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Home Improvement  /  May 15, 2020

Do Your Showers Get Hot When Somebody Flushes a Toilet?

It’s a staple gag of many sitcoms. Somebody flushes a toilet while a person is showering, and the shower water immediately becomes extremely hot. Hollywood might have taken some exaggerated liberties portraying this weird plumbing quirk, but it still has some basis in reality. While it is certainly amusing to watch, the more pressing question is how do you avoid it from happening in the first place?

Answering this question starts with understanding how the pipes in a home are designed. From that point, there are several ways you can lessen the amount of times you get shocked by piping hot showers or prevent it from ever occurring entirely. 

Trunk and Branch System

Most homes use a trunk and branch system for their pipes. A large main line (the “trunk”) runs from one end of your home to the other. From this line, several smaller pipes (the “branches”) feed into individual rooms that require plumbing. When someone flushes a toilet, the amount of cold water in the entire system is slightly used up. Since showers are often fed from a combination of hot and cold water, the sudden drop in cold water means you’re momentarily and suddenly using only hot water.

How to Fix the Problem

One simple way would be to slightly close the toilet supply valve. This means toilet tanks take longer to fill, reducing the cold water reduction that results in extremely hot showers. A more permanent albeit expensive option is to modify your pipes to increase the amount of water it holds at any given time. This can be a drastic approach that often involves a massive overhaul of your home’s plumbing system.

Smart Mixing

Lastly, you can also use a smart mixing valve available in the plumbing section of your local handyman center. These thermostatic mixers automatically regulate the amount of hot and cold water that go into showers, resulting in the perfect temperature every time. Inadvertently, they can also be a good fix to the age-old problem of toilet flushing and hot showers.

Ask our skilled craftsmen at Handyman Connection® of Grapevine about smart shower mixers and avoid getting shocked by piping hot showers once and for all. Give us a call at (817) 527-3600, or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate today.

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