If you have experienced the inconvenience of your shower water going cold in the middle of shampooing your hair, you understand the importance of having an ample supply of hot water. However, an unexpected cold shower might not always result from a lack of hot water. This guide will help you troubleshoot the most common reasons behind inconsistent water temperatures.
Faulty Water Heater
Of course, the most likely culprit of cold shower water is your water heater. If you happen to have an electric water heater, check the heating elements. Water that never gets hot indicates a problem with the temperature control on the water heater. Also, it is possible the cold water supply dip tube needs to be replaced. When that tube is broken, it sends cold water through the hot water pipe, resulting in an icy shower. If everything seems to be working and you have an older heater, consider replacing it with a more efficient model.
Narrow Down the Problem
Do you have inconsistent water temperatures throughout the whole house or just the shower? To find out, turn on every hot water faucet in your home and wait to see how hot the water gets. Water that is hot initially but quickly cools indicates the water heater’s burner needs to be repaired or replaced. If no hot water comes from any of the faucets, the previously mentioned dip tube is the culprit. Do all of your faucets produce hot water that stays hot? Then the problem is definitely isolated to the shower.
If your water heater is functioning properly, investigate the shower valve. This valve mixes hot and cold water to give you the desired temperature. Valve problems occur because the washers have worn out and the valve no longer mixes the water. This is an easy fix and only requires a few inexpensive replacement parts from your local hardware store.
Mixed Up Pipes
If you own an older home, the pipes might be cross-connected, which creates a balance between the hot and cold water. However, this method is not necessary with modern shower heads. If you suspect your problem lies with cross-connected pipes, call your plumber.
Leave the Troubleshooting to Air Tech of Central Florida
Some plumbing problems are best left to the professionals. If you need pipes repaired, a replacement water heater or another plumbing service, contact Air Tech of Central Florida.