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Delta Shower Not Getting Hot? Top 3 Causes (+ Fixes)

Taking a shower is often the best part of your day — you get to be completely alone and can take some much-needed time to give your body some tender loving care. But if your Delta shower isn’t hot enough, this can quickly turn into an unpleasant experience. Here’s why it can happen:

Your Delta shower isn’t getting hot enough because the shower faucet cartridge isn’t installed correctly, the anti-scald valve isn’t adjusted, or the water heater temperature is too low. Fixes include reinstalling your faucet cartridge, adjusting the anti-scald valve, and adjusting the water heater.

This article will go over the various reasons your Delta Shower isn’t getting hot enough. I’ll also explain what you can do to fix these problems quickly and easily.

The Shower Faucet Cartridge Is on the Wrong Side

The problem with your hot water may lie in the construction of your house or the installation of your shower plumbing. 

During construction, the hot and cold water lines in your shower may have been swapped. This means that when you turn your faucet to hot, it’s actually making use of the cold water line and vice versa. 

To see if this is the case, turn your faucet to the cold side and check if the water running from the showerhead becomes hot.

If this doesn’t work, it may be that whoever installed your shower accidentally reversed the cartridge inside the faucet handle. Again, this would mean that instead of using the hot water line when you turn your faucet to the hot side, it’s using the cold water line.

To fix this, you need to disassemble the handle and put the cartridge back in the correct position. You’ll need a Set of Tekton Allen Wrenches (Amazon.com), possibly a Klein Tools Screwdriver (Amazon.com), and a Tekton Adjustable Wrench (Amazon.com). Not only do these high-quality tools ensure you’ll fix your Delta shower, but they also make for a great addition to your toolkit.

How to Fix

Here’s what you need to do to swap the shower faucet cartridge on your Delta shower:

  1. Make sure you turn off the water supply before you begin. Otherwise, you could get wet or scalded by a sudden rush of hot water coming from the faucet.
  2. Unscrew the handle. You’ll find an Allen nut behind the lever of the handle. Once you’ve unscrewed it, the handle should come off easily. You can now see the cartridge.
  3. Remove the Jar-Top valve ring. You’ll find it at the back of the cartridge. You may find that the handle’s trim ring is in the way of this, so you’ll have to remove that too by using the Phillips screwdriver to undo the screws. If you can’t remove the Jar-Top valve ring by hand, use the wrench to gently turn it until you can turn it the rest of the way by hand.
  4. Remove the cartridge. Note that there will be a small H written on one side of the cartridge to indicate where the cartridge should connect to the hot water line. The H should be on the left side of your shower handle.
  5. Reassemble the handle. Put back the cartridge and all other parts you’ve removed.

If you’re not sure how to do this, you can watch this YouTube video that’ll guide you through the entire process:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G3A4ogPVv0

If your Delta shower is relatively old, it might be time for you to replace the cartridge, as some of its parts may have become worn and ineffective. This can result in lukewarm or cold water because the water from the hot and cold lines mix in the cartridge.

Thankfully, you can get a replacement Delta Shower Cartridge from Amazon.com. It’s an OEM replacement cartridge that works with any 13 or 14-series Delta tub shower.

Remove the old cartridge in the same way as mentioned in the steps above and then replace it with a new cartridge. Make sure to insert it correctly, with the H on the left side of the faucet valve.

You can now open your faucet on hot to see if this fixed the problem. If it didn’t, don’t worry; you can still try a few other things. 

The Anti-Scald Valve Isn’t Adjusted

Every Delta Shower comes equipped with a Rotational Limit Stop. It’s a device designed to limit how much your shower handle can rotate to prevent scalding.

However, if your water isn’t hot enough, you can adjust this limit to increase the water temperature.

How to Fix

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to adjust your Delta shower’s Anti-Scald Valve:

  1. Remove the handle using the appropriate Allen Wrench. This should expose the Anti-Scald Valve located at the very tip of the faucet cartridge.
  2. Rotate the Limit Stop counter-clockwise to increase the water temperature. Make these adjustments in small increments, checking water temperature as you go to ensure that it doesn’t become too hot. You can do this by placing the handle and turning it to the hot side, letting the water run for a bit.
  3. Keep making these adjustments until the water reaches your preferred temperature. When ready, screw the handle back into place.

Here’s a YouTube video you can watch if you’re not quite sure how to do this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu5knERDq3Y

If adjusting the Rotational Limit Stop does nothing to increase your water temperature, there is one last thing you can try.

Your Water Heater Isn’t Getting Hot Enough

If the previous two adjustments didn’t address the issue, or if the water temperature is a problem throughout your whole house, you may need to change the temperature on your water heater.

If you have a gas water heater, this process is fairly simple. All you have to do is turn the dial located at the front of the gas control valve to increase the temperature. However, if you have an electric water heater, the process is a bit more complicated. For this, you’ll need both Phillips and flat head screwdrivers.

How to Fix

Here’s how to increase the temperature on your water heater:

  1. Turn off the power to your water heater by switching off the appropriate circuit in your breaker box.
  2. Remove the panel that covers the temperature dial using a Phillips screwdriver. The panel is typically labeled to make things easier.
  3. Remove the insulation covering the temperature dial.
  4. Using the flat head screwdriver, adjust the temperature dial by turning counter-clockwise to increase the temperature.
  5. Replace the insulation and put the panel back on.
  6. Restore power to the water heater in your breaker box.
  7. Test out the water temperature to see if it’s hot enough. If not, repeat steps 1–6 until the water is hot enough for you. Note that your water temperature shouldn’t exceed 120°F (48.88°C) to avoid burning yourself. If you’re not sure of your water temperature, test it by holding a thermometer in a cup of hot water from your faucet.

If you don’t have a no-touch thermometer, get the Touchless Forehead Thermometer (Amazon.com). Although it’s designed to monitor your body temperature, it’s also highly accurate at measuring water temperature thanks to its accurate infrared sensor.

Watch this YouTube video if you need some extra guidance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh8omS9oLTE

Conclusion

There are a few ways to adjust the temperature of your Delta Shower to ensure that the water is hot enough for showers.

However, if none of the adjustments worked, it may be possible that your water heater’s thermometer or the water heating element is faulty and needs replacing. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, hire a plumber or ask your handyman neighbor to do it for you. 

Good luck with adjusting your shower’s water temperature!

Author

  • Steve Rajeckas

    Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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