When your shower isn’t heating up, it can leave you feeling a bit frustrated. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make sure your mornings start on the right note.
The first step is understanding why your shower is taking so long to heat up. Let’s take a look at some of the regular causes behind lukewarm showers: Get your Hot Water Now.
Back when mixing valves weren’t available, home builders needed to think of a different way to get cold and hot water into showers. They created cross-connected pipes, and these pipes are still in place in many homes. If you’re not getting enough hot water, these pipes could be the problem.
The pipes that run from your water heater to the shower may have a connection that shouldn’t be there. This is called a cross-connection and can be dangerous for you and your family. It also can affect your water pressure and make it difficult for the hot water to reach the faucets in your home.
You can test for a cross-connection by shutting off the power to your water heater and opening a cold faucet. The water should only run for a few seconds and then stop. If it runs for more than a few seconds or never stops, you have a cross-connection and need to fix it.
Plumbing cross-connections are a serious threat to your health and can contaminate your drinking water. The contaminants can include chemicals, dirt, and even bacteria that are dangerous to you and your family’s well-being. As Carson Dunlop’s Home Reference Book explains, the contamination can happen when a cross-connection is present and water from another source, such as a garden hose or washing machine, enters a home’s plumbing system.
These types of cross connections are avoided by ensuring that all faucets are higher than the tub or basin to which they’re connected. It’s also possible to prevent these connections by installing a backflow device. These devices can protect your family from the dangers of backflow and contaminated water.
Another reason you might be experiencing less than ideal shower heating is that the anti-scald valve hasn’t been set up properly. These safety features are vital in homes with young children and elderly individuals. The anti-scald valve can be difficult to work with, and it’s easy to accidentally flip the position of its top and bottom segments. To avoid these problems, it’s important to have the right professionals help you with your anti-scald valve.
An anti-scald valve prevents sudden, extreme changes in shower temperature that can lead to serious injuries. This device looks like an ordinary shower or tub valve but is equipped with a piston or diaphragm mechanism that immediately balances the pressure of the hot and cold water supply lines. They can be adjusted to your desired maximum temperature, but they prevent your shower from delivering temperatures that are too hot or dangerously cold.
Most scald incidents occur when a water heater is replaced or when the limit stop on a compensating shower valve isn’t readjusted after making a system change. These accidents can be avoided if you install an anti-scald valve in your home, which is recommended by many plumbing codes.
It’s important to have an anti-scald valve in your bathroom because the higher temperature of modern water heaters can be harmful. Water that’s below 140 degrees can foster the growth of unhealthy bacteria, and the higher temperature of showers can cause third degree burns in just five seconds. An anti-scald valve is a simple and inexpensive way to help protect you and your family from these hazards.
When you’re ready to buy an anti-scald valve, take measurements of your shower and the space around it so you can purchase the right size. The valve should be placed between the hot and cold supplies and your shower handle, so it’s easy to access for maintenance or repairs. Two types of anti-scald valves are available: pressure balancing and thermostatic. The pressure-balancing type reacts within milliseconds to any loss of pressure on either the hot or cold sides, while the thermostatic type is designed to prevent incoming water from reaching a pre-set temperature limit set by your plumber.
Both models are effective at reducing the risks of scalding, but a combination pressure-balancing/thermostatic device provides an extra layer of safety. It uses a piston to balance the water pressure, and a thermostatic element that responds to the water temperature. This is the most reliable of all anti-scald devices. If you’d like to have one of these anti-scald devices installed in your home, contact a plumber for more information.
A shower needs a water heater to provide a constant supply of hot water. The heater can be electric, gas-fueled, or even solar-powered. It is important to choose a water heater that matches your power consumption, energy efficiency goals, and budget.
Conventional water heaters with storage tanks are the most common option. However, many people are switching to tankless water heaters because of their smaller size and energy savings. They also have a longer lifespan than traditional models. The type of water heater you choose will depend on the size of your home and its use. You should consider the amount of hot water you use per day and the gallons per minute (GPM) demand from each fixture.
Some shower systems come with a built-in water heater. They are ideal for small homes or multi-family homes where there is no room for a larger water heater. You should also look for an ingress protection code that indicates how well the heater is protected against dust and water. You should also make sure that the water heater has a pressure relief valve to prevent explosions and leaks.
If you opt for a conventional water heater, it is essential to perform regular maintenance. This includes flushing the tank to remove sediment and mineral deposits that can cause corrosion. A professional technician can help you do this. He or she will also inspect the pressure release valve, anode rod, and other components to ensure that they are in good working condition.
Another popular choice for a shower water heater is the point-of-use (POU) model. These devices are typically installed at the point of use, such as in a bathtub or shower. They heat the water as it passes through a metal element that has been coated with a non-corrosive coating. They are available in both gas-fueled and electric models, but the electric units tend to be more popular.
Whether you choose a POU or conventional water heater, be sure to factor in the installation costs and maintenance fees. Some models are easy to install, but others may require professional assistance. If you decide on a gas-powered unit, you will need to have a gas line and chimney installed.
The water heater is one of the components in your shower system. It is the heavy metal tank that holds your water and is often insulated with polyurethane foam or another material to minimize energy loss. The water enters the tank through a dip tube and is heated by either a gas burner or an electric element. Once your water reaches the temperature you set, the unit turns off. Hot water is then supplied to the fixtures in your home, including your shower.
There are many reasons you might experience hot water problems in your shower, but the most common is the problem with the hot water tank itself or the piping that leads to it. As sediment and minerals build up inside the water tank, they can clog pipes and restrict the flow of hot water to the shower. A professional technician can drain your water heater and flush the tank to remove this debris.
If you are looking for an environmentally friendly solution that will reduce your carbon footprint, consider switching to a point-of-use water heater. This type of water heater is ideal for showers and kitchen sinks because it only heats the water as it is used. It can be powered by electricity or natural gas, and the energy-efficient versions have an Energy Star rating of up to 90 percent.
The ESS emergency shower and eye/face wash water heater packaged with the WWM water/water mixing valve is an excellent choice for industrial facilities where workers are exposed to hazardous or corrosive materials. It is factory set to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and meets the ANSI standard for a combined 23 GPM flow of an emergency safety shower and face/eyewash station. The system is easy to install, requires no plumbing changes and includes a safety override feature that senses the final mixed water temperature to ensure no further heating takes place. The system can also be operated at a maximum of 125 PSI for high-pressure applications.