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February 3, 2005 12:18 AM

Broken: Days Inn shower handle

Shower_wKris writes:

I was initially confused by this warning in the shower at a Days Inn in Tucson, AZ.  Actually come to think of it, I am still confused.

[And how is this a "scald guard"? -mh]


well if its turned all the way to cold, you wont get any scalding hot water out of it...i guess the scaldguard part of it is working ;)

too bad the rest of this doesnt make any sense...

Posted by: Carl Winslow at February 3, 2005 12:46 AM

I think what it means is you have to go past hot, into a superhot world where you are so far past hot that your handle is back to cold again.

Scary place if you ask me.

Posted by: Jeff at February 3, 2005 01:04 AM

After googling, it appears that there's a mechanism in it which turns down the hot water if it detects the user has the temperature turned up too high to prevent them from being scalded when the water comes on.

So I guess by turning the control all the way to "cold", the regulator isn't triggered, allowing the user to turn it back toward "hot".

Posted by: Alden Bates at February 3, 2005 04:38 AM

This seems pretty straight forward, turn the water all the way to cold and then turn it to set your temperature. Label could be clearer though.

Posted by: Joshua Wood at February 3, 2005 08:57 AM

Straight forward?

I've got it all the way to cold, where's my hot water?

Oh wait, do they mean 'all the way to cold *first*'? Now I turn it back to hot?

What a place to have confusing instructions.

Posted by: DaveC426913 at February 3, 2005 09:22 AM

I believe it means that the knob will only turn to the right, meaning you have to go through cold to get to hot so you dont just turn it to hot and burn yourself

Posted by: Deathbob at February 3, 2005 09:22 AM

Straightforward? Things should work in an expected and intuitive way. With an "H" on one end and a "C" on the other, and the common convention that the more one turns the knob towards "H", the hotter the water becomes; what would you do to get the hottest water?

Would you expect your fuel gauge needle to register at "E" after you completely fill the tank?

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at February 3, 2005 10:21 AM

Expectations have nothing to do with it.

If someone takes a shower and leaves it on full-blast 'hot', then someone else comes in after and takes a shower, they may leave it on hot and scald themselves. Hence 'Scald Guard'.

If it were SUPPOSED to work as per expectations, they wouldn't need a sign. If our county's citizens weren't so sue-happy, we wouldn't need strange showers.

If they put the entire explanation and reasoning on each sign, that would be a waste of time, space, and effort.

Posted by: Jim King at February 3, 2005 11:22 AM

Obviously the warning could be better written, I don't dispute this. All it is trying to convey is that okay you get in the shower is at warm. Let's say you want really hot, you have to turn the water to fully cold, and then move it towards the hot until you reach the super hot temperature you desire. This is so that when you leave and the water is still super hot, your kid gets in and is not scalded. You must actively turn off the scald prevention by first going to full cold.

The labeling clearly could improve, but I appreciate the fact that I don't have to have a lukewarm shower in the name of safety.

Posted by: Joshua Wood at February 3, 2005 11:23 AM

One thing I just noticed. Isn't it funny that the red warning text is to keep the shower curtain inside the tub and not the usual do not melt your skin off with your freaking hot water?

Posted by: Joshua Wood at February 3, 2005 11:24 AM

My first thought when I saw this sign....

Maybe they have the faucet rigged so that all the way to the H is not hot enough to scald you. If you turn it all the way to the extreme C end, the water will become very hot.

What or who is this trying to protect? Perhaps it will protect children who are unfamilar with the working of a shower (or bath) from turning the water to the H so much that it would scald them.

Perhaps this was a lawsuit response?

Posted by: me at February 3, 2005 11:32 AM

"handle must be turned all the way to cold"

This could easily be fixed by adding "first" to that sentence, and making the arrow loop around from C and point back to H, showing exactly how you have to move the handle.

Posted by: Jacques Troux at February 3, 2005 11:37 AM

i dont see how someone can leave the water on super hot for the next person.

every single shower i have ever been in has always required turning the handle down from hot to cold then to off, meaning if you turn the shower off, you must reset the water back to cold.


their implementation of a 'scaldguard' is obviously a poor design. there is a much less confusing way to do this.

Posted by: Carl Winslow at February 3, 2005 11:38 AM

"Would you expect your fuel gauge needle to register at "E" after you completely fill the tank?"

my truck does that all the time, dont know why though... i guess the E stands for both, Empty, and Enough.

Posted by: Dragon at February 3, 2005 11:39 AM

My new PT Cruiser doesn't register the fuel level until you put the key in and power up the dashboard-- which is stupid. Why should the car have to be on to check the fuel level? How hard is it to keep the fuel gauge accurate when the power's off?

Posted by: James Schend at February 3, 2005 01:05 PM

Carl> Some showers I've seen use the handle's rotation to control the water temp, but you push the handle in towards the wall to turn the water off, and pull it to turn the water on. With such a handle you can easily turn the water on with the handle in the OMFG THIS IS HOT position.

Posted by: Jacques Troux at February 3, 2005 01:09 PM

Why are you staying in a Days Inn anyhow? It gets worse when you go downstairs for breakfast and try to work the waffle maker.

