We all love a refreshingly cold shower from time to time, maybe after a long run or a sandy day at the beach in summer. But when you’re getting ready for work on a frigid morning or winding down from a tiring day before getting into bed with a book, it’s incredibly frustrating to discover there’s no hot water coming out of the tap.
If your shower is not getting hot, it usually boils down (no pun intended) to the same handful of culprits. We’ll explore each possible reason for the hot water not working in the points below, and offer the most convenient solutions for each scenario as well.
Remember: it’s always a good idea to have plumbing-related issues inspected and resolved by a qualified and experienced plumbing professional, for peace of mind that the repairs are being carried out safely and accurately.
Culprit #1 – The Anti-Scald Valve
For those who aren’t aware, the anti-scald valve is a nifty component within the shower’s plumbing that prevents the water from getting either too hot or too cold. It was designed with the intention to ensure elderly people or young children don’t accidentally scald themselves while showering.
Older showers won’t necessarily have one, but if you live in a more modern house, there’s a good chance your shower has an anti-scald valve built into the handle itself. Alternatively, you might have chosen to get one installed recently.
The issue with anti-scald valves is that it’s easy to install them in the incorrect position by mistake. Obviously this will cause inconsistencies in the hot/cold water coming from the showerhead, so start by checking that the top and bottom segments of this valve align correctly.
If there’s no issue with the positioning or calibration, the valve might be clogged. Try flushing it out with clear water, and see if this makes a difference.
Another common issue is that the valve is simply operating on the wrong settings. This is an easy fix – simply adjust the valve and keep testing the water temperature from the showerhead until you calibrate it to an acceptable setting.
If all of the above fails, it might be time to replace your anti-scald valve with a new device. In this case, consult your local plumbing professional.
Culprit #2 – The Pipes
If the piping isn’t set up correctly in your home, this can directly affect the hot water coming from your taps and showerheads. Cross-connected pipes are a now-redundant innovation that still exist in some older homes’ plumbing systems.
It could also simply be a matter of corroded pipes, which presents a number of problems. Not only will you find that there’s no hot water in the shower, but you might also notice low water pressure and even contaminated water, which poses health hazards.
The only real solution for either of these problems is to replace these sections of plumbing, which will of course require a certified and experienced plumber in your area.
Culprit #3 – The Water Heater
The average water heater is one of the hardest working components of any household’s plumbing system. Its job is to ensure there’s constantly hot water at the ready for your home’s baths, showers, kitchen sinks, bathroom faucets, dishwasher, and so on. The bigger the household, the bigger the job, and the bigger likelihood that one of the following issues will occur.
- Faulty water heater components, usually as a result of dirt or grime build-up around the gas burner (may need cleaning), or malfunctioning parts in electric burners (may need replacing).
- Faulty dip tube causing cold water to sit at the top of the tank, rather than the bottom (where it heats up before being released). Your dip tube may need replacing.
- Broken thermostat showing inaccurate readings, which causes confusion in temperature settings. Again, water heater thermostats are cheap and easy to replace.
- Your water heater is leaking, usually due to deterioration through poor maintenance, lack of regular flushing, loose components causing damage, or general wear and tear.
Culprit #4 – The Mixing Valve
A mixing valve is tasked with ensuring the right amount of cold water merges with the right amount of hot water to provide an optimal temperature for your showers. If the mixing valve deteriorates over time or is set incorrectly in the first place, it will blend the hot water with way too much cold water and leave you with no hot water in the shower.
Unfortunately, this is a complex issue that requires a professional plumber to assess and resolve with the help of quality tools and replacement parts.
Other (easily resolved) reasons why there is no hot water coming out of your taps:
In winter, you might find that the water flowing into your household is colder than during the rest of the year. As such, it might take longer to heat up before it’s ready for use in the shower, so you can simply turn up the thermostat until the climate warms up again.
If your family has grown in recent years, your household might have outgrown your current water heater storage system. Perhaps consider investing in a larger water heater tank (or a tankless model) to facilitate your house’s larger hot water consumption.
And finally, your lack of hot water in the shower could all come down to bad timing! It may sound weird, but many water heater models follow on/off cycles. If you have recently started showering at a different time of the day, it could simply be that you’re jumping in the shower right when the water heater is switching to its off cycle. This is a quick and easy fix – either change the on/off cycle settings or adjust your routine accordingly.
Call Plumbform for efficient and reliable shower hot water repairs
At Plumbform, our friendly and knowledgeable professionals are well-versed in resolving hot water plumbing issues of all shapes, sizes and complexities. If the hot water in your shower isn’t working and you don’t know why, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0424 794 641 and we’ll be happy to help. We specialise in everything from plumbing maintenance services, hot water servicing and gas plumbing to leak detection, blocked drains, and more.