Want to make your shower water hotter? Jump in with us, and let’s take a look at what’s going on, as well as a few potential fixes.
A warm shower is a perfect way to start a new day or to end a long one. But, if you’re like me, the water has to be the perfect temperature.
To make your shower water hotter, check and adjust the thermostat to increase the maximum temperature of the hot water. Check the temperature of the water with a thermometer and if it isn’t hot enough, you might need to fix a problem such as a faulty heating element, mixing valve, or other issue.
Other fixes include upgrading your hot water tank, fixing the water heater, or unclogging blocked water pipes.
The solution your situation requires depends on a number of different factors that we’ll cover here.
How To Make Your Shower Water Hotter
Perfect water temperature differs from one person to the other, but most people seem to prefer a temperature between 98 degrees Fahrenheit and 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re coming home from work expecting a warm shower, hoping under a freezing stream of ice pellets can be quite the shock. If you find yourself in this situation, read on and find out why you’re experiencing arctic-like water temperatures and what to do about it.
Here are the basic steps to make your shower water hotter:
- Fix or Adjust the Thermostat
- Upgrade your water tank
- Replace Broken Parts of the Heater
- Unclog Blocked Water Pipes
Other than being comfortable, hot showers offer additional benefits to the body, including addressing some respiratory diseases, clearing blemishes, relaxing body muscles, and not providing a shock to the body as cold water does.
There might be a number of reasons your shower isn’t pumping out water that meets your temperature standards. Let’s learn how to make shower water hotter in apartments or homes by taking a look at a few of them below.
How to adjust the thermostat on your hot water heater – easy step-by-step instructions!
To get hot water, start by learning how to fix shower temperature control. You can do this by making sure that the thermostat is on the correct setting and by adjusting the temperature.
During colder months, adjust the thermostat to a higher temperature reading. Also, ensure that the thermostat reading is accurate, and, if not, you probably need to have it repaired.
Adjusting the hot water temperature on a hot water heater can generally be done by following these steps. However, please note that any work involving electrical or gas appliances should only be performed by individuals comfortable with such tasks, and it’s often best to consult a professional for assistance. Always take necessary safety precautions.
Adjusting the temperature on an electric water heater
- Turn Off Power: First, ensure that you switch off the electrical power supply to the water heater at the circuit breaker.
- Locate Thermostat: Open the thermostat access panel on the side of your water heater, which may be screwed shut. You may need a screwdriver for this.
- Check Temperature: The thermostat should display the current temperature setting. It’s usually set between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Adjust Temperature: Use a flat-head screwdriver to adjust the thermostat to your desired temperature setting. There may be two thermostats (upper and lower); if so, adjust both to the same setting.
- Replace Panel: Put the thermostat access panel back into place and tighten any screws you may have removed.
- Restore Power: Turn the power back on at the circuit breaker.
- Test: After allowing some time for the water to reach the new temperature setting (wait at least an hour), test the water temperature with a thermometer at a faucet furthest from the heater. Make further adjustments if necessary.
- Screwdriver: Generally, a flat-head or Philips screwdriver is needed to remove the thermostat access panel screws.
- Non-Contact Voltage Tester: This tool is optional but highly recommended for safety reasons. You can use it to ensure the electricity is off before touching any electrical components.
- Thermometer: To test the water temperature from a tap after making adjustments.
- Work Gloves: Optional, for protection while handling potentially sharp or rough edges.
- Flashlight: In case the area around the water heater is not well-lit.
Adjusting the temperature on a gas water heater
- Locate Thermostat: The thermostat dial is usually located near the bottom of the gas water heater.
- Pilot Light: Make sure the pilot light is on. If it’s not, you’ll need to relight it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Adjust Temperature: Turn the thermostat dial to your desired temperature. Again, 120–140 degrees Fahrenheit is the typical range.
- Wait: Allow the water heater some time to adjust to the new temperature setting (usually an hour or so).
- Test: Check the hot water temperature at a faucet using a thermometer. Make further adjustments if necessary.
- Thermometer: To check the water temperature after making adjustments.
- Work Gloves: Optional, to protect your hands.
- Long Lighter: In case the pilot light needs to be relit.
- Flashlight: If the area around your water heater is not well-lit, you’ll need this to see the thermostat dial clearly.
Safety notes for adjusting hot water heaters
- Always read the manufacturer’s guidelines and warnings for your specific water heater model.
- Use a thermometer to confirm that water temperature has been adjusted to the desired setting.
- Never touch electrical components with wet hands, and ensure you are working in a dry area to reduce the risk of electrical shock.
- If you encounter complications or have any doubts about performing these tasks, it’s better to seek professional help.
Safety gear needed
- Safety Goggles: Optional, but good to have for eye protection.
- Rubber Sole Shoes: To minimize the risk of electric shock.
By following these steps, you should be able to adjust the hot water temperature on your water heater. Always prioritize safety, and when in doubt, consult with professionals.
If you aren’t able
Why can’t I get my shower water hot enough?
The problems you’re facing with shower temperatures generally fall into 4 categories.
1. Water heater-related issues
Your water heater is what produces the hot water that comes out of your shower head. Over time the water heater can develop issues that might result in the shower providing cold water. Below you’ll find some water heater-related problems you should look out for.
a) Faulty Parts
A water heater is a complex machine with different parts and components that must work in sync to ensure that you get hot water. If any of the components are not working, the shower will produce a frigid experience.
