Is The Water Really Getting Colder?

Posted on: 3 March 2018

No doubt you've lived in more than a few places where the hot water in your shower suddenly turned cold, or where it seemed like it was near impossible to get hot water at all. If you've had enough of those experiences, any dip in the temperature of the water while you're taking a shower or washing dishes can be really frustrating. Before you assume something is seriously wrong, think about the other potential causes.

Proximity to the Showerhead

If the temperature difference is occurring in the shower, where exactly are you with regard to the showerhead? If you place your hand right at the showerhead where the water is coming out, is the water hot, or is it getting cooler there, too? If the water is hot at the showerhead but cooler when it hits you, you may just need to stand closer to the showerhead, if possible. Once the water starts flying through the air from the showerhead to you, it can lose heat pretty quickly. You don't want it to be too cold, of course, but if it's hot at the showerhead and warm when it hits you, that's not really a plumbing problem. However, if the water is not hot at the showerhead, then you need to look at the water heater, or have the connecting pipes inspected to ensure there isn't a leak.

Ambient Temperature

Another possibility is that it's just colder in the bathroom overall, making the water seem to become lukewarm rather quickly. While the water may initially seem very hot because of the contrast in temperatures, it can seem to cool off quite fast if the air around you is also cold. And if the temperature outside the house is cold, the water traveling from the water heater to the shower will have to deal with losing heat to cold metal pipes.

Who Else is in the House?

One other issue has to do with the water heater, but it's not an actual mechanical problem: do you have someone in your house who doesn't want to spend money on heating water? It's entirely possible that someone has turned down the temperature gauge on the water heater. They shouldn't do that because hot water is considered a given in habitable homes, but sometimes people don't care. Check the temperature gauge on the water heater when you're done using the water.

Of course, sometimes there really can be a problem with the water heater, pipes, and showerhead or faucet. In those cases you need to contact a plumber like Roto-Rooter to check everything out. The good news is, if the problem has to do with hot water temperature, that narrows down the list of potential problems. However, you do need to get the plumber to check everything to ensure that whatever's going wrong can be fixed quickly.

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Knowing When It’s Time to Call the Plumber

My name is Jason Lawrence, or around my house I’m sometimes known as “Daddy Fix-It.” My wife Sarah and I have four children all under the age of ten. I didn’t start out as a guy who was handy around the house, but I am learning to become a do-it-yourselfer for sure. Did I mention that I’m a bit stubborn? There are times I struggle with projects a little too long, and it takes my wife stepping in to convince me that it’s time to call a professional. I’ve become especially handy with plumbing projects. I don’t know why kids think toys belong in the toilet and doll hair is good for the bathtub drain, but around here those are weekly events. I’m going to share some of my experiences, how I fixed some of our plumbing problems, and when it becomes time to call the plumber.

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