Hot Water Not Coming Out Of Shower Head: Causes And Solution

Hot Water Not Coming Out Of Shower Head

You turned on your shower, expecting to get hot water. But to your greatest surprise, what you got was cold water. Now you’re asking, “Why is hot water not coming out of shower head?” If you’re seeking the correct answer to this question, you’re not alone. 

It’s annoying to have your bath with cold water, when you already have your heart set on bathing in hot water. Now, it seems your plan has been ruined. 

If your shower head stops releasing hot water, then something isn’t right. So, let’s identify the problems and possible solutions. Keep reading!

Reasons Hot Water Is Not Coming Out Of Shower Head

Tank size: 

Depending on how large your household is, tank size may be an issue. If you have a large family, hot water will always run out faster in a small tank. Since the demand for hot water is high, there’ll be more cold water from the shower.

Usage time: 

It’s best to consider your usage time when you encounter this issue. If you’re taking a shower when you do your laundry or dishes, you may have a cold shower. That’s because the washing machine and even the dishwasher use a lot of hot water.

If other family members take showers before you do, they may use all the hot water. 

Additionally, some water heaters have on and off-cycle times. It helps to save energy. So if you shower during the off-cycle period, you won’t get hot water.


When the weather changes, it may impact your water heater. If the temperature becomes freezing during winter, you may get less hot water. In such times, you get cold water more often.

In this case, you may need to wait a while and insulate your appliance.

Shower valve: 

One reason for not getting hot water from your shower is the shower valve. It’s a part that mixes cold and hot water to give you warm shower water. 

If the washers or O-rings of the valve wear out, it won’t work well. At such times, when you turn the valve to “hot,” you get cold water.

Another cause is the lack of proper installation or maintenance of the shower valve. Sometimes, even when the shower valve gets installed correctly, it may shift over time. And that may set the valve up for a low temperature and prevent hot water.

Gas valve: 

If you have a gas heater, then the problem may be the gas valve. Check that it’s secure and in its correct position. Then, ensure you turn on the gas. 

If the gas valve is okay, check the pilot light. Try lighting the pilot. It has to stay lit; else, the issue is the gas line. And that’s because it’s stopping the gas supply.

Gas leak: 

When there’s a natural gas leak from your gas water heater, it can be both dangerous and inconvenient. If you suspect a gas leak, the first thing to do is call your gas company immediately. The focus is not on the water heater but on assessing the appliance for any gas leaks.

If there’s a gas leak, the gas company will handle it. If there’s none, then you have to continue troubleshooting to find the problem.

Malfunctioning water heater: 

Another reason your shower is not receiving hot water is a malfunctioning water heater. A water heater requires efficient energy to work correctly. So ensure you set the proper temperature.

However, if the problem persists, then the issue may be from the temperature control.

Consequently, if it’s an electric water heater, then one or more of the elements may have burnt. As such, it only gets hot for a little while, or never. 

There may be issues with your cold water dip tube if it’s an old water heater. Instead of sending cold water to the burner, it sends it to the hot water supply dip tube. And so you get only cold water. 

A quick check is to examine faucet strainers for pieces of plastic. That’s a sign that your dip tube is falling apart because it’s deteriorating. You may also notice a reduction in water pressure.

The problem may also be from the circuit breaker. It can stop power from reaching the heater, which will stop heating the water.

Leaking tank: 

If hot water is not coming out of your shower head, then the tank may be leaking. There has to be water in the tank before the water heater can heat it. Ensure you check your tank and its connections to valves.

If the connections have no issues, then inspect the tank compartment for the leakage source. 

However, if there’s water in the tank with no evidence of leakage, try checking other possibilities of the issue.

Cross-connected pipes: 

Older houses or showers without mixing valves have cross-connected pipes. They serve to balance the flow of hot and cold water. 

But it’s not popular anymore because modern showers use valve mixers.

If your shower has a hand sprayer, then consider this. Does it get hot when you turn off the regular shower? If yes, then the problem is likely a cross-connection.

Thermostat malfunction: 

If your water heater is not energy efficient and doesn’t produce hot water, the problem may be the thermostat. It has to be set to about 120 Fahrenheit to be effective.

