Very little hot water in bath tub/shower -- HELP

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Old 02-24-03, 07:31 AM
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Very little hot water in bath tub/shower -- HELP

FYI, (I am not an expert plumber, so if my terminology is wrong, please correct me)

Over the last year, I have had a constant drip in my upstairs bathtub. As well, pressure has slowly dropped in the hot water too (the cold water is perfectly fine). I decided to finally do some thing about it this weekend. I went to the hardware store and picked up a new stem fitting (the plastic cylinder that sits directly behind the faucet) and replaced the old one. When I turned the water back on, I got absolutely nothing. I even took the hotwater faucet off as well as the stem fitting (expecting to get sprayed) and also got nothing. We turned the water off, and I took a paper clip to try to clean out the valve behind the stem fitting (it is a very small pinhole). I was able to get some dirty water to come out. After reconnecting everything and turning the water back on, I was able to get limited water pressure, enough to take a shower, but barely. I noticed last night that the pressure is dropping though.

My pipes are all galvanized steel. I do have some limited access directly behind the tub. The hot and cold water feed into a special one piece fixture which connects them to both the tub spout, shower, and each faucet.

I am miffed as to what could be wrong. My guess is that there is corrosion built behind the valve. Is there an easy way to clean it without taking everything apart? What else could be wrong?
 
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Old 02-24-03, 07:57 AM
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Obsolete galvanized pipes are notorious for scaling up inside, restricting water flow, until they eventually plug up completely.
This may be your problem, and the only solution for that is to replace the galvanized pipe.
You apparently have a dual-handle (hot and cold) compression type faucet. There may be scale and debris clogging the hot side.
Turn the water off, and carefully try to open that "pinhole" to about 1/8" to see if that helps.
You may have to replace the faucet, and/or the galvanized.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
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Old 02-24-03, 08:21 AM
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How could I open that pinhole? Is there anything I can send down it via the faucet to open it? Or do I have to take the whole pipe apart to do this?
 
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Old 02-24-03, 08:40 AM
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Remove the hot valve stem, and use a small Phillips head screwdriver to try to open the seat hole in the faucet body a bit.
Then turn the water back onto try to flush it out.
If that doesn't do it, you will need to replace the faucet and maybe the galvanized pipe.
Good luck!
Mike
 
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Old 02-25-03, 11:43 AM
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That did it!!!!! I have hot water pressure again.
 
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