and go to bed. Apparently, that was too much to ask for.

Our shower faucet has only been in place a few months, part of the effort that was the disaster of replacing both them and our old tub surround. Even from day one, the handle on this "anti-scald tub and shower faucet" has been difficult to turn. It required adjustment – which Lawrence did -- so that we could even get HOT water. (Everything to that point was lukewarm at best. Not ideal to shower by.) One handle controls both hot and cold so you're pretty much stuck dealing with it.

Things were OK after that -- for a few weeks.

Now, the handle is completely out of whack (continues to run when you turn to off. you have to carefully edge to a certain spot to make it stop.); the diverter will NOT turn on the shower most of the time. In fact, more water usually comes out of the faucet than the showerhead when it DOES manage to work. This was what happened to me the other night. After about 20 minutes of fiddling with the diverter and getting varying levels of water to stream from the showerhead, I gave up. I lathered up and rinsed off with what water I could get.

What sucks is that I had Lawrence look at it last Tuesday when he was here and while the handle was tight, the shower came on fine. He said he didn’t see anything wrong with it. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

I did manage to get it to work for the mother and then I had to get up and make sure it was turned off as she left it in a position where it continued to drip. That will get old fast. Very fast.

The faucet doesn’t appear to have any markings and though I found the order confirmation in my email, it doesn’t bear a brand name either. And, to further complicate things, the item number listed on the order sheet no longer exists in the seller’s current online catalog, though one with a slightly different number and handle do remain available. I’ve emailed them to see what info they can provide me with.

I also downloaded the schematic of a Delta model that looks eerily similar to ours so I can try to understand the terminology I’m reading in some responses given to people voicing similar problems online. I don’t think that getting a hot shower at the end of a long day is asking for a lot.

I guess we’ll see. Anyone had a similar experience?


jOoLz said...

it's always been my feeling that you're taking a big risk on those mixer thingies. my shower used to have one of those but when i ripped out the sorry old tile i got the bath and shower replumbed so i could have separate handles for all that stuff... the hot, the cold, and the thing that switches from tub to shower.

so, i know where you're coming from and i feel for you. hopefully you can find some resolution to the problem that doesn't result in a plumber's invoice in your hand!

sewwhat? said...

Yes, and sorry to say, it could not be fixed without replacing the valve. Seems the old one had a cheap plastic thingy that was no longer a stock part, so we were SOL. Luckily, this shower backed up to a wall that could be cut and patched, not one of those buried under $2000 worth of ceramic tile, which would probably be out of stock also!

All I have to say is, Good luck with this one!

I had a new one put in when I had my basement finished, and it only shot hot water! That was not a viable solution either. The installer came and opened it up, a piece of solder shot out and it worked fine after that! If only they could all be that simple!

Vicki said...

It's the Chinese knock-off version of Delta. And it's full of lead too.

Debbie said...

Oh, I hope they email you back soon so you can get the problem solved! I hate it when I have to shower in lukewarm water; brrr.

Victoria said...

It sounds like a combination of problems with both the valve and the faucet. Before calling someone out and spending a fortune I would try replacing the faucet first in hopes you can by pass the plumber. Good luck.

Prior to us buying our Old House, we used to live in a newly remodeled loft above a bookstore. For 2 weeks we took ice cold showers, arguing with the landlord that the water never got hot. It turns out, they had installed the hot and cold lines backwards, so we had been taking cold showers for nothing. At least you have lukewarm water lol.

NV said...

Joolz -- Thanks. We bought the house with a single hot/cold faucet function in the tub. Here's hoping ....

sewwhat -- Yikes. Luckily ours are all accessible. i hope it's something simple.

Vicki -- Actually, I don't know if it's Chinese made or not, but it's definitely not a Delta knock-off. I found out it's made by Kingston Brass, has a 10-year warranty, too. I'll save the verdict for how they respond once I figure out what part(s) we actually need. :-)

Victoria -- Gotten it to work lately so hoping luck holds out til Lawrence is back on the case.

Anonymous said...