When there’s no hot water and energy is also not efficient, inspect the upper thermostat. The thermostat may get busted and needs maintenance.


Check if the problem affects all the faucets or just the shower. To do that, turn them on and check the hot water temperature.

If the water from the faucets starts hot and suddenly cools down, the problem may be the water heater. If they don’t get hot, a dip tube may be faulty. But if they all produce a regular hot water stream, then a shower component is the cause.

Ways To Fix Hot Water Not Coming From Shower Head

Exercise patience: 

Wait for some time when you don’t have hot water because of other usages. And ensure nobody is using the shower. Also, make sure you turn off your dishwasher and washing machine. 

Wait for about 30 minutes. That’ll give the water heater time to heat the cold water. Then, turn on the shower. Now, you should have hot water running from the showerhead.

Upgrade tank: 

If your tank size is the issue, then upgrade your tank. It would help if you got a larger tank to get enough hot water when you have a large family.

When upgrading, bear in mind that electric heaters take a longer heating time than gas ones. You can also choose to invest in a tankless water heater. It’s efficient enough to run your entire house.

Adjust shower valve: 

When your shower valve is the cause, adjust it. You can find the shower valve stem under the faucet. The process for fixing it depends on the faucet type in your shower. 

Generally, to do this, turn off the water heater. Then, remove the faucet handle. Next, detach the metal cover under the handle. You’ll see the valve stem there. Now, did you notice a plastic part around the valve stem? That’s the Rotational Stop Limit (RSL).

The shower valve controls the mixture of cold and hot water due to the RSL. It also notes the directional controls. An anti-clockwise turn releases more hot water. A clockwise turn, on the other hand, releases less.

Now pull out the RSL cover. It’ll reveal the teeth that hold it in place. That’ll allow you to turn the RSL. Next, turn the RSL in an anti-clockwise direction, one or two increments at a time. Be careful when you do so with your bare hands and ensure they are dry. 

Then put it back in place.

Finally, replace the faucet handle. Check the temperature to see if the water is hot. If it’s not what you expect, repeat the process. 

However, if the issue continues, consider hiring a professional.

Replace shower valve: 

When your shower valve gets damaged, replace it. If not, it’ll cause your showerhead to produce cold water.

Additionally, check the washers or O-rings on your shower valve. If they look worn out, replace them.

Set the thermostat: 

If the issue is with your temperature range, set the thermostat. It’s best to regulate it to about 120 Fahrenheit. It’ll help your heater balance out regular and hot water.

In some water heaters, you can set the temperature manually using a dial. If it doesn’t work, look for the panel. Please turn it off and open the housing. Then adjust the temperature dial.

If it still doesn’t go through, then it’s time to hire a technician.

You have to do regular maintenance. When you don’t, sediment buildup can cause issues even when the thermostat is working. So, flush your water heater regularly.

Shower valves are affordable. So you can fix it yourself or opt for professional help.

Fix water heater:  

In case of technical defects in the water heater, you have to fix them.

For gas heaters, repair or replace the burner if it’s not working correctly. Replace the heater if it’s too old. Ensure you relight the pilot light when it burns out.

Leave the house immediately during a gas leak and contact your gas company.

For electric heaters, turn off the water heater first. Then reset your circuit breaker. If the issue was that your circuit breaker tripped, then resetting it can help you get hot water running in about an hour. However, if it trips continuously, you may have to call for professional help.

Constantly maintain your water heater. And look for a replacement when there’s a tank leak.

If you have an issue with the dip tube, replace it. 

Fix cross-connecting pipes: 

If the cause of no hot water issue is the cross-connecting pipes, fix them. It’s important to note that the cross-connection is mainly behind the wall. So, if you don’t have access to it, it’ll not be easy to do it yourself. 

A professional plumber should fix the problem.


When there’s no hot water coming from the showerhead, you must first find out the cause. There are several reasons it may be happening. Some of them include a faulty water heater, thermostat, or even a gas leak. However, it may be due to simple reasons like your time of use.

Once you detect the problem, fix them. You can use the solutions given for them. But if they don’t work correctly, ensure you hire a professional for the best results.


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