Why Is My Shower Temperature So Hard to Control?

8 Aug

The best part of taking shower is relaxing in warm water. But when all of a sudden, when a shot of scalding hot or ice-cold water hits your body, you shiver or shriek!  So what is the cause? When you experience water temperature fluctuations in the shower it could be the amount of cold or hot water coming from your water heater or plumbing system is compromised. 

The main thing you can do to figure out why your shower temperature is hard to control is to contact plumbing services Mississauga. In the meantime, here are seven possibilities as to why you’re experiencing water temperature fluctuations when you shower and what to do about it. 

1. Water heater failure

All the water that comes out of your shower head and faucets gets heated from your water heater. Generally, water heaters last 12-15 years. Once it gets passed 16 years and if you’re water temperature is hard to control, it might be a sign that it’s time to replace it.

If it’s still under 12 years old and you’re experiencing water temperature inconsistencies, the water heater may just need some maintenance. 

We don’t recommend performing maintenance on your water heater as there are intricate parts that could cause further problems if you try to disassemble it. First, check your water heater’s manual for safe maintenance instructions and do a visual inspection by walking around it and checking for any cracks or leaks. If there aren’t any signs of external cracks, call an expert from a plumbing service to take a look and perform maintenance. 

2. Small pipes

When your shower temperature is hard to control, the cause could lie within your home’s plumbing system as the diameter of the pipes might be too small. The best way to describe a typical plumbing system is that it works like a tree. A large diameter pipe works like the trunk of a tree that operates the water supply and the smaller diameter pipes act like separate branches that supply individual faucets in the kitchen, bathrooms, and other rooms where water is used. When one branch needs water, whether it’s turning on the water in a sink or using the washing machine, it pulls the water that supplies the other branches.

When the water pipes are too small, they feel pressured to supply water to each room and this is where the water temperature becomes inconsistent. Getting bigger pipes cannot be done by yourself and need to hire a professional plumbing service to do the job. 

3. Pressure-balancing valves

Another cause of inconsistent shower temperatures is that your pressure-balancing valve may be malfunctioning. Along with the thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) that combines cold and hot water to create a warm shower. These two valves need to work together in order to warm up the water properly. For instance, the pressure-balancing shower valves activate the water pressure to balance the shower temperature. 

However, the thermostatic shower valves control the water temperature. If one or two of these sources are malfunctioning or faulty, it could be the main cause of the drop in water pressure by creating frozen or scalding water when you shower. Getting your thermostatic and pressure balancing shower valves replaced isn’t an easy job to do on your own and requires a professional plumber to diagnose the issue and fix it.  

4. Mineral build-up

If you live in Toronto, Mississauga, or the GTA, it’s more likely the water you use for showering is hard water. This type of water contains a high amount of minerals such as magnesium. In the long run, the mineral content in hard water leaves crusty deposits in your water heater. 

As we said earlier if your water heater is 12-15 years old and has never undergone general maintenance, the mineral build-up on the heating element in your water heater can cause it to overheat. When your water heater overheats, most likely hot scalding water will come out of the faucet. In this case, when the water is too hot, contact a plumber for a water heater inspection

5. Broken dip tube

Aside from mineral build-up in your water heater, other issues could affect it, such as a broken dip tube. The dip tube is in charge of filling the water heater with cold water from your water line. It operates all the way to the bottom of the water tank. In this process, cold water enters the dip tube, while simultaneously heating up and rising to the top.

Once the hot water rises to the top of the water heater, it’s pumped out and flows to your tap. In the event that the dip tube is broken, cold water will leak into the tank causing it to cool the hot water which causes cold blasts of water to come out of your shower tap. To check if your dip tube is broken and needs to be replaced, leave this up to a professional plumber to do the job. 

6. Other water appliances

Think of a time when you were taking a shower and someone in your household flushed the toilet at the same time, you probably felt a change in water temperature going from warm to cold. These water temperature fluctuations occur when multiple water appliances are being used at the same time. Before calling a plumber, avoid flushing the toilet and using the washing machine during your shower. Then check to see if your water temperature is still fluctuating. If so, there might be a problem with your water heater and call on an expert plumber to troubleshoot the problem.  

7. Tankless water heaters

The advantage of having a tankless water heater at home is you get hot water right away. However, the main drawback of this type of water heater is that cold water can flow through it when the burners are off, causing temperature fluctuations. A tankless water heater that experiences temperature fluctuations isn’t a sign that it’s broken, it just means a plumbing technician may need to make modifications to make it operate more efficiently.

Contact Brothers Plumbing

If you would like a free quote on our plumbing services in Mississauga, our professional plumbers at Brothers Plumbing can help with regulating your waterline to its correct water temperature. Call us at 800-741-8471 or contact us here.

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