Living in a multi level home has it’s pros and cons and one of the disadvantages that we often hear about is that the showers in the upper levels are either taking a very long time to get hot water or they don’t get hot water at all.

The further the shower is from the hot water heater, the longer it will take to get hot water. After all, that water from the water heater has to flow all the way up from the lower level up to what may be the highest level of the home.

If this is happening to you – know that you are not alone.

So let’s go over some of the scenarios of what is happening, why it’s happening and what to do about it.

Hot Water Everywhere Except The Shower

If you are able to get hot water from your sinks and other faucets but not your shower, then the problem could be one of two things…

  • a problem with your anti-scald valve and/or device
  • a problem with your shower mixer valve

Anti Scald Valve and Devices

Not all homes have an anti scald device or anti scald valves installed but if your home has a senior resident, we would recommend that you install one for their safety.

An anti scald device is installed on the hot water line water by the water heater so that it can help to protect anyone using any faucet in the home from being hurt by water that is too hot for their skin to tolerate.

An anti scald valve is installed in each individual faucet to do the same thing except it protects the person from only that particular faucet.

If the problem is either of these devices – adjust it to a lower setting. If that doesn’t work you may have to replace it..

Shower Mixer Valve

The purpose of the shower mixer valve is to control the water temperature that comes out of your shower head. The valve itself may have corroded or simply worn out over time and will have to be replaced.

Unfortunately, this will mean getting to those pipes behind your shower wall so this will not be a simple fix. We recommend you contact a professional plumber for the job.

No Hot Water Anywhere

If you have ever found yourself in the middle of a shower, head full of shampoo, body full of soap and all of a sudden – the water starts getting colder and colder and within a minute or so – you’re trying to rinse off with ice cold water. Well, it will wake you up but unless you’ve joined the Polar Bear Club, it’s just not a pleasant experience.

The problem could be…

  • your hot water heater
  • could be a leak in your plumbing
  • could be an electrical problem

Hot Water Heater Problem

There are multiple issues that could cause a hot water heater to stop working.

  • parts that have corroded or gone bad
  • high water pressure
  • lack of maintenance
  • age of the unit
  • blown fuse or circuit breaker
  • problems with the pilot light

Troubleshooting what is causing the water heater to stop working requires some skill and knowledge so we recommend that you contact a professional plumber right away.

Plumbing Leak

Whether it’s a leak in your hot water heater or somewhere along your plumbing system – either of these situations could cause you to lose hot water in your home.

Assessing what is the cause will take some investigating so we do strongly recommend that a plumber be called in to hunt down the culprit and fix the situation.

Electrical Problem

Electrical issues such as a faulty heating element or faulty electric thermostat (both on the hot water heater) could be causing the lack of hot water in your home.

The recommendation is to contact your plumber immediately to get these items fixed or replaced.

Shower Taking A Long Time To Warm Up

Nobody likes wasting water and waiting for your shower to warm up can seem like a huge waste of water.

If your upstairs shower it taking forever to warm up, there are a few common reasons that could be causing that to happen.

  • the shower is a long distance from the hot water heater
  • the diameter of the piping in your plumbing system is too small
  • the flow rate of the shower head

There are some products available that can solve these issues such as a hot water recirculation pump, on demand hot water systems and point of use water heaters.

All of these products can reduce the amount of time it takes for your upstairs shower to warm up and help to reduce your water bill. They do require professional installation so speak to a plumber about them.

If you have any questions about hot water problems, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.