Why Is My Shower Water Cold: 5 Common Explanations

A hot shower on a cold and chilly morning is one of the best ways to start your day. A blast of cold water can shock your body, and it can also mean more significant issues with your plumbing system.

If you notice the water temperature drop to the frigid side, you need to find out the cause of it. It could be something as simple as a temperature adjustment to your thermostat, or it could also mean something more severe with your water heater.

Fortunately, a plumber can identify and diagnose the problem of your cold water issue. You can decide if it’s something simple you can fix or whether additional plumbing services are required.

Here are the explanations why your shower water is cold:

1. Your water heater reached its capacity.

There could be many reasons your water heater has maxed out. The amount of shower time, dishwasher cycles and even laundry loads can push your hot water capacity to the limit. If the issue is a high capacity, you need to find ways to decrease hot water usage.

Hot water is usually a priority for showering and other hygiene requirements for your body. But do your clothes need to be washed in hot water? Is there a way of reducing the dishwashing cycles?

Finding ways to reduce your hot water consumption habits will help with this issue. However, there could be a possibility that you need to upgrade your water heater to a larger capacity, simply because you have a larger family now?

2. Too much buildup in your water heater.

As the months and years go by, there will be a naturally occurring buildup of minerals in your water heater. Calcium and magnesium are usually the sediments that cause the buildup in water tanks and headers, and over time, this can lead to problems such as the lack of hot water.

Sediment buildup decreases the tank’s ability to hold hot water. To prevent this, regular cleaning is needed, and this is where professional plumbing services can help you flush out these sediments and get your back on track.

3. The shower’s mixing valve needs adjusting.

If the problem is not with the water heater, the issue could be with your shower valve, which needs to be adjusted. The valve is responsible for controlling the shower water temperature. If there’s a change in your hot and cold water, then your valves probably need to be changed or require fixing if it’s broken. These valves could either be worn out or broken.

Unless you have the expertise and the right tools to change the valves, a professional plumber is the best way to go, as they would assess the situation and provide the most appropriate solution.

4. The shower temperature needs adjusting.

The recommended temperature for hot water is between 120 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If your morning shower takes a turn towards icy cold, then check the temperature setting and make sure it is at a temperature that suits you and your family.

Ensure that the temperature does not go beyond 140 because it can cause third-degree burns, especially for children. Test out the temperature of the water each time you adjust to make sure it’s at a comfortable level.

Sometimes, the problem could also be the thermostat that gives you an inaccurate reading. This makes it hard for you to stabilize the temperature in your home. If you’re not sure what the issue could be, get an assessment from a plumber.

5. Check the shower water tubes.

There could also be issues with pipes and tubes when it comes to water. Water heaters usually contain a tube that adds cold water to the tank. This tube is called a dip tube. Coldwater is fed to the bottom of the tank, allowing the warmer water to rise to the top and flow through your appliances and plumbing.

Like sediment buildup, pipes and tubes are also prone to wear and tear, which means cracks can happen, and fractures will cause fluctuations in water temperature. Dip tube problems are pervasive in older water tanks, so you need to either get them fixed or replaced or change your water tank to a newer one.

Essentially, you need to call in a professional plumber for things you cannot fix by simply changing the temperature or changing consumption habits. Things could be severe if:

  • You hear strange noises coming from the tank (it could mean something is loose or broken)
  • There is water pooling around the tank (which could lead to more damaging issues like moulding)
  • Your water bill increases (there could be leaks you can’t see)
  • Your water has discoloration (signs of rust are generally red or yellow coloured water)

Getting to the root of the issue as soon as possible and rectifying your plumbing problems will save you from stress and not to mention unnecessary costs.

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