Why you may not have hot water coming out of your shower

Nothing prepares you for the long day ahead better than the hot and refreshing shower you take in the morning. But what happens when you turn the shower on and there is no hot water?

If your shower heater won’t warm the water, it is obviously a sign that something is amiss. However, several factors can cause your shower unit to malfunction and making the right diagnosis will require some investigation.

Use our easy and informative article to find out the various reasons there is no hot water in your shower and the possible solutions

Damaged shower valve – No Hot Water

The shower valve mixes hot and cold water to ensure the perfect temperature for showering. However, this valve can malfunction and only let cold water through. In most cases, the washers or hot water feed pipes on the valve are worn and need replacement.

How to fix a shower valve problem

To fix the problem, you will need to dismantle the shower head to access the valves. Inspect the washers and O-rings for any wear and tear and make any replacements if necessary. You can do this relatively easy task on your own; purchase the spares from the local plumbing or DIY store, and you’ll be good to go with hot water again.

Anti-scald device set too high – No Hot Water

Hot showers come with an anti-scald device, also referred to as a hot limit. This safety feature regulates how far the shower handle rotates in the hot water direction. Essentially, it prevents you from being burnt with hot water during a shower, preventing injury.
To know whether this is the issue, you need to check the other hot water taps in your house. If the hot water is coming out just fine, the problem is likely in the setting of the hot limit.

How to alter the anti-scald device

Locate the device, usually made from plastic, under the tap head and adjust it to the appropriate temperature.

Damaged water tank – No Hot Water

Sometimes when there’s only a cold shower, the problem may originate from the actual source of hot water. Storage hot water heaters have a tank that you should inspect to determine its condition. If the tank is old, it may have undergone considerable wear and tear, resulting in cracks and leaks. Another issue could be that the connection to the water heater is loose, which breaks the electric circuit. Lastly, it’s also possible that the anode rod (which protects the tank from rust) is worn off or covered in accumulated sediments, blocking the heating.

How to fix a damaged hot water tank

To fix this and enjoy all the hot water you need, you will need to seal any leaks in the tank. However, some hot water tanks may just be too old and damaged and a replacement might be the best solution.

How to replace your hot water tank

If you need a water tank replacement then you should contact a boiler specialist like Total Boiler Services to do this as they will have the skills and experience to assess it is required, ensure your boiler isn’t damaged during the process, and ensure you have a fully functioning and safe boiler as well as no mess or floods.

How to replace the anode rod

You will need to drain the water tank to remove the sediment buildup and then replace the anode rod to restore the hot water supply. If you are unsure of how to do this then you should contact a boiler specialist who will check the anode needs replacing and do it safely for you.

Gas leak

If you’re using a gas hot water system and there is a leak in the gas supply pipe or cross-connected pipes, your boiler won’t receive the energy it needs to heat the water. This is because without the energy source, the burner is rendered obsolete and the water can’t heat up.

How to fix a gas leak

If you think you have a gas leak you should turn off your mains gas supply to your property immediately. To restore the hot water, you’ll need to stop the leak by sealing it in the supply line or replacing it entirely if the issue is too severe. Leaking gas is not only inconvenient but also dangerous for you and the households around you. It can lead to accidental fires in the house, so this will need immediate attention. Therefore, if you suspect a gas leak, turn off your mains gas supplier and immediately call a Gas Safe registered engineer or business like Total Boiler Services to come out to your property in an emergency.

No Hot Water

Pilot light issues – No Hot Water

When the pilot light on your gas water heater has a problem, there is no way of heating the water. The pilot light provides a constant flame inside the water heater and helps to heat the water. When the heater determines it’s time to heat the water, it opens a specific valve that lets in the gas over the pilot light, causing it to ignite and the flame to come on. However, this won’t be possible when the pilot light goes out.

How to resolve a boiler pilot light issue

To fix the issue, you will need to relight the pilot light. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to relight your pilot light safely. The instructions will typically be in the user manual.
If this doesn’t work contact your boiler specialist or a gas-safe registered engineer who will come out and fix the issue for you.

Burnt-out heating element

The heating element is the component that heats the cold water and is usually an electric rod at the bottom of your hot water tank. The electric rod can sometimes burn out when there is a fault in your home’s electrical system, such as an upsurge in power. A failed heating element can only be fixed through replacement.

How to replace a heating element

If you are unsure if the heating element is the reason you have no hot water in your shower then check if you have hot water everywhere else on your property. If you do then it’s likely not to be the heating element. Our advice would be to call us or a local boiler specialist who will be able to tell you if it is this or another problem and fix it for you.

Faulty thermocouple – No Hot Water

A thermocouple is a tiny part that sits inside the pilot light in your gas water heater. It cuts off gas flow when it suspects the pilot light is out. Sometimes, they may experience an accumulation of debris or get knocked out of place, causing them to malfunction. In either case, it will inhibit gas flow and prevent the pilot light from igniting.

How to fix a thermocouple

If you think this is the case you should turn off your mains gas supply and you will need to inspect the thermocouple for any buildup. You can clean it with steel wool or fine sandpaper and then turn your mains gas supply back on to test it by reigniting your pilot light. If this doesn’t work, then replacing the thermocouple is the last resort and again it is advisable to use a Gas Safe registered engineer like Total Boiler Services to do this safely and efficiently for you.

Old water heater

Water heaters are like any other home appliance. When they have been around for a while, they deteriorate in performance and finally shut down completely. Most hot water heater tanks have a life expectancy of about ten years, but this can be less without proper maintenance. If your unit is closer to or more than ten years, chances are it has run its course.

Replacing an old water heater to regain hot water

In this case, consider replacing it with a new model to keep the hot water running in your taps. A trusted boiler specialist will be able to confirm if you need a new water heater and be able to replace it for you.

No Hot Water Coming Out Of Your Shower Summary

A lack of hot water in your shower is a huge inconvenience that can mess up your morning and cast a spell on the rest of the day for you and your family. As a homeowner, you should fix the issue and restore it as quickly as possible.

Call a plumber who will check all of the components in your shower and heating system and quickly and safely repair or replace parts as needed.

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