Introduction to Why Your Tap Runs Cold
It can be quite frustrating to expect warm water from your tap, only to be met with none at all. Although rare, several factors can lead to your hot tap unpredictably ceasing to produce hot water.
A hot water outage can disrupt both households and businesses, requiring prompt restoration. A malfunctioning hot water tap not only causes inconvenience but also hampers daily cleaning chores, rendering them challenging and unpleasant. Businesses, in particular, must resolve these issues swiftly to comply with health regulations requiring specific hot water temperatures.
In this comprehensive guide from Burwood Plumbing, we’ll discuss water systems and explore the reasons why hot water isn’t flowing as it should, providing practical troubleshooting tips. Our qualified technicians, who have served Sydney’s Burwood area for over ten years, have extensive experience and can promptly resolve your hot water issues.
A consistent hot water supply is vital for the proper function of taps, plumbing systems, and heaters. We’ll break down when and how each of these components can fail, plus how to go about diagnosing and repairing the issues.
Common Reasons for Loss of Hot Water
There are two main categories that cover the common issues for your hot water suddenly running cold:
- Sediment buildup Over time, minerals and rust carried by water can accumulate in your tank, diminishing the water pressure due to obstructed flow. This accumulation can result in clogged pipes, thereby restricting the flow of hot water.
- Partially closed valves - Whether by design in gas electric systems or accident, valves that aren’t fully open can restrict how water comes out of your hot line.
- Faulty water heater - Issues like broken heating elements or thermostat problems prevent proper hot water production, meaning no hot water can reach your taps.
- Inadequate water pressure - Low pressure from systemic plumbing issues or high demand struggles to turn off hot water through your pipes.
The sediment causing restrictions often comes from hard water out hot, which contains higher mineral content. Preventative maintenance can mitigate sediment buildup in hot water heaters, but if you encounter low hot water pressure, it’s best to consult a local plumber for a thorough investigation and repair.
Checking Your Water Heater and Supply Lines
When tackling the issue of absent hot water at your kitchen sink or taps, it’s crucial to first examine essential components that influence the outflow. Follow this process:
- Inspect your water heater’s pilot light; if it’s out, relight it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Examine the thermostat, heating elements, and connections to ensure your unit functions correctly. Problems such as improper temperature settings or malfunctioning elements can cause your water to run cold.
- Inspect supply lines and the water valve to ensure hot water is indeed coming through from your heater, or call your plumber if you’re unsure. Valves not turned all the way or kinked pipes can restrict flow.
- Ensure that the shutoff valve is completely open because a partially closed valve can restrict the flow of water to your heater, leading to loss of hot water.
- Check water connections, including on the cold side of your hot water faucet, as even a single loose component can affect pressure.
- Remove and inspect the faucet cartridge for obstructions if water tap flow seems limited coming from the hot side.
If your water heater and lines are operational but you still don’t have hot water, you may need to identify leaks in your piping or further plumbing issues. Call your local plumber for additional troubleshooting and repairs to get your hot water running again.
Measuring Water Pressure and Flow
It’s important to measure water pressure and flow rates to diagnose sudden shifts from hot to cold water. Low or poor pressure can lead to erratic water temperature, fluctuating between hot and cold and hindering proper water delivery to your tap.
Home water pressure, essential for resolving issues like no water from the cold tap, should be between 45 and 80 PSI. You can use a water pressure gauge that connects to an outdoor hose bib to get a reading. Consistently running out of pressure under 45 PSI indicates an issue.
For testing water flow, time how long - ideally just a few seconds - it takes to fill a 5-gallon bucket from your cold tap to check if your plumbing system is back up to speed. Flow rates, crucial for your cold water tap functioning efficiently, ideally fall between 6 - 12 gallons per minute. A sluggish flow of less than 6 GPM will have difficulty delivering hot water.
If your home’s pressure or flow is insufficient, examine your pipes, supply lines and facets for blockages due to sediment or minerals. Partially closed valves can also restrict flow. If you don’t see any obvious blockages, consult your water provider or plumber to identify and address systemic pressure problems.
Ensuring proper flow and pressure of hot water reduces the frustration of dealing with sudden cold taps. Our team of experienced Burwood plumbing technicians can help ensure the warm turn hot tap deserves is running optimally again.
Methods to Restore Hot Water Functionality
There are several methods you can try to restore functionality when you turn your hot tap in your home:
- Annual hot water tank flushing prevents sediment buildup for better flow efficiency. Minerals and rust can gather inside the tank over time, obstructing the flow of hot water. Flushing ensures smooth water comes seamlessly from your taps.
- Check for recirculating pumps or heat traps, both effectively retaining warmth, or long pipes that could cause your heat up process between your heater and tap. Heat loss through copper pipes can cool hot water.
- Check your heater’s thermostat and elements—adjust the temperature if required, but keep it below 120°F to prevent scalding.
- Examine faucet aerators and any obstruction in your shower head that might restrict flow. Clogs from sediment can limit hot water coming out of the faucet. Replace cartridges if necessary.
- Use an outdoor hose bib gauge to gauge your tankless hot water system’s pressure. Consistently low pressure under 45 PSI strains hot water flow in your house. Notify your water provider if pressure is inadequate.
- If you’re uncertain about restoring your hot water, Call a professional plumber for full diagnostics and repair of your hot water system if preliminary steps are unsuccessful. Plumbing professionals can diagnose and effectively repair these issues.
At Burwood Plumbing, our qualified technicians offer complete troubleshooting and restoration of hot water functionality. Call 1300 349 338 or email us for prompt assistance getting your hot water running optimally again.
When to Call a Professional Plumber
DIY attempts at fixing hot water loss can be daunting due to the complex mechanics involved. If I don’t glimpse a resolution after working through the suggested fixes and still need help, it’s time to call in a professional plumber.
If you’re puzzled by the reasons behind inadequate hot water flow, causing your predicament? Burwood Plumbing’s licenced technicians have years of experience assessing and repairing all hot water problems. Our team can determine the cause and address complex situations the average homeowner can’t resolve on their own, including:
- Frozen pipe or burst pipes preventing water flow
- Tankless water heater malfunctions
- Complete replacement of faulty traditional water heaters
- Removal of stubborn mineral buildup clogs
- Low water pressure diagnoses and correction
- Re-lighting tricky pilot lights
- Full assessments of plumbing systems
For prompt assistance from our qualified Sydney plumbers, call Burwood Plumbing on 1300 349 338 or email us to schedule service.
We’re committed to exceptional service, inclusive of straightforward pricing with no surprises. With our ten years of experience in Burwood, you can rely on us to resolve your plumbing issues and prevent future complications.