When the weather outside is cold and frightful, one of the most comforting places to head is the shower. Nothing feels better than a warm stream of water taking away the stress of the day, leaving you warm and relaxed and ready to take on the world once again.

Yet when the temperature huddles around zero, even jumping in the shower can leave you wanting more heat. What do you do when you just can’t seem to get the right temperature? What do you do if the water always seems too hot or too cold?What If Your Shower Is Too Hot or Too Cold?

Adjust The Water Heater Temperature

Whether your water heater seems to run hot or cold, it could be because its never been set at the proper temperature. In general, 120 degrees is considered to be the optimum temperature for water heaters. This is warm enough to fight off the growth of bacteria, and warm enough to supply you all the warm water you desire for your shower, tub, or other household chores.

In homes with young children or elderly residents, it is advisable to turn it down from the 120 degrees. Its easy to mistake hot and cold, and even a small burn can be traumatizing to those that don’t expect it.

Adjusting the temperature is an easy process. Some water heaters have a dial that lets you adjust the temperature simply by turning. Other water heaters have a temperature setting hidden behind a panel. After removing the panel, you can easily adjust the gauge with a screwdriver before replacing the panel.

Adjust The Shower Valve

In some cases, it may be easier to adjust the temperature at the source rather than impacting the entire household water supply. The mixture of hot and cold water available in a shower or tub can be controlled by adjusting the shower valve stem, the control found under the faucet. The process will depend on the type of faucet you have in your shower in tub, but in general you’ll follow these steps:

  • Remove the handle with a screwdriver
  • Take off the metal cover to expose the valve stem. You’ll see a plastic piece known as the rotational stop limit located around the valve stem. This is the piece that controls the mixture of hot and cold water. In general, a counter clockwise turn will release more hot water, a clockwise turn will release less.
  • Turn the rotational stop limit a notch in whichever direction desired.
  • Replace the faucet handle and test the water supply. If the temperature still isn’t at the desired level, repeat until you get a comfortable mixture.

If you have further questions, or still can’t seem to get the right adjustment, there may be additional problems either with your fixture or with the water supply. A plumber can help you get to the root of the problem, and bring your water supply back up to the temperature you prefer.

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