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posted ago by Birdbath ago by Birdbath +23 / -1

Yesterday, the plastic handle on the bathtub temperature mixing valve broke. Inconvenient, so off to the hardware store.

Easy repair, right? Just take a broken piece of plastic off and replace it. Except now, when you twist for Hot water, it's Cold. And visa-versa. It makes no sense!

Have you ever done a repair that left you scratching your head afterwards?

Comments (15)
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VicariousJambi 4 points ago +5 / -1

Now just flip the label around and you're all done!

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FuckRioters 1 point ago +1 / -0

Or use a paint-marker.

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RogueCoyote 4 points ago +4 / -0

Whenever I set a tool down while focusing on the work, then 2 minutes later when I need it again it's just fucking gone.

Which is very closely related to the classic game of where the fuck did that screw I dropped go.

3
Birdbath [S] 3 points ago +3 / -0

Ah yes, the infamous tool created pocket dimension. I know it well...

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coverband 1 point ago +1 / -0

Used to have a pup in the litter that tried to take any tool laid on the ground, back to the tool box.

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GuyWhite 2 points ago +3 / -1

Might you have installed the plastic handle upside down? Pointing up rather than down or vice versa.

If HOT is left at 9 on a clock face, and cold is right at 3 on a clock face and the valve stem is inline between HOT - | - COLD then it matters pointing up or down.

My career was repairing nuclear reactors and I am VERY careful, even 25 years after retirement.

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Birdbath [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

I do not know. I didn't make the repair. I just removed the broken knob. But I'm having a hard time, based on it, visualizing how A: you could install it upside down. B: even if you did how it would make the mixer work backwards

I'll probably take it off and try again though, because this is just weird.

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GuyWhite 0 points ago +1 / -1

How do YOU decide to turn the handle CW or CCW towards HOT or COLD?

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Birdbath [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

I don't follow your question. A mixer valve stem comes out of the wall. Originally if the handle was twisted left hot water came out.

A new plastic handle replaced the one with a broken spline. Now when it's twisted left, cold water comes out.

So somehow the valve is being turned the opposite way than it was before.

Given it's a plastic handle held in place by a screw, I'm really not understanding how that could change the action of the valve stem. But I non-mechanical that way. I'll tinker with it when I have a minute, because like I said before, I didn't actually make the swap.

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ThurstonHowell3rd 2 points ago +2 / -0

Who did the repair? Tell them that they screwed up and ask them to fix it.

It could be that the spline will rotate 360 degrees and knob actually works as a stop to restrict complete rotation. If the repairman allowed that spline to rotate 180 degrees before putting the new knob on the spline this might explain the reversal. I dunno without at least seeing a picture.

If you want some cheap entertainment, make a post on plbg.com. There are actual union plumbers there that have seen every sort of plumbing problem you could ever imagine.

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Birdbath [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

The Spouse did it. It really isn't a huge deal, except for when I went to take that first post-repair bath and the water was cold.

Eventually, it will make it back to the top of my to-do list and I'll poke at it. It was just weird how such a straightforward repair could go so sideways.

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ThurstonHowell3rd 2 points ago +2 / -0

Scroll down on this page and read the answer to the question, "Hot and cold water reversed?".

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Birdbath [S] 3 points ago +3 / -0

Hey, fyi, it worked! I finally had a minute to take a look, and with the help of a screwdriver and needle nose pliers, things are now working as they should.

Thanks again!

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Birdbath [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

So, according to that source, somehow the valve stem got rotated. Weird, but it makes sense.

Thanks for the detective work!