There is nothing worse than dealing with unruly water temperatures. Whether you are having problems with your water heater not getting the water hot enough, or if it is too scalding hot every time you use it, it is essential to fix.
When there are problems with the water temperature in your shower, you should first start by checking the water heater. Ideally this should be set at around 120 degrees if you have an older water heater that doesn't preheat the water. This will save the most energy in your home, and keep the water around the home as high as it needs to be.
If you have adjusted the water heater, and still have a problem with scalding water in the shower, it is wise to invest in scald protection. These anti-scald showerheads will help you avoid hot water that has reached dangerous temperatures.
Recognizing the problem
If you have trouble adjusting the water to the exact right temperature to prevent scalding, you are not alone. Many people have this issue in their home, but few actually do something to mend the problem.
If you aren't sure your shower has an anti-scalding valve, here are some signs to look for:
- The water feels burning hot, even when you have it set to the correct temperature
- Anytime somebody flushes a toilet or turns on a sink in the house, the water temperature in the shower rises beyond what is bearable
- Even with the bathroom window wide open and the fan on, everything inside the bathroom is foggy when you get out
Scalding water is much more than an annoyance; it can be extremely dangerous if not taken care of. Young kids are the most likely to suffer from this, because they cannot turn off the water themselves. It is estimated that almost 4,000 people are injured every year, and just over thirty are killed from tap water that is way too hot.
In homes that are built today, it is required that anti-scald valves are installed, but older homes that were built before a certain point may not have this feature. To install them, it is necessary to tear open the wall and access the pipes.
How it works
Most of the fixtures that can be purchased cost around $25. There are three types of anti-scald showerheads:
- Thermostatically controlled
- Pressure sensitive
- Valves that combine both of these
With the thermostatically controlled devices, the valve is able to adjust the temperature in the shower. This valve will make it possible to have high water temperatures in the areas you need, such as the dishwasher, but will not create scorching temperatures where you do not want it.
The pressure sensitive models work off of the way water pressure functions. Hot water has a higher pressure than cold water. When this device is installed, it works by balancing the pressure that comes from both the cold and hot water. If there is not enough cold water, the sensors can detect it, and compensate by changing the amount of hot water that is being produced. This prevents the water coming from the showerhead from being too hot.
These simple changes to your showerhead can protect you and your family. It is important to know about how hot water heaters work to ensure that your shower will not produce scalding water. The first place to start is always with the hot water heater. Before making any other changes, verify that it is set at an appropriate temperature. If you have an older house, you may need to install an anti-scalding showerhead. This will prevent you from being burned unexpectedly.
Cassie Costner writes for Shamrock Plumbing about the many benefits of keeping your plumbing up-to-date. Having had many plumbing problems herself, she understands the importance of maintaining your water heater and other major appliances.