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What Is Causing My Water Temperature to Fluctuate?
September 05 / 2019

What Is Causing My Water Temperature to Fluctuate?

A common plumbing problem that often gets swept under the rug is fluctuating water temperature. Some people simply get used to it, or make due with it, however, this doesn’t have to be the case. When the water temperature fluctuates there is often an underlying plumbing problem that needs to be addressed. Getting the root of the issue and finding out what is causing your water temperature to fluctuate will help restore the functionality of your plumbing and also ensure that there isn’t a more serious plumbing problem at hand.   

Water Heater Failure

One thing that can cause your water temperature to fluctuate is the source itself, your water heater. Your water heater is a good place to start. Water heaters typically last 12-15 years, so if it is getting on in years, it may be time to replace it. It may simply be in need of some maintenance. Inspect your water heater for any damage or leaks, if it is gas operated check the pilot and make sure it is strong. You should also check the thermostat, a thermostat that is too low will result in cooler temperatures, while a thermostat that is too hot can result in scalding water that can be dangerous. The recommended temperature for a hot shower is 112 degrees. The suggested setting for your thermostat is 120 degrees. While water heaters can reach 140 degrees, this is getting into the danger zone. Avoid accidental burns, by making sure your thermostat is set at a safe temperature. An emergency thermostat is also a good idea, as it will stop heating the water when dangerous temperatures are reached.    

Size Matters

In addition to a properly functioning water heater and thermostat, it is important to consider the size of your water heater. Sometimes an inadequately sized water heater is what is causing your water temperature to fluctuate. If your water heater is too small, it will have a hard time keeping up with demand. The same goes for on demand water heaters. For larger households, more than one on demand water heater may need to be installed in order to produce enough hot water to meet the demand.

Pressure Balancing Valve

If you have been able to rule out your water heater, then it could be your pressure balancing valve that is causing your water temperature to fluctuate. If you have ever been in the shower, when someone flushes the toilet and the water temperature suddenly changes, it is your pressure balancing valve. The pressure balancing valve regulates water pressure and provides consistent water temperatures in showers and baths. Your plumbing has both hot and cold water supply lines. When the tap is open for, lets way the cold water line, the water pressure changes in the hot water line. This can result in a drastic change in water temperature. The pressure balancing valve regulates the pressure to keep things consistent. If you start to notice fluctuations when more than one tap is open, then your pressure balancing valve probably needs to be replaced.    Maintaining the water temperature in your home is important not only for comfort but for safety. Drastic changes in hot water temperatures can result in scalding burns, especially for children and pets. Contact Rooter Hero today to learn more!