Ice, Ice, Baby: 10 Reasons Your Bathroom Water Is Ice Cold

There’s nothing nicer after a hard day’s work or a night out with friends than a warm, relaxing bath to cap off your night.

After you get home, you turn on the water heater, go into the bathroom, and open the faucet. Unfortunately, you discover that the shower contains the iciest water you’ve ever felt.

It’s not exactly the stress-relieving moment you were expecting, was it?

Though you did turn on the heater, the water temperature remains ice cold. So much for a calming end to your long day. What could be causing this? Here are ten reasons why:

1. You Didn’t Set the Right Temperature

Before you consider water heater repair and replacement, you may have forgotten to set the device to the right temperature. The optimal setting for most manufacturers is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Always check that the dial is set only to this temperature, or you may be in for an icy or scalding shower.

If you notice that your water is still cold, all you probably need to do is turn up the temperature higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But if you have to keep increasing the temperature incrementally, a professional may need to look at your water heater.

2. The Pressure Valve Isn’t Working Properly

Shower faucets contain pressure-balancing valves that manage water pressure and temperature that exits through the showerhead. It could be a matter of corrosion or mineral buildup that’s causing the restriction of hot water.

The simple fix of hot vinegar and a plastic bag over the faucet spout won’t work since they won’t reach the pressure valve behind the wall. In this case, you need to call a plumber to turn off the water and repair the pressure valve directly.

3. The Pipes Are Frozen

Extremely unforgiving winters can freeze water pipes and cause even gas tank-heated water to come out icy cold. When this happens, use a heat lamp, space heater, or blow dryer on the pipe’s surface to melt the ice buildup. These remedies prevent lines from bursting and require a plumbing pipe cleaner to take a closer look.

Pipes close to an outside wall are more likely to freeze since the wood or cement surrounding them is a great conductor of cold. Be sure to look in these areas first if you think your pipes have frozen over to acquire the proper treatment with the help of professional plumbers.

4. Plumbing Problems

Your new pipes may be interconnected with older variants that perform differently and cause hot water to come out instead of cold water and vice versa. These connections may have mixed up the faucet and tank functions so that the components are not working as intended.

You need professional water heater repair and replacement from a licensed plumber to sort this one out to prevent things from worsening.

5. A Leaky Hot Water Tank

Perhaps the reason hot water isn’t coming out of your showerhead is that the tank it originates from could be leaking.

Don’t freak out if you see condensation on the boiler. That’s normal. Turning on the tank and letting it heat up usually solves the problem. 

However, if you notice a dripping noise even as it’s heating up, that’s a confirmed leak. This is a sign of a water tank that needs replacing. If it’s new and water still comes out of it, contact a plumber.

6. Malfunctioning Heating Components

Components on an electric water heater suffer from wear and tear like their gas-powered counterparts. These elements regulate hot and cold water, with thermostats controlling each one.

A broken upper element means only cold water comes out. Meanwhile, a busted bottom part means it’s only producing hot water.

Check with the manufacturer’s warranty if you can still get it replaced or refunded to buy a new one that works perfectly fine as you expect.

7. Air Gets Stuck in the Water Pipes

Pipes need air pressure to push out the water from the tank to the shower or faucet. That’s why plumbing systems come with air valves. Like most components, they can malfunction due to overuse or wear and tear. As a result, air can become trapped in them and cause a partial or complete water blockage. 

There’s no other way around this than enlisting a plumber to look at your pipes and determine the cause of the problem at hand.

8. Too Many People Using Water Simultaneously

Water heaters have a certain capacity with which they can hold water and supply appliances with. If everyone in your home is taking a bath, washing dishes, doing laundry, or using any water-related appliances at the same time, chances are the hot water is being spread too thin,  and all that’s left for you is ice cold water.

Best to create a water schedule daily, so everyone gets to use the hot water they need in their own time, preventing anyone from running out of warm water to accomplish their routines.

9. You Use Hard Water

Hard water earned its name because it’s filled with minerals. That is why it immediately removes soap lather in one rinse. However, these minerals could partially or completely block your pressure valve and limit the kind of water that passes through your showerhead.

In this instance, it’s completely valid to use the DIY method of hot vinegar and a plastic bag over the faucet spout or showerhead. Tie the plastic bag with a rubber band and leave it for one hour. Afterward, turn on the faucet to eject all of the loosened minerals and feel the hot water pass through to fix the issue. 

10. Faulty Pilot Light

A water heater’s pilot light signals that the device is igniting the water you wish to heat. When it’s out, it doesn’t do its job. Take your water heater’s manual for instructions on how to relight it. If it works but intermittently stops or doesn’t reignite, you need water heater repair and replacement.

The Chilling Conclusion

Some icy bathwater problems are solvable on your own or require a professional’s help. Check from this list of ten reasons which one applies to you and follow the instructions to the letter. That way, you’ll have warm, stress-removing water coming out of your showerhead in no time!

For water heater repair and replacement in Chatsworth, California, get in touch with Candu Plumbing & Rooter right now! We’re a company of licensed and certified plumbing professionals in the Los Angeles Country who will take care of those problematic pipes for you!