One minute you’re enjoying the luxury of a hot shower, and the next you’re standing in a cold stream of water. Yep, that’s right – no hot water in the shower… but the sink is running just fine. What’s going on?
This article will explore a few causes and solutions to this issue, as well as the steps you can take to get your hot water flowing again if all else fails. With some troubleshooting and a little bit of patience, you’ll be back to enjoying a hot shower in no time.
Confirm the Problem is Isolated to Shower
The first step is to confirm that the problem is isolated to just the shower, as there may be a bigger problem affecting the entire house.
- Try running the sink and bathtub faucets to test for hot water
- Check the hot water faucets in other parts of the house too, such as the kitchen
If other areas have hot water but the shower doesn’t, this is a clear indication that the shower is the source of the problem, and not your water heater or water line.
Now that you’ve confirmed the problem is isolated to the shower, you can start to investigate the potential causes.
The Anti-Scald Unit Is Set Too High or Broken
The anti-scald unit is a small cog-like valve within the faucet handle, designed to regulate water temperature and protect users from being scalded. It basically blends cold with hot to provide water within a comfortable temperature range up to around 140°F
If the anti-scald value is worn or broken it can cause irregular water temperatures. Either consistently too high, or low, and even water temperatures fluctuate between hot and cold.
How To Check The Anti-Scald Unit
If you’re a competent DIY’er you can follow these steps to check and adjust the anti-scaled valve
- Locate the anti-scald unit in your shower. In most homes, you’ll find this device located within the shower faucet, or on the waterline between the water heater, and the shower
- Once located, remove the cover.
- Inside, you’ll find a temperature adjustment dial, that resembles a small cog.
- Look closely and you’ll see it says hot on the left, and cold on the right.
- Grab this deal, and gently pull it out towards you.
- Then turn the dial counterclockwise toward the hot setting to raise the temperature
- After that, test the shower. Continue to adjust until you find a comfortable temperature range.
Important Note: It is essential to test the temperature at maximum heat on the shower faucet, to prevent the risk of anyone accidentally being scalded.
If, after following these steps, there is still no hot water in the shower, it’s time to move on to checking the mixing valve.
Remember, you have just changed the temperature within the valve, so you may need to calibrate the anti-scald valve temperature again once the hot water problem is fixed.
Mixing Valve Clogged or Defective
A shower mixing valve is a type of mixing valve that is specifically designed for use in showers. It works by blending hot and cold water to provide a comfortable and safe temperature for the user.
The shower mixing valve typically has a single handle or knob that controls both the flow rate and temperature of the water. When you turn the handle or knob, it adjusts the ratio of hot to cold water flowing through the valve, allowing you to achieve your desired shower temperature.
Sometimes, the valve gets clogged up with mineral deposits or debris, or it can just wear out over time and will need to be replaced
How To Clear the Valve of Debris
Cleaning the mixing valve is fortunately a relatively simple process. Follow this simple step-by-step guide to flush the valve:
- Remove the cap covering the mixing valve.
- Then use a wrench and clasp onto the valve.
- Gently turn the wrench counterclockwise, to the cold setting.
- Then turn the valve clockwise, to the hot setting.
- Go back to your shower and turn the water on.
- Then, return to the mixing valve and toggle it from cold to hot a few times.
- This works to flush out any debris buildup.
- Go back to your shower- the hot water should be running now.
Here’s a short demonstration video that you may find helpful
If flushing the mixing value didn’t solve the problem, then I suggest it’s time to call in a plumber.
Call Plumber to Inspect and Replace
Plumbers are knowledgeable and experienced in this type of repair and can quickly identify the problem and suggest a solution. When it comes to fixing a shower, the plumber will first inspect the fixture to determine what needs to be replaced.
This could be a broken water heater, a clogged pipe, or something else entirely. They’ll also inspect the water heater to make sure it’s working properly.
Once the problem has been identified, the plumber will replace any faulty components. This may involve taking apart the shower to access the parts, or in some cases gaining access to the pipeline behind the cavity walls.
Your plumber will then reassemble the shower and test the water flow and temperature to make sure everything is back in working order. Whatever the cause, your plumber is sure to have the right tools and knowledge to get the job done quickly and effectively.
Conclusion – No Hot Water in Shower
Finding out that you have no hot water in the shower is frustrating. However, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue and get your hot water running hot again.
- First, make sure the problem is isolated to the shower by running the hot water faucets in your house.
- Once you’ve confirmed that only the shower is at fault, check the anti-scald unit and the mixing valve to make sure they aren’t the source of the problem.
- If all else fails, it’s time to call in a plumber to inspect and replace any faulty components.
As a retired Master Plumber Jamie has over 30 years of hands-on experience, making his plumbing knowledge second to none. He has also worked on both residential and commercial HVAC installation and repair projects.