The water heater is often the first suspect in domestic hot water issues, like when you can’t receive hot water in the bathroom.
However, if your home is serviced by a single water heater and the kitchen area has hot water but the bathroom doesn’t, your water heater is certainly not the problem.
So, Why Would You Have Hot Water in The Kitchen, But Not the Bathroom?
Here are two likely reasons:
- A Badly Set Anti-Scald Device
- The Mixer Valve Has Issues
Consider inspecting the above 2 points before you even think of hiring anyone to look into the problem:
1. Wrongly Set Anti-Scald Device
Anti-scald devices are standalone controls different from mixer valves (more on this later).
They are installed inside the faucet, unlike mixer valves that are conspicuously installed at the junction where hot/cold plumbing meets.
Anti-scald units restrict the extent to which you can turn the handle in a hot water direction.
Most modern anti-scald junctions allow you to adjust temperatures to meet your needs.
The standard temperature is120°F (at 48°C) which though not best for bacteria elimination, is almost lukewarm on the skin hence safe.
If your anti-scald device permits temperature adjustments, and you aren’t receiving hot water in your shower but your kitchen taps are unaffected, chances are high your temperature setting is too high. The higher the setting, the colder the flow.
But how do you even tell?
Start with the obvious – check the temperature of the water in your kitchen.
If it’s as hot as it should be, return to the bathroom and examine your anti-scald device.
Fortunately, correcting a faulty ant-scald device is as easy as ABC.
All you’ll need to do is lower the temperature via the settings, replace the head, and enjoy your warm birth thereafter.
Here’s how to go about it:
Start by removing the head or handle from the faucet.
If it’s a simple shower, all you need is a screwdriver but a sophisticated faucet will call for a wrench.
Either way, the objective is to rotate the head off the unit.
Time to locate the anti-scald unit.
The device should be easy to locate as it normally sits directly under the head, so you should see it immediately you remove the head.
Note that not all faucets are equipped with anti-scald devices. Most anti-scald devices are plastic, so you should investigate elsewhere if you don’t see a plastic device under the head of the faucet.
A slight right turn should increase the temperature of your water; a left turn should lower it.
To make a turn test and even make it easier for you to turn the, you will need to pull out the device a bit.
Proceed to turn it to the right slightly and push it back into position.
Turn on the faucet – how is the temperature?
You should detect warmth, a proof that your anti-scald unit was set wrongly.
If you don’t detect any change, the problem is elsewhere.
Repeat the steps above and adjust the device until you hit your preferred water temperature. Proceed to replace the cover of the faucet.
2. Issues with The Mixing Valve
If your anti-scald unit is working properly but you still can’t get hot water, you should examine the mixer valve.
Mixer junctions are designed to blend cold and hot water in the right proportions and deliver a flow of your preference.
If you’ve had hot water issues in your bathroom lately, there’s a strong likelihood your mixing valve has stopped working as required.
There are many reasons why your mixer valve may fail.
It can be a result of the natural wear and tear process.
A person may have locked it to the cold water direction too tightly that it can’t reverse easily. Even worse, it may have broken while on the cold water side, meaning the only way to get your hot water is to replace some parts.
It is easy to diagnose – turn the handle left/right and feel the water. If the valve doesn’t move easily, or at all, you need to replace it.
Other areas worth investigating:
1. Distance from the Heater
The distance between your water heater and bathroom can influence the temperature of water dripping down your shower, especially if your home is serviced by one heater.
If your bathroom shares one heater with the kitchen (of course, the heater is in the kitchen), and these two are on two opposites dies of your home, then it’s just obvious that hot water will be forced to travel a long distance to reach your bathroom.
Yet water cools with increasing distance of plumbing.
The situation can be even worse if the plumbing is installed in very cool areas, such as the crawlspace or wall in the winter.
Insulation may reduce the rate of cooling in plumbing that passes through such spaces.
However, the best way around this challenge is to add another water heater next to your bathroom to boost the temperature of the water before it is used.
2. Could It Be That Your Pipes Are Blocked or Corroded?
Pipes normally age with the home. If your home has seen better days, so has your plumbing and the rest of the system unless you maintained them well.
Perhaps the clearest sign that your plumbing is old and needs replacement is a change in the color of the water.
Corrosion and complete blockage are mainly a result of generations of deposits that have accumulated to catastrophic levels.
Not only can corroded pipes block your hot water, but can also interfere with its pressure especially if your bathroom is upstairs.
Galvanized steel plumbing carrying hot water is the likeliest to corrode.
Copper pipes – probably the second most popular type of residential plumbing – are known to block easily but as a result of mineral deposition rather than rusting.
If the signs aren’t obvious but you still think your plumbing is at fault, consider inspecting your pipes (preferably with a plumber) and make the necessary corrections.
So, why would you have hot water in the kitchen, but not the bathroom? there are two likely reasons: a badly set anti-scald device; and mixer valve has issues.
Anti-scald units restrict the extent to which you can turn the handle in the hot water direction but may be set wrongly and cause impairment in the supply of cold and hot water.
The mixer valve, on another hand, is designed to blend cold and hot water in the right proportions and deliver a flow of your preference. This too may malfunction.