no hot water in shower

4 Biggest Reasons Why There is No Hot Water in the Shower

There is nothing worse than wanting to relax at the end of a long day with a nice hot shower or soak in the bathtub and discover that you have cold water.

To make it more complicated, there could be several potential issues causing this problem, and you have to work through them one by one until you fix it.

No Hot Water in Shower

If the water in your shower never heats up, it’s most likely because your water heater needs time to regenerate after working overtime. If the water suddenly gets cold for no reason, the unit itself could be the problem. You may not have enough hot water, the shower valve could be wrong, or the hot water heater isn’t switching on.

No matter what the issue is, we’re going to walk you through the biggest issues that can cause you to have no hot water in the shower.

We’ll also give you simple solutions to try and fix it on your own without consulting a professional.

1. There Isn’t Enough Hot Water

If you come home to a busy schedule and you have a lot of people using the bathrooms at the same time, you could easily run out of hot water.

If you have an occasion taking place at your home or you’re hosting guests, this could also cause you to run out of hot water.

Maybe you purchased an appliance like a dishwasher or washing machine that is using a lot of hot water for each load of dishes or laundry you run, and this could cause you to have lukewarm or even cold water in the shower.

If you look at an appliance’s specifications, a shower can use 10 gallons of water easily peruse, and a dishwasher can use up to six gallons of hot water per load.

A washing machine can use up to seven gallons or more per load, so running all three will take you through a minimum of 23 gallons of hot water.

If you have two people that take long hot showers, it gets very difficult to have enough hot water to go around since an average water heater only produces 40-gallons of hot water before having to sit and reheat.

The best way to remedy this issue is to wait until no one is using the hot water an hour or two before you shower. You could also switch to a tankless water heater system if you keep having issues.

2. Shower Valve Isn’t Adjusted Correctly

If you constantly have lukewarm water instead of hot water, not having your shower valve adjusted correctly could be the cause.

You can tell if this is the problem if no one has used the hot water recently, but you still can’t get it hot enough for your liking.

A lack of proper maintenance or incorrect installation is usually the root cause here, and you’ll have to adjust your shower valve.

The shower valve comes with a rotating part that is called the stop limit, and this smaller plastic part doesn’t let the water go past a certain temperature to stop you from burning yourself.

It’s very adjustable when you first install it, and pressure could cause it to accidentally turn too low and prevent hot water from coming through. You can fix it by:

Though it is mostly adjustable right from the beginning, due to pressure, there may be a shift in the valve.

In such a case, the valve may be set up for a low temperature which is preventing you from getting hot water. In such a case, you can simply follow this guide to manually adjust it:

  • Power down your water heater and remove the handle from the shower faucet.
  • Try to find the valve stem inside the metal cover. This will let you find the RSL.
  • Once you find the RSL, you can manually adjust it by turning it counterclockwise to get more hot water.
  • Replace the faucet handle and see how hot your water gets now. If it’s not hot enough, you’ll repeat the steps and adjust it again. You may need a technician if nothing changes.

3. Hot Water Heater is Set to a Lower Temperature

If you have the switches set to the highest hot water setting at a faucet level and you’re still not getting the water hot enough, there could be a bigger issue at play.

Most hot water heaters allow you to manually adjust the temperature range, but there are automatic ones too.

The perfect temperature usually falls around 120-degrees Fahrenheit, and this is the setting that lets your water heater balance between having enough regular water and having enough hot water.

If you look, you might see that your hot water heater allows you to manually adjust the temperature higher or lower than this optimal setting, and you might see a digital interface that allows you to adjust the temperature.

The water heater uses this setting to reset your temperature controls and go back to the original temperature.

If you try it and the changes don’t go, you want to look for the control panel on your water heater.

Turn your power off before you open your panel’s housing unit and check the temperature dial before you adjust it. If you’re not successful with this process, it could be time to call in a technician to take a closer look.

4. Hot Water Heater Won’t Turn On

It’s not uncommon for your water heater to have technical defects, and you might run into an issue with maintenance where your geyser won’t switch on as it’s supposed to. If so, you can fix it by:

Gas Water Heaters

  • Your pilot light could be burned out and cause the water heater to stay off. A technician is needed to fix it.
  • The gas supply is empty. If this is the case, make sure you check all of the valves and gas lines for leaks and fix them.
  • The burner might not be working correctly, and you might have to replace it. You can repair the burner, but it may be a good idea to replace the whole heater at this point.
  • You could have a gas leak. If you smell gas, immediately switch off the gas and call in professionals. This could cause an explosion if you leave it unchecked.

Electric Heaters

  • You could have problems with your circuit breaker, so you should check for any short circuits. Check the electrical panel and reset the switch if you don’t find anything wrong. If the issue persists, the heater may be faulty and need replacing.
  • The automatic cut-off switch could give you problems too. Every electric model has this switch, and you can locate it by looking for the button on the panel. Push the button. If nothing happens, you have to replace it.
  • Your tank could have a leak. If this is a problem, you’ll need to have it replaced.

Bottom Line

There could be several reasons why you’re not getting hot water from your water heater for your shower.

If you don’t think that you want to tackle this project yourself, you can contact a professional to pinpoint the issue, fix it, and give you all of the hot water you want.

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