Why Won’t My Shower Get Hot?

Dec 15, 2020

The last thing that anyone needs in the middle of December is a freezing cold shower. However, this time of year is when many customers may begin to have trouble with their shower temperatures. Whether your shower is producing ice-cold water or it simply isn’t hot enough for your standards, here is a closer look at why your shower is not getting hot—brought to you by the Raleigh plumbing experts at Newcomb and Company.

Shower Heat Regulators and Anti-Scald Devices

The average water heater is set between 120-135 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, you may think that warm shower water should never be a problem. But water at this temperature could burn you with direct exposure; the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that the average adult will experience 3rd-degree burns with just 30 seconds of exposure to water at 130 degrees.

To prevent burns and ensure consumer safety, many showers and faucets are equipped with heat regulators or anti-scald devices. This device will limit the amount of hot water that your shower can receive. However, your anti-scald device may be set too low, preventing your shower from getting up to your preferred hot water temperatures. This problem often emerges in the winter, when the tap water mixing into your shower stream tends to run colder. If you find that your water is still not hot enough even at your hottest shower settings, you may need to have an expert examine and adjust your shower’s anti-scald device.

Water Heater Temperature

As mentioned above, colder weather may leave your water heater balancing against colder tap water. If your water heater is set to the lowest possible temperature (often 120 degrees), you may find that the cold of the season makes it hard for your shower to really feel hot. Thankfully, an expert can adjust the temperature of your water heater to help it keep your showers hot, despite potential temperature dips outside.

Water Heater Needed Repair or Service

Water heaters require ongoing maintenance to remain efficient, effective, and long-lasting. If you notice a decline in your water heater performance, this may be a sign that you need a repair or maintenance visit. One of the most common solutions to water heater issues is a water heater flush. In this case, sediment has built up within your unit, putting a barrier between your heating tank and the water inside. A water heater flush can effectively remove this sediment to restore your water heater functioning—assuming that you do not wait until it is too late before calling in an expert. Other common maintenance services include:

  • Inspecting for signs of damage, leaking, or corrosion
  • Replacing the pressure relief valve
  • Examine or replace the sacrificial anode rod
  • Test all unit parts for proper functioning
  • Water heater insulating

It is best to get your water heater serviced before you encounter issues. Early maintenance can help you avoid the inconvenience of water heater trouble and preserve your unit.

Water Heater Capacity

Here is a fact that you are probably well familiar with—when all of the hot water in your tank has been used, your water supply will be cold until your water heater has time to replenish. If you constantly find that this causes cold showers, you may have a water heater capacity issue—you are using hot water much faster than it can be produced. In this case, we recommend customers consider a tankless hot water heater. Tankless units heat water on-demand, meaning that you can enjoy an endless supply of hot water—and hot showers.

Old Water Heater

When your water heater is at the end of its lifespan, it will no longer be able to provide you with the hot water you need for a comfortable shower. In this case, you may be due for a new unit. It is best to get a new unit before your old unit stops working. In a worst-case scenario, an old unit may leak or burst, causing water damage throughout your home. Regular water heater inspections and necessary replacements will keep your showers hot and your home protected.

Newcomb and Company | Plumbing Service in Raleigh

The experts at Newcomb and Company are here to provide you with the water heater and plumbing services you need to stay comfortable this winter. We proudly serve customers in and around the Raleigh area, including homes in Garner, Knightdale, Cary, Clayton, and beyond. Make an appointment with our local plumbers to get started today!

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