Thermostatic(?) valve problem

mtnrdredux_gwFebruary 8, 2012

I have Horus fixtures in my shower stall. The shower diverter is labelled up to a maximum temperature of 50C (ie 122F). However, even set at the maximum temperature, the shower never feels hot enough to me (no matter how long I run it). FWIW, before we changed the fixtures in this bathroom, the water was very very hot (and the water pressure was also much better.)

Today I took a candy thermometer and measured the temperature of the water, with the diverter set at the maximum, ie 122F. I put the candy thermometer in a prewarmed container and held the nozzle right over it so that the aeration would not cool down the water.

The reading I got was 100F, not anywhere near 122F. Eight feet away, I tested the hot water temperature in my bathtub tap and my sink tap. Both reached a maximum temperature of 55C or about 131F.

I also checked my husband's bathroom, on the other side of the bedroom, which has a diverter from a different mfr labelled up to 125F. I was able to get water that tested at 120F from his shower.

What can I conclude from this experiment? I am tempted to say the diverter in my shower is defective. Is that a reasonable assumption? Can I conclude it is the product, or could installation have impacted this result? This is a very expensive fixture ... WWYD

Thanks in advance.

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You need to change the temperature limit stops on the valve.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:16PM
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Okay, so is that a part, or a calibration?

thank you!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:57PM
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It's something you physically change on the valve body. The instructions for it will be in the installation manual that came with the valve.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 9:54PM
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Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Mtnrdredux, tell us if changing the temperature limit stops on the valve works for you, please.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 10:19AM
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Well, I don't know yet.

It was installed by my plumber about a year ago. But my GC hasn't paid the plumber so we can't get the plumber to come. The GC contacted the US retailer last July about the problem and they said "oh, you must have sediment in the line". To which the GC responds, that will be a change order to look and see if there is sediment. Sounds like total BS, considering it was a problem from day 1 and no other fixtures in the house seem to be suffering. They never even looked at the thing, so I am trying to take matters into my own hands. I am also worried if the diverter is defective, the clock may be ticking on a warranty while the plumber is suing the GC and we are suing the GC.

So I figured I would try to establish if the plumber screwed up, the part is defective, or if there is some other explanation. Of course, the plumber didn't leave me the installation manual. So I went to Horus's (french) site. I was able to translate enough of their pages to ID my diverter, and the valve that goes with it. I emailed them to inquire for a installation manual for that value. Not a word. In French, or English. Welcome to my world. My DH briefly investigated to see if it were something obvious, but it didn't jump out at us.

Aren't you sorry you asked? I cannot tell you how much I appreciate a knowledgable and unbiased person(s) trying to help, here at GW. Almost restores the faith in humanity I had before I undertook a 2yr reno with flaming incompetents...

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Where did the valve come from? The supplier should be able to get you a copy of the manual. If there's sediment in the line, then it's because the plumber didn't flush it. That's not a change order.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 11:43PM
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Mtnrdredux, I am so sorry you are having this issue with your GC and plumber. What a mess. I feel really bogged down for you. Best of luck in getting that info. If you hire another plumber to look into it, is that a "no-no" for the GC contract? I could imagine it would be a problem. I have no experience with large contracted work projects.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:30AM
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Not to kick you while you are down, but more as a warning to others:

This is why you should buy products from a trusted, local source or at least one that has U.S. distribution. Hansgrohe or Kohler would send you out a new manual (and available online) and even send you out parts - often for no charge to fix an install issue.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:08PM
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Thanks, Cat. The valve came from a very large very well established hardware supply company in the NY metro area that we have used for all our bathroom stuff for years. I have no idea if the GC is accurately representing their response. I will go to them as well, but I thought id give Horus a shot. And thanks re the sediment comment.

Thanks, enduring. I can hire another plumber, but this guy worked on the house for 20+ years before we bought it, and it is a big house with a lot of complex plumbing. So I'd rather not, but I may. We are actually on good terms with him but for legal reasons we can't let the GC's subs on the property for now.

Antss, I am not sure I agree with that characterization. I was redoing multiple bathrooms and I wanted interesting and unique items, which included Horus, Samual Heath, Herbeau and THG. They all have US distribution. And I may well be able to get on the phone with Horus USA and get a manual ... i havent gotten around to that yet. I would not want a selection confined to US sources.

My warning to others --- hire a good GC. God knows how you find one. Ours was a social acquaintance with, as far as i knew, a good reputation. In retrospect I think the issue was that our project was far larger than anything they had ever done and they lacked the project management and budgetary expertise. That's as charitable as I can be.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:33PM
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If lawsuits are flying, you really don't want to bring your GC back into your house. If you really felt compelled to do so, consult legal advise before contacting your GC about additional work.

While there are always variations when troubleshooting...I'll throw out a couple of thoughts:

If, when you select full hot water, you still get great volume flow, but it's just high volume at a tepid temperature, then it's likely that the temperature limit ring (high temp limit) on the valve is set too low.

If the temp limit was properly set but you had debris in the valve limiting hot water pass-through, then the valve would still try to pump out hot water...but with only a little "hot" hot water getting through, the valve will only let a little "cold" cold water through to temper the hot so as to pass comfortable temperature water out of the shower head. So you'd likely get the proper temp, or close to it, but at reduced flow volume.

You wrote that your water volume is reduced...that could be a symptom of the problem or that could be due to a lower-flow shower head.

Tough to diagnose over the internet.

I have zero familiarity with Horus. Other than getting a plumber, the best advise I can offer is to remove the trim cover plate so you can see the valve body itself.

If you can't get any Horus literature, you can look at some of the valves that are online and see if you can match components up to discover where you temp limit is, and you might find a way to recalibrate it.

It usually involves:

1) Turn the shower on full hot, let it stabilize, then check the temp with a thermometer. If too cold...
3) remove the shower handle and trim cover plate if needed to access the valve body
4) Make an adjustment to the temp limiter to increase the maximum water temp, check with a thermometer
5) reinstall the removed pieces

And although this sounds knuckleheaded, make sure the hot water is actually plumbed to the hot water side of the valve and the cold water to the cold water side of the valve. Eery once in a while someone has a bad day...

Anyhow, some links for you to peruse:



One last thing. Your valve may or may not have "service stops". A stop is a little on/off flow valve, one right at the cold water supply and one on the ht water supply. They allow you to turn off water supply to the valve without having to turn off water to the entire house. Make sure the stops are open. One version is shown in the photo below:

Best, Mongo

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 2:31PM
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mtn - where is Horus' U.S. Corp. Headquarters?

A quick search turns up zilch.

I'd never heard of them till this thread.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 12:53AM
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Thank you so much for taking the time to write your detailed post. The trim cover plate did not come off easily so rather than risk doing damage, we are going to wait for the plumber (we are coming to close to a deadline in the legal proceeedings) or get a new one.

However, all of this had been very helpful because I now suspect the plumber rather than the item itself, which is good to know.

Once again Mongo, thank you. Your insight will be helpful even if we aren't DIY.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 12:35PM
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