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Hot Water problems

Category:Plumbing Question:lack of hot water from time to time in shower while hot water available every where else

Full Description:Love your show! My problem is that the master shower from time to time has no hot water. There are times it may last as long as a week. At other times the water is hot for weeks. There is hot water at every other faucet. This time around i checked the hot water tank, which was installed by the gas comapny one year ago. I noticed that the cold water pipe was actually hot. I woundered if they installed it wrong but after a few hours i noticed that the pipe was cold again. Is it possible that hot water is flowing the wrong way at times and why? When i dont have hot water in the shower, I noticed that if i turn on the cold faucet at the sink i do get a little more hot water. I also have base board heating.

Re: Hot Water problems

Concentrate on the hot water pipe that goes from the heater to the shower control---if you're getting hot water in all the other pipes in the house, the problem must be in the pipe mentioned.

There is almost always a TEMPERING VALVE somewhere on the hot water pipe going to the shower (usually near the heater) that controls the water temp to prevent scalding---this could be defective or scaled up inside & no longer working.

Try twisting the knob control on the tempering valve (if you find one) and also twisting the control valve in the shower back & forth while the shower is running to loosen any crud that may have accumulated (especially if you have hard water [lots of minerals]).

It is normal for the hot water to creep up a few feet into the cold water supply piping due to 'migration'---the baseboard hot water system is completely separate from the shower hot water.


Re: Hot Water problems

I am not sure what that looks like. I did make sure that the pipes are hot that run along the basement. Something is going on closer to the shower area, but the problem seems to be in both bathrooms. If i turn on the cold water in the sink then i get hot/warm water in the shower.

Re: Hot Water problems

Are either the showers or sinks fitted out with Moen fixtures? If so, the problem may be a failed cartridge in one these devices. A failed one will allow hot and cold to mix in the lines and if these share the same lines, the problem will/could affect them all. Resolution would be a new cartridge to replace the faulty one. (There may be other brands of controls out there these days that will present with the same problem for the same failed cartridge reason.)

Or...if you have temperature/pressure balancing valves on these showers/tubs...the piston inside may be hanging up. This can result in little or no hot water.......or little or no cold water. Depends. Disassembly and cleaning/polishing of the piston is usually/frequently possible... or you can acquire a new balancing insert/assembly.

From here, it sounds like either of these possibilites may be the problem, but if I had to guess...I guess I'd lean toward a hung-up balancing valve.

Re: Hot Water problems


All the plumbers i've called have not figured it out.
By any chance do you live in north jersey??

At least i can tell the plumbers what they should look for.



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