Unless you belong to the curious group of people that enjoy cold showers, most of us depend on our showers to be hot. Hot water should come to your shower quickly and without issue. If your water stays cold or doesn’t reach higher than a lukewarm temperature after you’ve waited for a notable amount of time, you might be experiencing one or more of these common issues:
- Low Capacity Tank
The problem really may be as simple as the fact that your water tank isn’t big enough to supply water throughout your household. It takes about 30 minutes on average for a water tank to refill and heat all the new water, so using the shower right after someone else has showered, ran the dishwasher, or done the laundry might leave you with lukewarm water. Or maybe everyone is trying to use all the appliances at once and your water heater just can’t supply hot water to everyone.
To test this theory, wait an hour after everyone has done their chores, and if the water in your shower is hot, your water heater is just too low-capacity for your household. You may want to consider upgrading to a larger tank or to a tankless heater, which provides a constant hot water supply rather than needing storing and heating cold water that will eventually need to refill itself and cause that delay for the heated water.
- Incorrect Temperature
Another simple issue may that you don’t have your water heater set to the correct temperature. 120 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal temperature since it prevents bacteria growth and protects from scalding. It may have been set to a lower temperature without your knowledge to help lower the power bill, or maybe you were the one who did it and just forgot about it. To fix this, turn the power to the heater off, remove the paneling in the back, and adjust the dial back to the recommended temperature. If you aren’t confident in doing this, you can also pay a plumber a few bucks to do it for you.
- Gas Problems
If you have a gas-powered water heater, there are a couple of things that you can check. For starters, check if you have all the gas valves and lines set in the open position. You’ll also want to check the pilot light to see if it’s gone out and check the burner to see if there’s damaged, in which case it’ll need to be repaired or replaced. A gas leak may also be an issue, which you can usually smell if it is. If you smell a gas leak, turn everything off and call a professional right away.
- Electrical Problems
If you have an electrical water heater, one of the electrical heating elements may be damaged and will need to be repaired or replaced. Another issue may be a tripped circuit, which you can fix by resetting the circuit. If the circuit trips often, however, your water heater was most likely installed improperly, needs to be looked at, and possibly needs to be reinstalled.
- Showerhead Mixing Valve
If you notice that every other water source dispenses hot water just fine, the underlying issue is probably within the showerhead itself. One problem could be caused by a faulty showerhead mixing valve, which is what mixes hot and cold water to regulate the temperature. Fortunately, you can buy parts for a new showerhead mixing valve for cheap and fix it yourself. Although, if you find that this doesn’t fix the issue, you may have a problem within the walls connecting to your showerhead specifically and will need someone experienced to come and take a look.
- Rotational Stop Limit
Another showerhead issue may be with the rotational stop-limit within the showerhead, which is the component that keeps the water from being so hot it scalds your skin. Luckily, all you need to do is locate the part and turn it counter-clockwise, in most cases, to allow more hot water to come through the showerhead. If turned clockwise, colder water will come out, so the issue was likely that it had just twisted too far towards the cold side.
- Faulty Dip Tube
If you have a water tank heater, there’ll be a tube, known as the dip tube, which refills the bottom of the tank with cold water to be heated, pushing the hot water up to the top for use. When the dip tube becomes worn down, brittle, and springs leaks, the cold water can rise to the top and come through the faucets. Not only that, but little plastic bits of the deteriorated tube can clog up pipes and cause low pressure. If you suspect this might be an issue, you’ll want to have a professional take care of it.
You might not know where to start in identifying the issue with your shower. Don’t be alarmed; you can contact experienced plumbers at KMSServices.com.au/hot-water-systems-gold-coast to help you pinpoint the problem and help you make the necessary repairs. It’s essential that your home has the hot water it needs, and there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from making the fixes you need.