Caught in a Cold Shower? Reasons Why Your Hot Water May Not Be Working
Have you ever found yourself in an awkward situation when you’re enjoying a wonderful, hot shower only to be cut short half way by an arctic blast of freezing cold water? Don’t worry. This has happened to the best of us and for those lucky ones who have yet to experience this – your time is coming!
When your hot water goes, there are many different things that could have gone wrong. If you have a system or open vent boiler system then it’s possible that your hot water tank/cylinder has run out of water. Or the zone valve has gone or there’s a problem with the boiler.
A lot of people don’t realise that when your hot water is stored in a tank or cylinder the supply is finite and can run out. If someone is having a hot shower, someone else is washing clothes and the dishwasher is running then the hot water supply is being depleted at a very fast rate.
To help save you money before hiring a professional plumber, here are a few things that you could try and do yourself to try and solve the problem or at the very least diagnose the issue.
Diagnosing a possible water heater problem
First and foremost, you should take your time in checking all the other hot water fixtures at home to know whether it is an isolated problem or a problem throughout the whole house. If it is an issue throughout the whole house then the problem could be with the boiler.
Is the boiler on? If not then check whether a fuse has been blown. If it is a fuse, this can easily be replaced. But if it is a pilot light that went out, then I’d recommend calling a plumber to come and help. You can attempt to relight it by adhering strictly to the instructions in the manufacturer’s manual but I wouldn’t advise this.
If the temperature setting is ok, the fuse is fine and the problem still persists, then there are chances that the problem might be issues with the thermocouple, flue, heat exchanger or a different part of the boiler.
When it is an isolated shower problem
In a situation when all other bathroom taps are working ok, then it’s possible that the shower is the problem.
It could be a case of recalibrating the cartridge or checking to see if the shut-off valve for the hot water is partially or entirely closed. But if you keep getting warm or cold water only, then it’s probably the shower valve that is faulty.
Diagnosing a shower valve problem
Shower valves can get worn out over time so it’s definitely worth checking any parts that you could change including any rubber washers or cartridges. They can block the flow of the water.
This blockage is always preceded by the swelling of its rubber, in some cases, the rubber breaks and travel along with the water to the shower and thereby creating a problem. It is important to know that, most shower valves, if they’re concealed, are positioned inside the wall so access is tricky. The face plate of the valve normally comes off so it’s worth searching YouTube for your model of the shower and looking for instructions on how to safely remove the faceplate.
If you’re not used to DIY work then it is important to consult with a plumbing expert to get to this problem and get it solved otherwise you could easily make the situation worse. It is often better to pay a plumber to get it fixed rather than trying to save a few quid and fixing it yourself.
Good plumbers are out there. Do your research properly it just takes a little bit of effort. We’re based in South East London and Kent so feel free to contact us if you need someone reliable to come and sort out your plumbing hot water problem.
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