No Hot or Cold Water? Here’s What You Need to Know and Do

Last Updated on February 17, 2022 by Kravelv

One of the frustrating things you’re likely to experience with your water is its temperature. One of the challenges is when water is extremely hot or cold. However, at times it’s neither hot nor cold or so-called tepid water.

This article explores why the temperatures of your plumbing system might vary. It also looks into crucial things you should note and a brief guide on correcting temperature-related issues. Have you been experiencing a similar problem with your water heaters? We got the solutions.

plumber fixing faucet

Reasons Why Your Water is neither Hot nor Cold and How to correct it

Thermostat Not Working Correctly

The thermostat is responsible for expanding and contracting as water temperature changes. Basically, it controls hot water heater temperatures. Upon realizing that you’re getting lukewarm water, it’s the first thing you should check.

The ideal temperature of the thermostat should be about 60 and 65 degrees. If you note the temperature is slightly lower, that could be the reason you get tepid water. However, suppose the temperature is correctly set yet the water is neither hot nor cold; the thermostat might be faulty.

In such a situation, you’ll have to contact your plumber to replace the faulty thermostat. Suppose your electric tank uses two thermostats; you’ll have to change both altogether.

Tripped Breaker

Electric circuit breakers may trip at times due to several reasons such as circuit overload, ground fault, or short circuit. It’s an issue that could happen to your electric hot water heater, i.e., the breaker trip causes the water heater to lose power. As a result, the tank gradually cools down, and the water becomes lukewarm.

How do you deal with this kind of issue? You can reset the circuit breaker. Flip it to “ON,” and the water heater will start again. You should allow it to bring water to full heat.

However, if the water heater doesn’t restart or the breaker trip over and over again, that suggests a malfunction in the water heater or part of the electrical system. You’ll have to seek help from a professional for a plumbing job. They also offer plumber quotes for the service provided.

Mineral Build-up

Hard water has minerals such as magnesium and calcium that buildup overtime at the lower section of a water heater. As a result, it affects the efficiency of the heater’s heating element; thus, the heating cycle in the water heater is extended. It’s what makes your water to be lukewarm.

There two ways you can solve this issue. First, you can treat the hot water heater with an organic chemical (lye or vinegar). Start by flashing the water heater, pour the chemical, and let it stay on a heater for about 2-3 hours before flushing again. Then turn on the heater back for use and maintain the right temperature.

Lastly, you can regularly flash the water tank to drain off the minerals buildup over time.

However, to counter this problem in your plumbing system, you can install a water softener. It stops mineral buildup before it starts. You may as well seek help from a plumber to conduct regular inspection and maintenance. 

Damaged Dip Tube

The dip tube is responsible for delivering water to the bottom of the water heater tank from the plumbing system. It also forces hot water out of the top connection, where it’s directed into the faucets and appliances.

However, when the dip tube is not functioning correctly or is broken, the cold water may settle on the top of the water heater tank. Therefore the water coming out of the heater tank is only lukewarm. Some broken dip tubes might even result in inconsistency whereby you have cold water and another minute hot one.

Contact a plumber to replace the entire water heater or the malfunctioning dip tube.

Failed Immersion Heater

Most traditional hot water heaters have two immersion heaters. If one fails, the remaining one tries to warm the water but cannot deliver the results for two heaters. Therefore, you end up with lukewarm water due to the limited heating capability.

What can you do to solve this problem? You will need to replace or replace the immersion heater.

The Water Heater is Wearing Out

How long your water heater tank lasts varies from one to another. It can last for about 8-12 years. On the other hand, tankless heaters tend to last longer, even two decades.

However, an aging water heater is likely to reduce its efficiency since it wears out. Consequently, you get lukewarm water from your plumbing system’s outlets.

For improved efficiency, you’ll have to do a replacement of a worn-out water heater.

Above are some of the reasons you might be experiencing lukewarm from your house taps or showers. Your water heater tank could be worn out or have other issues, such as a damaged dip tube or failed immersion heaters. Additionally, you could be experiencing a trip breaker or a buildup of minerals on the lower section of the water heater.

Some of these issues highlighted above are easy to fix. However, others require you to seek help from professionals.If you are wondering how much does a plumber cost? For a typical job, a plumber will charge you anything from $45 to $200/hour, depending on the services you’re seeking. Some plumbers charge a fixed flat rate. 

Most importantly, it’s good you get a schedule for an inspection and maintenance of your plumbing system once in a while to counter such a problem.

Kravelv is a full time digital marketer and part time furniture and cabinet maker. During his free time he would like to create something out of recycled woods, this varies from toys, furnitures plant boxes etc. Follow him on Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook