How to: Scald Yourself.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

By that I mean, do you have one of those bath fixtures with that ever-so-annoying anti-scald feature on it?

Or wait:  do you wonder when drawing a bath or taking a shower why the water just will. not. heat up. enough?  As you stand there in lukewarm water shivering, shaking your fist in the air, darn it why won't this get hot?!

It may not necessarily be your hot water heater, ya know.  If you've checked that and it's all hunky dory fine, it's probably because there's that spiffily aggravating anti-scald thingie on the faucet.

But guess what -- it'll be faster to fix than the time it takes to read this post.  You'll be basking in wondrous hot hot scalding hot water in no time.

Where is this all coming from today, you ask?  Huh?

We have a small jet tub in our master bath.  Which we were pleased about.  We like jet tubs.  Until Mike took one bath and I took one bath eons ago.  The water would not get hot which ya know, makes for a, how shall I say, less than pleasant bathing experience, right?


So we never took baths again, disappointed, heads droopy hanging low, whining about what a waste of a tub, wishing we could take baths especially after something like Patio Day.

We know our hot water tank is fine.  Please.  That thing better be fine for the rest of time.

Being too busy with work for a while then other more pressing house projects, figuring out what the deal was with the dumb faucet situation wasn't a high priority.

But, as it turns out, the same bath fixture is in the hall guest bath.  So and ya know, guests stay, a mention or two, ya know, the shower doesn't get hot.  Hm, ok.  Guess I better fix it somehow.  Eventually I realized, huh, I betcha they're anti-scald fixtures.

Initially I thought I'd have to replace the bath fixtures which was daunting cost- and effort-wise.  I assumed because our flipper was such a cheap a--hole that he installed the cheapest fell-off-the-back-of-a-truck junk fixtures with crazy insane jammed up anti-scald lockdowns.

Little did I know that in this glorious world of the interwebs, all I had to do was a little online snooping around instead.  Well, heh, of course until I finally started snooping around.

It's fixable!  Yay!!

And it is so fast and so easy to do, my self is now super ticked at me for all those baths I've missed out on.  I feel like a bozo for not fixing them sooner but guess what, bozo-ness is outweighed by the sense of accomplishment and pride I now feel.  So there.

Tools required:

  • allen wrench or screw driver, depending on your faucet
  • brain.  Or not -- it was so easy you don't need one

Do note:  if you have children or live with folks who are sensitive to hot hot hot water, please be careful about doing this.  Anti-scald devices are intended to protect folks from burning themselves and making adjustments may not be the safest nor the right thing to do.

First, take a look at the bath handle and find out what brand you have.  Hopefully it's on there somewhere.  You might have to look close and hard, under, around, who knows where.  After a year and a half, I finally found out that one in question is UPC (??), another by Pfister.  Shocked, I was.

Hey, it's a bath faucet!
Next, run to your computer and type in the brand name and something along the lines of anti-scald fix or repair or device, see what comes up.  There should be several links either with videos or explanations on how to do adjust the temperature.

Tip:  if you can't find the brand name, take a photo(s) of the handle etc. and bring what parts you can in to a friendly hardware store person or plumbing store and ask for assistance.

For these particular faucets, there's a set screw under the handle.  Oh wait, first, close the drain.

Find an appropriately sized allen wrench and remove the set screw.  Ah, see, now you know why I said close the drain.

Remove the handle by pulling it straight away from the wall and you'll see something similar in set up below.

Make sure the rectangle on the sticky-outie part stays like this, up, but it likely won't move anyway so you're fine.
This one reads settings of A, B, and C.  Cool, this is what you want to see.

Ok, next unscrew the chrome or whatever color ring you have on the larger sticky-outie part, seen below.

No need to take the escutcheon part off, the big ring on the wall.  Yeah, it's called an escutcheon.  Fancy pants word, right?


Next pry out the gasket that has the settings on it.

These are supposed to be black, not painted white, as I discovered on the other fixture later.
Online was no help in determining which was the one I wanted for ragingly hot water so logic set in.  So if it was on B when I found it, and I slide it back on with A at the top, that leaves a wide gap to the left for that sticky-outie rectangle at the top which ah!, is better known as the handle stopper, and the gap is the direction the handle turns for hot water.  Yes?

Formerly B, now on A.  See wide gap to left?  Good.  Hot.

Now set on A, as in ah ha-hoooottt!
Reassemble everything to find out!

Yes?  Yes?  Yesssssss.

Ragingly hot, super scaldy water.  Complaints of burns from guests forthwith.

How easy was that?  SO easy.  So before you run out and spend oodles of money on a new fixture or start shopping for a new hot water heater, check your faucets first, mmk?

Seriously, I am so darn proud of myself.  Sometimes it's the easiest fixes, the smallest tasks around the house, mucho money saving itty bitty fixes that make me feel like a clever smart person.  Mike said he was proud of me too which makes me all warm and fuzzy.  :)

Still not feeling 100% from this cold.  Sadly.  Ugh.  Almost there though.  But I've been working on the DIY rug and whatever small, low energy/effort things I can.

Hopefully soon I'll be back up to full speed and get that workbench built so I can make our headboard and all sorts of other cool things.  Yeah!  Yeah!  Roar!


  1. This is great. I love your writing. And I really appreciate you posting the step by step. I prefer to do as much as I can myself at home. I do not like paying someone else to do something that I might as well learn to do. There are some exceptions like cleaning the gutters and anything that is electrical.

    Karla Foster @ Southwest Houston Plumbing

    1. Thank you so much! Thrilled you found the information useful. I'm in total agreement -- if it's something I can and should learn, and I'll save some cash, I'll do it myself. Thanks!


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