Posted by: southernrealtor at February 3, 2005 02:39 PM

The exciting thing about ScaldGuard(tm) is that someone _else_ sets the level, so if you, oh, I don't know, have some incompetent "plumbers" install a tub enclosure w/the scald guard in your apartment then you get to take barely-warm showers for years with occasional visits by other incompetent "plumbers" who cannot fix it. This is all a fantastical, fictional scenario that has never happened to anyone ever but luckily no one was scalded.

Posted by: Cardhouse Ground Control at February 4, 2005 09:22 AM

OK, no one has figured this out yet? You don't turn it to cold then back to hot for hot, it just means that the hottest water will not come out if you turn it to hot. If you turn it far enough backwards however, the hottest water will come out. It isn't a very good scald guard, it would probably make more unexpeected scalds.

Posted by: Dummy at February 4, 2005 06:51 PM

I think there would be FEWER people scalded if the sign was removed.

It makes no sense.

Posted by: BOB at February 5, 2005 04:21 PM

First of all, your an idiot for buy a PT Cruiser, that aside... fuel level is not a mechanical sense, it's electronic. Therefore there HAS to be power and WHY do you need to know how much gas there is when the piece o' crapola isn't on? Did you forget since you last got out?!?!

And for the "this is broken" comment... come on, how hard is to figure out that you need to turn the handle the opposite way from cold, all the way around past hot, until it stops at cold. There are TWO choices... hot and cold. Do you need an "I'm an idiot, this is past hot setting?"

Posted by: ohyeah at February 5, 2005 08:32 PM

I assume you get hot water from turning the handle counterclockwise (towards "hot"), and it gets hotter the farther you turn it. Thus, if you keep turning it so that it points at "cold" again, it will be as hot as it can get.

It's still stupid to have a sign about it though. ;P

Posted by: SnowFox102 at February 6, 2005 12:59 AM

If the scald guard works with a bi-metalic valve of some kind (think a mechanical thermometer), then the only way to reset a valve that has gotten too hot, is to cool it off. So, this kind of makes sense to me. Kinda.

But lemme tell you what REALLY annoys me about hotel showers. Well, all showers, for that matter....

So, in my parent's restaurant, they were dinged a point on their health inspection, because the faucets in the bathrooms were reversed. Apparently, there is a preconceived notion of which way knobs are supposed to turn. I didn't realize how innate this knowledge is, until I actually did try to use a backwards sink. I constantly turned the faucet full blast, instead of turning it off!

On top of this, there is an impression that hot is on the left, and cold is on the right.

So, what really bothers me, is to step into a shower and to be faced with a different knob every *&%# time I go in a hotel. Do you pull it? Twist it? Rock it? Which way is hotter? Colder? Off?

I think I'm reasonably intelligent... but unfamiliar shower controls make me feel stupid. :( Isn't there a safety situation there, as well? How many people have been scalded because they turned the knob the wrong way?

Posted by: Michael Dwyer at February 6, 2005 02:33 AM

>And for the "this is broken" comment...

>come on, how hard is to figure out...

And how funny is it that the poster of this remark describing people who can't figure it out as idiots... has the explanation completely wrong?

That's what I love about this site: the posts from people going "this isn't broken, it's obvious how it works!!!" -- when it doesn't work like that :-)

Posted by: Carl at February 11, 2005 04:24 PM

Like someone else said, the sign could easily be un-broken by adding a "first" to the sentence:

"To reach maximum hot water temperature, handle must FIRST be turned all the way to cold"

Posted by: Martin at May 29, 2005 12:38 AM

There is a whole lot of speculation but does anybody KNOW how it really works?

Posted by: Sean P at June 10, 2005 01:01 PM

There was a shower at a campground near Longcreek, SC where "C" meant hot and "H" meant cold:

Off C H


Here: off

Off C H


Here: hot

Off C H


Here: cold

My aunt was in there for 20 minutes, waiting for the water to warm up. She gave up then, bu as she was moving the lever to "Off" it got hot as she passed "C".

Posted by: Jake Nelson at October 24, 2005 06:07 PM

There was a shower at a campground near Longcreek, SC where "C" meant hot and "H" meant cold:


C \/











My aunt was in there for 20 minutes, waiting for the water to warm up. She gave up then, bu as she was moving the lever to "Off" it got hot as she passed "C".

Posted by: Jake Nelson at October 24, 2005 06:10 PM

OK, I have used a faucet of this type before. If you notice, there is an arrow indicating the only way the knob can turn is to the left. It starts out Hot, and goes to cold, the hottest temperature being just before the cold. Then it goes to cold, and back off. Make sense? Not really huh?

Posted by: Jon at November 4, 2005 11:20 PM

I am writing for my daughter. She just bought an older condo and is running into problems. The one taking priority is in the plmbing catagory. When she turns the water on to take a shower, water gushes out of the shower head immediately soaking her, the floor, etc. She has no time to adjust the temp.or water flow. After pulling the button lever there is no change. She changed out the diverter to no avail. ==maybe you can give her some help; we sure would appreciate it!! We will eagerly await your reply. Thank you.

Posted by: M. Redd at March 6, 2006 02:34 AM

Why comment or ask for help? No one bothers to answer you?????Thank so much for all your haha help.

Posted by: Mary Redd at March 15, 2006 08:57 PM

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