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Hi Robert, thank you for the call after you received my email regarding the hot and cold water being mixed up within my home. Per your recommendation, I spent several hours troubleshooting this issue and ultimately found the problem, which was the shower stem.  

There was a small neoprene-type piece connected to the stem, and this piece had broken off. It was “freewheeling,” moving about, and ultimately this tiny piece was the culprit for mixing the hot and cold water throughout my entire home. I couldn’t believe this tiny piece could do that, and I would have ultimately spent likely hundreds (perhaps thousands) of dollars paying someone to troubleshoot this issue for me.  

I am thankfully handy enough to have been able to execute your advice and work on this myself, and ultimately find the problem. Many thanks to you for your time, Robert, it is invaluable to me.  

— Mike R. 


Mike, You’re welcome. I am happy to help and am glad that you are skilled enough to work on this and find the answers. Not everyone is willing to tear into things, out of fear, and troubleshoot. Good for you. Robert. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].