For instance, if there is a buildup of dirt on the burner, the water heater will no longer generate enough heat to warm your water. Also, if the machine’s thermostat is damaged, you won’t likely get the device set to the correct water temperature due to the inaccuracy of the reading.
b) Leaking Water Heater
Leaking is another common problem with water heaters and results in the heater pouring water that is not warm enough.
Your water heater could be leaking because it is poorly maintained or due to the accumulation of dirt and debris that result in spring leaks.
Also, the water heater might be leaking because some of the parts are broken down or due to old age.
c) Wrong Sized Heater
The water from your shower might also not be hot because the hot water tank is not the right size for your house. To make the right decision on the correct size of water heater for your home, seek the services of a professional or check out this resource on sizing your water heater from the Department of Energy.
Also, you could shift to a tankless water heater. This way, you will get instant and on-demand hot water at all times.
2. Pipe-related Issues with the water supply
Water in your house runs through pipes, and the wrong setup or blockages along the lines could cause the water heater to malfunction. Below are some common pipe-related issues that can make shower water not hot enough.
a) Cross Connected Pipes
Cross-connected pipes are used to allow for the flow of cold and hot water from the shower. This technology, however, was used back in the day before the invention of mixing valves.
Today, they are rendered obsolete after the invention of other technologies that make hot water easily accessible. However, if your house has cross-connected pipes, you cannot conclude right away that they aren’t the cause of cold water from your showers.
Look at the other causes and go through the process of elimination and consult a plumber to make the final diagnosis.
b) Corroded Pipes
Corroded pipes reduce the flow of water, which affects the shower and general water flow around the house.
With reduced pressure, water will have a hard time reaching the water heater or flowing from the storage tank, resulting in poorly heated water.
3. Mixing Valve-Related Issues
The use of mixing valves is the technology that came to replace the cross-connected pipes. The valves are built inside the shower handle to ensure that the water does not get too hot or too cold. However, the valves run into problems, which we will discuss below.
a) Improperly Installed Valves
If the valves are not installed correctly, you will either get too hot or too cold water. The most common installation mistake that newbies and technicians make alike occurs when the valve is installed incorrectly, with the top side down, or vice versa.
To get the right amount of hot water, ensure that the valve is installed in the proper position.
b) Clogged Valves – poor water pressure
The valves are prone to clogging with continuous usage. To unclog a blocked valve, flush it with clear water. If you are still getting cold water after this, consider replacing the valves.
c) Valve Is Not Set Correctly
If the anti-scald valve is not set correctly, you will receive cold water from time to time. To remedy this unpleasant surprise, you’ll need to check the calibrations on the valve and ensure that they are set at the right temperature.
To set it at the right temperature, turn it to the right and test the water until you get to the temperature you prefer. The anti-scald valve is a plastic piece that goes under the faucet cover.
d) Mixing Valve Is Not Working
The rubber parts of the mixing valve get worked up and damaged over time, which could be why your water is not hot enough.
Also, the rubber parts burn down, break, and cause blockages in the shower pipes due to the hot temperatures. In both cases, the mixing pipe should be replaced, and this should be left to a professional plumber for the best results.
e) Plumbing Crossover
The mixing valve ensures that cold and hot water mix in the right proportions to give comfortable hot water. However, in some instances, too much cold water mixes with the hot water, a malfunction known as a plumbing crossover.
If this is happening in your pipes, you will never get hot shower water. The best you can get is lukewarm. Diagnosing the mixing valves for a plumbing crossover is complicated and can be solved by a professional plumber.
Get the best shower heads here.
4. Other Causes
The causes highlighted above are directly related to the plumbing system. However, the water supply system and the shower can be working perfectly fine, but you may still experience cold baths.
With that said, other possible reasons why your shower water is not hot enough include:
a) The Water Being Supplied To The Heater Is Too Cold
Sometimes the temperature of shower water is affected by the climate. If your water was warm enough in summer and then changes during winter, it might be because the water is colder than usual.
Therefore if the issue is climate-related, adjust the thermostat to higher temperatures in winter and change it to standard settings when the sun is out.
b) High Demand Of Hot Water
If you live in a household with high demand for hot water, you may run into some trouble with your water tank’s capacity. In a situation like this, if you want a warm shower, you will need to shower before anyone else to enjoy the hot water.
c) Showering At The Wrong Time
Some water heaters adjust with time, and a change in your routine or schedule could see you showering with cold water. If you take your shower as the heater is switched off, the water will be cold. In that case, a change or adjustment in your routine will solve the cold water issue.
When is it time to upgrade your water tank?
If you have used your water tank for more than ten years, it might be too old to give you hot water, and it is best to get a replacement.
Also, if there is a high demand for hot water in your household, consider getting a bigger tank to meet the needs of everyone.
You can also switch to the tankless heating unit so that your shower water is heated on demand.
Frequently Asked Questions about making shower water hotter
How Do I Increase the Water Temperature In My Shower?
To increase the water temperature in the shower, adjust the thermostat to the right as you test the water until you get your preferred temperature. Ensure that the thermostat reading is correct for accurate results.
Why Is The Water In My Shower Not Hot Enough?
You are probably not getting hot shower water because the mixing valve is not set up correctly, the rubber pieces have broken down and blocked the shower water pipes, or the valve is causing a plumbing crossover where more cold water is mixing with the hot water.
In Conclusion: How To Make Shower Water Hotter
A hot shower bath is relaxing and an excellent way to start your day. If the shower water is not hot enough, you must be frustrated and wondering how to make the shower water hotter.
First things first, ensure that you can adjust the water heater to the right temperature. If the cause is complicated and involves the pipes or the valves, you may want to contact a professional plumber.
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