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“Why is My Shower Water Cold?” Tips and Troubleshooting

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Have you ever left the bathroom asking, “Why is my shower water cold?” We’ll walk you through the troubleshooting steps to determine if there is a simple solution or whether you might need the professional help that Davison Heating & Cooling can provide.

Why Is My Shower Water Cold?

There’s almost nothing more frustrating than undressing, stepping into a shower, and finding that there’s zero hot water available. And yet, a lack of hot water a relatively commonplace situation.

If you’ve noticed a lack of warm water in your shower or sink, there are a few potential culprits. Some of the most common causes behind cold water include:

  • Overuse

  • Low Temperatures

  • Water Heater Failure

  • Faulty Mixing Valve

By troubleshooting these issues, you may be able to solve your hot water problems without outside help. Naturally, some of the causes behind cold showers may require professional assistance, especially if your water heater is on the fritz.

But if you are dealing with a water heater malfunction, it may help to know that many repair technicians offer competitive financing options. As such, repairing or replacing your water heater could be exceptionally affordable.

What is the size of your hot water heater?


One of the most overlooked causes behind unexpectedly cold showers is overuse. Larger households naturally consume more water than smaller ones. If you’re living with a spouse, children, or extended family, you may quickly run out of hot water.

Check your water heater to see how many gallons of hot water it can hold at any given time. Most showers consume roughly 17 gallons of water, so you’ll need to multiply that number by the number of people in your household.

It’s also wise to add a few gallons to account for dishwashing, handwashing, and other common water-related tasks.


If your water heater is too small, it simply won’t be able to keep up with your household’s hot water needs. The solution to this problem is simple: Purchase a larger water heater to replace your current one.

Have you checked the heating temperature on your hot water heater lately?

Low Temperatures

When is the last time that you checked the set temperature of your water heater? If you can’t recall, it may be time to check again. In some cases, a water heater may be set to a relatively low temperature, resulting in tepid water.


You may need to perform a little trial and error to achieve the ideal hot water temperature. To do this, adjust the dial or temperature setting on your water heater and wait for at least five minutes.

Use the tap closest to the heater to access this warm water. If the water is still too cold, repeat the above steps until you’re satisfied with the temperature.

However, be careful not to increase the temperature by too much, as this could damage your heater and lead to pricier home repairs.

Water Heater Failure

If your water heater is designed to handle your household size and the temperature settings are satisfactory, you may be dealing with a more significant issue. Water heater malfunctions or failures can be precarious, especially for DIY enthusiasts.

Should you discover that your water heater is to blame, it’s essential to contact professional technicians. Not only is this the safest possible route, but it could also be the most convenient and affordable solution.

With the right team at your side, you’ll be able to secure the repairs or replacements you need to enjoy warm, comfortable showers. When you need a water heater service or installation, it’s almost always better to hire a professional for help.


With the right team at your side, you’ll be able to secure the repairs or replacements you need to enjoy warm, comfortable showers. When you need a water heater service or installation, it’s almost always better to hire a professional for help.

Though you may want to opt for a repair over a full replacement, newer water heaters are designed to save water, work more efficiently, and help save you money on utilities.

Investing in a new water heater could be an excellent way to improve your home’s value while also increasing its utility. Besides, in every water heater’s life, there comes the point where repairs are more expensive than replacements.

Sometimes a cold shower is the result of a water heater problem.

Faulty Mixing Valve

Are you able to get hot water from most of your home’s taps, but not your shower head? If so, you may be experiencing an issue with a faulty mixing valve.

As the name of this part suggests, a mixing valve is responsible for combining hot and cold water. When you activate both a hot and cold tap, this valve helps combine the two sources into one stream.

If the mixing valve is malfunctioning, it may only be allowing cool water to exit your shower head or bathtub tap. The fix for this issue is, in theory, simple. However, gaining access to this valve can be tricky.


Once you’ve confirmed that you’re working with a faulty mixing valve, you’ll need to purchase a replacement valve. Of course, this can be a challenge. Typically, homeowners replace old parts by referencing the current pieces of equipment.

However, getting to your mixing valve could involve some drywall removal or significant plumbing work. Though you may feel comfortable handling this problem, leaving in the hands of a professional might be a wise choice.

The last thing you want to do is knock down a wall only to find out that the tiny valve you’re hoping to located beneath the floor or behind a different surface. A team of professional repair technicians could help you avoid this frustration.

Schedule Your Water Heater Repair Today

If you’ve been wondering, “Why is my shower water cold?” hopefully, this article has helped provide some answers. Before you begin scheduling a water heater replacement, it’s crucial to check your heater for easy-to-fix problems.

Overuse is one of the most common causes of cold showers. However, faulty parts or an ancient water heater could also be contributing to your icy water. When all else fails, a team of professionals could help you enjoy hot, steamy showers once more.

Are you in need of immediate water heater repair or maintenance? Feel free to contact us today for assistance!

Sean O’Bryan

Davison, Michigan estate planning attorney Sean Paul O’Bryan has been helping families for 30 years work through the complicated issues of trusts, wills, estate taxes, elder law, and probate avoidance. He is a noted author and speaker on a variety of estate topics. Sean is married and has 2 children, and lives on an active farm in Lapeer, Michigan with several horses, sheep, goats & chickens

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