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Why is my shower cold? Professional plumber explanation

Professional plumber

There’s nothing worse than taking a hot shower when all of the sudden, the water turns cold on you. If you’ve ever experienced this blast of cold water before, you’ll understand just how annoying it can be. When this happens, there are a number of potential reasons why the water may have gone cold. Some potential reasons require simple fixes, whereas others could be a sign of a bigger problem. If you’ve been turning up the heat in the shower, but you’re still experiencing lukewarm or cold water, we’ve got the troubleshooting guide for you. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about why your shower is cold, and some of the steps you can take to solve the problem.

 hot water repairs in Mornington
hot water repairs in Mornington

1 – You don’t have any hot water left

This is the most common reason that people experience cold water in their showers. If you have a large family, guests staying at your home, or you’ve been taking longer showers, this can use up your hot water very quickly. If you’ve recently bought a new appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine, this could also potentially use a lot of your hot water. You may also experience this if two people are trying to take shower simultaneously, as the hot water system may not have the capacity to provide hot water to both. Usually, the average hot water system will be able to heat back up in around 45 minutes. If you were the last person in your house to get to the shower, it may be worth waiting a while so that you can be sure the water has heated up again, or consider installing a larger hot water system.


2 – Your hot water heater is not functioning as it should

If you’ve waited for your hot water to turn back on to no avail, you may be experiencing some more complicated issues with your hot water heater.

Common gas heater issues:

  •  The pilot light has burned out. This will simply require you to re-light the flame. To find your pilot light, head to where your gas valve is located. Usually, the pilot light will be underneath the gas valve, potentially behind a door or a cover. Once you’re looking inside, you can find the burner by following the two small gas tubes that lead to it. Turn the gas off for 5 minutes to let it clear. Then turn the gas knob to pilot and press it, holding it down for a few seconds. This starts the flow of the gas. From there you may either press an ignition button, or you may have to use a long lighter, depending on the model of your gas heater.
  •  If the pilot light is not the cause, you may be experiencing a loss of gas supply to your heater. You can assess this by checking your gas lines and valves are set to the open position which would allow the flow of gas. You could also be experiencing a gas leak in the home. If you can smell gas, shut off all of your gas lines immediately, leave the house and contact a local emergency plumber.
  •   If you’re still unable to get your gas heater to work, it may be damaged and would need to be repaired in order to heat your water again. If you do require some professional assistance with your gas hot water heater, you can get in contact with the experts at HRA Plumbing by visiting our contact page here. We offer hot water repairs in Mornington, Mount Martha and across the Mornington Peninsula.
hot water repairs in Mount Martha
hot water repairs in Mount Martha

Common electric heater issues:

  • The circuit breaker may have been tripped by excess power usage. You can check your electrical panel and reset the switch if this is the case. If the circuit breaker continues to trip after it’s been reset, this could indicate that the heater is faulty or damaged.
  • The high-temperature cut-off switch may have been tripped. You can check your electrical panel and look for the high-temperature button. If you press the button and the problem persists, it’s likely that your heater is faulty.
  • Your tank may have leaked and short-circuited your electric heater. This could be dangerous, so it’s best to contact a local plumber on the Mornington Peninsula and get your gas water heater working again.


3 – Your dip tube is broken.

Your hot water heater contains a dip tube which is essentially a line that’s responsible for adding cold water to your tank. It pushes cold water to the bottom of your tank, so that the hot water is able to rise to the top. This allows on-demand use through your showers and taps. Over time, cracks may appear in the tube, causing it to break down. Eventually it may become so worn that it’s flushed out of your tank all together. Without the dipstick, the cold water is sent to the top of the tank which can greatly affect the water temperature. If this is the case, you’ll need to contact your local plumber to replace the dip stick.

4 – Your shower mixing valve is faulty

The shower mixing valve is responsible for mixing your hot and cold water in order to create your desired water temperature. These valves can wear out, break, or begin to leak over extended periods of time. They could also be positioned incorrectly if you’ve recently installed or repaired your shower. Luckily, shower mixing valves are cheap and much less expensive to replace than a hot water system. However, physically replacing the valve is particularly challenging, and it may be worth contacting a residential plumber in Mornington if you’ve never had experience with shower mixing valves before.

 residential plumber in Mornington
residential plumber in Mornington

Your local plumbers on the Mornington Peninsula

If you’ve attempted to get your hot water system running without any luck, it could be time to get in touch with a team of professional plumbers on the Mornington Peninsula. At HRA Plumbing, we’re well-equipped to diagnose and fix any hot water issues that you may be experiencing. With over 15 years of experience, we’re ready to get your hot water running again. If you need hot water repairs in Mornington, we’re here to help. Visit our contact page to organise a free quote today.