Why Are My Water Temperatures Fluctuating?

A hand reaching out to a running shower, checking the water temperature.
Why Water Temperatures Fluctuate & How to Fix It

A common problem homeowners report is experiencing warm water for a few minutes, a burst of cold water, and then warm water again. This is often referred to as a "cold water sandwich."

While you may assume that fluctuating water temperatures like this are a common part of using the shower or sink, think again – inconsistent hot water temperatures could signify a major problem in your plumbing system.

Instead of shrugging hot water issues off and settling with having to mess with the knob your entire shower, let Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Torrance help. In this blog, our Torrance plumbers explain:

  • What happens when your home’s water temperatures fluctuate
  • What can cause your home’s water temperatures to be inconsistent
  • How to fix water temperature-related plumbing problems
  • What can be done to prevent these types of issues in the future

If you are having a problem with your hot water supply, this article should help you solve the issue – or at least gain an understanding of what’s occurring in your system. And if you have any questions along the way or want a professional team of plumbers to fix your water temperature problems, be sure to reach out! 

Begin with a Water Heater Inspection

Your water heater is a great place to start when it comes to investigating temperature fluctuations in your water. Hot water comes from your home’s water heater, so it makes sense that any problems with the temperature of your hot water would likely originate there or nearby.

Even though you can inspect your water heater to see if you can spot any physical damage, most problems within the system occur either with the water heater itself or elsewhere, so it may be best to reach out to a plumber for advice if you do not see any problems at first glance.

Common Causes of Inconsistent Water Temperatures

Finding the root of your hot water troubles can bring you one step closer to restoring the reliability and functionality of your home’s plumbing. Hot water fluctuations are often caused by the following:

  • Using Too Much Hot Water at Once – Your water heater can only handle so much at once. Attempting to run hot water in more than one place can quickly drain your tank, leading to the inconsistent temperatures you’re experiencing.
  • Water Heater Failure – If your water heater is old, hasn’t received the proper maintenance, or is full of sediment from hard water, there’s a chance for it to fail, which may be causing your poor water temperatures. 
  • Faulty Pressure Balancing Valve – Your shower is controlled by a pressure-balancing valve that mixes hot water with the cold water supply. These can wear out over time, causing fluctuating temperatures and even no hot water at all! A simple replacement will save your next shower.
  • Malfunctioning Thermostat – After some time, your thermostat may become inefficient in regulating water temperatures. Attempt a reset first to see if that fixes things. If not, it likely needs to be replaced.

Contact us if you still can’t determine the cause of your hot water problems. We’ll do a thorough inspection of your water heater and determine the source of the problem.

3 Ways to Fix Fluctuating Water Temperatures

When considering how to fix your home’s hot water supply, it’s important to consider the state of your water heater’s health, among other things:

  • Check the Size – Is the current size of your water heater right for the size of your home? It simply may be running out of hot water because it’s too small. Upgrading to a larger unit gives you plenty of hot water to share across the house.
  • Check the Age – How old is your water heater? If it’s older than ten years, its age is likely why it’s giving you trouble. Investing in a replacement water heater can be a great fix and one of the most cost-effective things you can do.
  • Check the Maintenance Records – When was the last time your water heater was flushed, let alone inspected by a plumber? Annual maintenance can help you avoid all kinds of problems, so catching up on maintenance tasks may be just what you need to fix its efficiency.

If your water heater is younger and doesn’t need to be fully replaced, there’s a good chance that things can be repaired. Whether a simple maintenance task or part replacement will repair your water heater, it’s best to let a professional plumber handle it.

Turn to Our Torrance Plumbers for Water Heater Services

We know your family relies on hot water for bathing, washing dishes and laundry, and more, and we want to help you get back to normal as quickly as possible! As soon as you call our Torrance plumbing company, we can set up an appointment (or dispatch an emergency plumber) to inspect your water heater and get started on a reliable solution.

Whether a simple repair or a complete replacement of your unit is needed, we’re prepared to do anything to fix your home’s fluctuating and inconsistent water temperatures!

Ready to restore your home’s hot water? Us too! Contact our Torrance water heater plumbers online to schedule your plumbing appointment and request your free plumbing service estimate today!