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When the Shower Goes Cold—Why It May Happen

cold-showerNo matter what you have planned when you get up, one important part of facing the day is having that morning shower. And nothing can get your day off to a worse start than to have the water in the shower go cold on you, or possibly have no hot water coming from the showerhead at all.

There are several reasons why you might be getting cold water in the shower, and some aren’t as obvious as you might think. In many cases, you’ll need the assistance of a plumber in Plattsburgh, NY to solve the problem. Our team is here with 24-hour emergency service to see that your shower troubles don’t last long. 

Water Heater Problems

Your thoughts probably went first to the water heater, and we don’t blame you. When the water turns cold anywhere in the house, the source might be a faulty water heater. 

The first thing you can do is check other taps in the house to see if they’re providing hot water. If you discover that there’s no hot water coming from any taps, it’s likely the problem is with the water heater.

Go to your water heater and check on the aquastat—this is the thermostat that regulates tank water temperature. It should be no lower than 120°F and no higher than 140°F. (Please do not raise the aquastat above 140°F to attempt to “fix” a lack of hot water, since this can create a scalding danger.) If the setting is fine, listen for any odd sounds from it. If it’s a gas-fired water heater, watch to see if the burners are coming on. You’ll probably have an idea at this point if the water heater isn’t working and it’s time to call the professionals to fix it. 

Showerhead problems

The showerhead may be what’s causing the lack of hot water. Modern showerheads are designed to prevent scalding from extremely hot water. If the anti-scalding mechanism fails, it can mean only cold water coming through. The showerhead may need to be replaced.

Broken mixing valve

This is a common cause of a single shower losing heating. The mixing valve is a component housed in the plumbing of the shower behind the wall that controls the flow of water from the hot water and cold water lines. If this valve breaks, only water from the cold water lines will flow to the showerhead. Don’t try a DIY fix for this: plumbers need to access the valve and repair or replace it.

The rest of the family got to the showers first

Finally, it would be remiss of us to forget to mention that the possibility that you don’t have a hot shower is because the hot water supply in the water heater tank ran out before it had a chance to heat more. This may be a bigger problem, however, if it’s something that hasn’t occurred before. If you’re used to all of your family getting hot water for showers each morning, this drop in water heater volume may mean the water heater needs repairs.

Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont & Northeast New York. Call us 24 hours a day for emergency plumbing service.

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