Is there anything more fist-shakingly frustrating than a cold shower?!
Our daily showering routine really does set the tone for the day ahead. And if you’re unable to enjoy a refreshing and invigorating blast of comfortably warm water first things first, you can bet your day will probably be more missed calls and tetchy emails than sunshine, rainbows and lollipops.
So, what could lead to your shower not being hot enough, and how can you address the issue to make sure it doesn’t become a regular problem?
This blog will look at all the regular causes leading to showers not heating up properly, and how they can be solved to stop you starting your day on the sourest of notes.
Water temperature checklist
A number of issues can lead to a shower temperature control troubles. With this water temperature checklist, you can tick off the possibilities one by one…
Check your Water Heater
Your hot water heater tank will supply the warm water that keeps you enjoying a luxurious daily showering experience. So it’s best to start here when you come across any problems with the temperature of your shower as well.
First, check that the water heater temperature has been set right. Your problem could be as simple as the temperature setting being programmed to a low level. Or, with electric water heaters, you might find that an element is worn down, causing the water to only heat up for a short amount of time, or not at all in some instances.
If your hot water heater was installed quite a while ago, the cold water dip tube might be in a less than perfect condition. If so, the tube could send cold water straight to the hot water feed pipe, instead of the burner for heating. End result = no hot water. Look at your tap aerators for a tell-tale sign into the condition of the dip tube. The congregation of bits of plastic would indicate the dip tube is on its last legs, and much like Bonnie Tyler, now is only falling apart.
Test your Taps
Test your taps to discover if the water issues are only affecting the shower, or are prevalent throughout the house. Switch on all your hot water taps and check the water temperature.
If they all begin hot before quickly cooling, a burner in the water heater might be the problem. If they fail to heat up at all, a deteriorated dip tube could be the issue. Or, if all the taps work as normal, you can be confident that the shower system is the source of the trouble.
Scope out your Shower Valve
A shower valve mixes hot and cold water to provide the perfect temperature of water in your shower. In some instances, the washers or O-rings could be worn down, preventing the valve from mixing to full effect.
In cases like this, a stream of cold water can emerge even with the valve set to ‘hot’. In general, this should be a simple repair or replacement job. You can source the necessary parts online or from a local DIY shop, and get your valve, and ultimately your shower component on the whole, back in proper working condition.
Cross-examine Cross Connected Pipes
If you have them, of course. Cross connected pipes are typically associated with older properties, in which they were fitted to balance the flow of hot and cold water.
The presence of modern shower valve mixers renders cross connection needless. So you can ignore this section if you have a more contemporary mixing valve installed.
Otherwise, if you notice a separate shower outlet like a hand shower is heating up when the main shower head is turned off, then cross connection might be a problem. It’s probably best to enlist the services of a professional plumber in such a case, unless you have easy access to the pipework behind your shower wall.
Track your time of use
Keep a track of the time of use of your shower. If you live in a busy household and a few people have beat you to the bathroom in the morning, it might simply be that they’ve used up all the hot water.
Other appliances such as the washing machine also place a strain on your hot water resources, so showering while a clothes wash is underway can sometimes lead to a cold shower.
Also, certain hot water heater models have particular on and off cycle times. So if you frequently shower during an ‘off cycle’ period, the shower won’t heat up.
Always try to allow 30 minutes following the previous shower or wash to enable the water heater to warm up the incoming cold water.
Get In Touch With Big Bathroom Shop
So now you know the potential causes for your shower not heating up properly, and how to solve each of them. But if you have any further bathroom queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
John has a background in sports journalism, and lists content writing amongst his primary passions. He provides expert bathroom trends commentary and analysis, as well as offering meticulously researched answers to the most frequently asked bathroom posers.