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Plumbing in the Home/One Bathroom Shower/Tub No Hot Water


Hi Dana
I have a full bath that only has luke warm water in shower/tub; does not get hot; but the sink has hot water. And my other bathroom with shower no tub has hot water in shower and sink.

House is about 40 years old; have lived in for 20 years; problem just started recently. Is 50 gal GE w/h, electric. Nashville, TN.

Bathrooms are back to back but do not share wet-wall. Both elements checked OK with m/meter and T-stat is on 130 degrees. Even pushed reset button on element but no help.

Any ideas?

Thanks so much.

Hello Don,
A couple of things come to mind. Since this is a localized condition at one tub/shower unit the problem is likely to be an issue with old galvanized piping or a problem with that tub/shower valve.

If you still have the original galvanized steel piping, the hot side piping is usually the first to begin to clog up with the rust and mineral deposits. The only remedy for this is to replace those pipes.

There could be debris blocking the internal water passages in the valve due to the above piping condition.

If this is a conventional 2/3 handle "compression style" tub/shower valve, the hot side stem washer could have come loose from the end of the stem and is partially blocking the hot water flow.

Since you have proper hot water everywhere else, the problem is probably not a water heater issue. All of the hot water piping is connected and "common" which means that if it were a water heater issue the problem would exist everywhere you used hot water.

A washer issue with the tub shower valve could easily be a DIY project. The other issues are going to need a professional to diagnose and/or deal with.
Good Luck,

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Dana Bostick


Pretty much any residential plumbing questions. For "item specific" details such as a specific model of fixture, I will need to research and there may not be any useful information available. Note: I live and work in Southern California. We do not, as a rule, use hot water or steam heating systems, oil fired boilers or private water wells so my knowledge in those areas is pretty limited. There are others here on AllExerts that can probably answer those questions better.


Retired, Licensed General Contractor with Plumbing license. Active Home Inspector, Litigation Consultant and Infrared Thermographer, Online Marketing specialist.

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