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Shower will only do boiling hot water

(12 Posts)
PennilynLott Sat 23-May-15 13:41:47

I'm hoping for piglet John's expertise on this one..

My thermostatic bar shower would only do cold water. All bathroom taps were fine.

We got a (recommended!) plumber in, who diagnosed a worn out valve and replaced the whole bar as it was easier. The new bar is upside down (numbers on temperature control etc) and now it will only do boiler temperature or mains temperature.

Have you got any idea why this might be? I don't particularly want to get this guy back and we're happy to fit a new bar ourselves if necessary. The internet suggested that the cold and hot might be going in the wrong holes meaning it won't adjust?

Thank you so much for any ideas!

PigletJohn Sat 23-May-15 13:52:02

fitting it upside down means the hot and the cold pipes are transposed. So the thermostat pushes the temperature all the way to one side or the other, because it thinks it has to turn itself in the wrong direction.

Plumber is a buffoon.

However, if the pipes are actually fitted into the wall the wrong way round, he might have done it deliberately. In which case it could be that the cartridge is incorrectly adjusted. The manufacturer's website or helpline will probably explain how to adjust it. The instructions will also show how to take it off the wall and refit it (so you can turn it over).

If you are lucky it will have been fitted to a shower wall plate which screws to the wall and has threaded connectors (but these do cost about £15 extra so you might just have bare pipes)

btw bar showers tend to be cheaper and not as good as round ones.

PigletJohn Sat 23-May-15 13:54:12

p.s.

If it has never worked correctly, you might have unbalanced water pressures. Have you got a hot water cylinder? What colour?

Put your thumb over the spout of the bathroom hot tap. Can you stop the flow? Now try the cold one.

PennilynLott Tue 26-May-15 19:37:17

Thank you so much! Is there anything that's not your area of expertise!?

I think the pipes are the normal way round, he just bought a bar with a down exit instead of an up exit and bodged it. I've photographed it so you can see a job badly done.. I think the nuts between the bar and the wall mean we can replace it easily though right? The old one did work fine. Do I need to look out for weird pipe sizes when buying a replacement or are they normally standard? There's a screwfix and a toolstation round the corner. (Yes I am living the dream.)

PigletJohn Tue 26-May-15 23:17:14

A thermostatic bar shower fitted upside-down will never work right unless the supply pipes are also the wrong way round.

The pipe fittings will be standard.

Get some PTFE tape for the compression joints when you change it. They will sell the usual white tape, but also yellow gas tape, which is much thicker and forms a better seal if the gap is big. It is very inexpensive.

It is usual to have the outlet on the underneath of bar mixers, I suppose so it can drain out. It looks like you have a rigid pipe for a drencher head or something.

If you have plenty of money, Aqualisa showers are IMO the best you can get, but bar mixers are not as good as the round ones.

PennilynLott Sat 30-May-15 10:55:06

Yes we'd get a round one if starting from scratch but I'm 34 weeks pregnant and we're about to move out anyway, we just want it to work without changing any tiles! Unless the round one would work on the same fittings?

NOBODY has a replacement bar with the top outlet, millions of bottoms, I've called 10 plumbing supplies places now, but there are loads on ebay. I have a feeling I'm going to regret this but is any of these the least worst solution? www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2053587.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xthermostatic+shower+valve+top+outlet.TRS0&_nkw=thermostatic+shower+valve+top+outlet&_sop=15&_sacat=0

PigletJohn Sat 30-May-15 18:07:44

I'm pretty sure that all mixers (round and bar) fit on pipes at the same spacing. Measure it, I think it's 8 inches.

Round ones usually come with chrome elbows which you turn to face upwards or backwards depending on the pipes.

I have an old round Mira mixer lying around somewhere, I will measure it if it turns up. It is not thermostatic so you can fit it with outlet top and bottom. I remember Mira (used to) sell replacement knobs with the lettering up the other way for this very reason.

If you are moving out shortly a non-thermostatic might do? They are avoided now in case they scald a small child or disabled person.

PigletJohn Sat 30-May-15 18:20:04

no, forget that, the ones in your ebay link are amazingly cheap, if suitable.

One thing I would do, turn on the shower, run it hot and cold, verify if the hot pipe is on the left or right side, and that the shower mixer your order is round the same way.

PennilynLott Fri 05-Jun-15 16:30:50

Thank you so much! I checked the hot and cold and they are standard way round. The eBay shower bar is the same as the old one but with top outlet, it even came with red and blue spots to show hot and cold so the plumber really isa complete moron

PennilynLott Fri 05-Jun-15 16:32:47

Sorry phone won't show me more than four lines at once.
Anyway now we have a working shower but the boilers broken! We're flushing the system then having expensive bits replaced. At least it's summer...

Savannah12334 Tue 30-May-17 21:33:39

Me and my partner have just moved in to our own place and the shows is either too hot or freezing cold and we don't know why! Can anyone help?

PigletJohn Wed 31-May-17 01:13:09

you're best off starting your own thread. This one is two years old and the photos, diagnosis and cure for yours may be quite different.

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