Shower Not Getting Hot Water But Sink Does (Why & What To Do)

A hot shower is a great way to start the day. When my shower was only putting out cold water, I was confused because my sink had hot water. Since I don’t have time to waste in the morning, I knew I needed a solution fast. Why is this happening and what should I do?

One of the main reasons a shower isn’t getting hot water is because the anti-scald device is set too high. This can also occur if the mixing valve in the shower isn’t working. Other reasons the water is having trouble heating up could be because of the distance from the water heater or corroded pipes.

Having water troubles is a nightmare for any homeowner. If your shower isn’t getting hot water but your sink is, you’re on the right page. Today, We’re going to discuss some of the reasons this happens and what you can do to fix the problem.

Common Causes Of Showers Not Getting Hot (While The Sink Is)

If your shower isn’t getting hot water, you might automatically think that the problem is the water heater. However, if the sink is still able to run hot water, this won’t be the case. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of this issue.

Your Anti-Scald Device is Set Too High

If the anti-scald device is set too high, you won’t get hot water in the shower. The anti-scald device is an important safety feature that’s installed in most faucets. This device prevents the shower temperature from reaching a scalding hot point.

Basically, how the anti-scald device works is by setting a limit on the hot water handle. Once you hit a certain degree, you won’t be able to adjust the hot hater handle any further.

Anti-scald device
Anti-scald device

Unfortunately, if this is the reason why your shower isn’t getting hot water, there is no obvious way to tell. You will need to adjust the anti-scald device manually and check the water temperature.

Adjust Your Anti-Scald Device and Check for a Change

Do you think you’re not getting hot water in the shower because of the anti-scald device? This is how you can fix the issue.

  1. Remove the handle. To access the anti-scald device, you will need to take the handle or head off of your shower faucet. If you are unable to remove it by hand, you may need a screwdriver or Allen’s wrench.
  2. Find the anti-scald device. It is a small plastic device that will be located directly under the shower faucet’s head.
  3. Adjust the anti-scald device. Pull this device slightly to the right to loosen it from the position it was in. Then, gently push it back into place.
  4. Test the water. Run the water to check the temperature. If it feels warmer than before but not quite hot, you may need to adjust the device again until you get the right temperature.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may have to try one of the following solutions.

Adjust the anti-scald device

Your Shower Mixer Valve Isn’t Working

If the shower valve has worn out, the shower won’t run hot water. The shower is able to run water at your preferred temperature because it has mixing valves. These valves are responsible for mixing the hot and cold water together.

The valves are important for reaching a comfortable water temperature. It is possible for these valves to break or wear out over time. If your shower is new and this is happening, it’s likely because the valve was installed incorrectly.

Shower Mixer Valve

So, what should you do if your shower’s mixer valve isn’t working? Unless you have background experience in plumbing, this isn’t something you should attempt. Fixing or replacing the mixer valve requires the disassembly of the shower.

Only allow someone that is familiar with the parts of shower fixtures to replace the mixer valve. We suggest contacting a local plumber to get your hot water working again.

If you are also having problems where the shower isn’t receiving hot water but the sink is we recommend reading over our other posts or calling the plumber as well.

Problems With Other Valves

The mixing valve isn’t the only valve that can cause problems with the shower’s water temperature. It’s common for plumbers to install several valves in a homeowner’s water lines. This is because they may need to use them to shut off the water while doing repairs.

So, how can these valves affect the water temperature in your shower? If a valve is partially shut, it can affect the water temperature. To figure out if this is your problem, you will need to go to the water heater and find the pipe leading to the bathroom.

Luckily, you won’t need to hire a plumber to fix this issue. Here is what you need to do to fix the valve.

  1. Find the pipe leading from the hot water pump to the bathroom.
  2. Follow this pipe until you find the closed valve. You will be able to see the valve that is the culprit from the outside of the pipe.
  3. Adjust the valve back into place. If it’s too tight, you may need to use a flat-head screwdriver.

Distance From the Water Heater

The distance between the water heater and your shower plays a part in how hot the water will get. There is a possibility that there isn’t a problem with the water heater or the valves. It could be the route that the water has to travel through the pipes.

This is a frequent problem in houses where the hot water heater and the washroom are on opposite sides of the house. For example, if your water heater is in the basement and your shower is on the second floor, there may be issues keeping the water hot.

Distance of the Water Heater

We strongly suggest taking a look at the path the water travels to get to your shower. This will help you determine if you need to figure out a solution to keep the water warm. Don’t worry, finding a solution doesn’t mean you have to move your bathroom.

Insulate the Pipes with Pipe Insulators

If this is the case, you don’t have to spend a fortune renovating your home. Instead, you need to locate the problem area. This is likely occurring because there is an area where the pipes are exposed to the cold.

Check to see if the pipes run through the crawlspace, side of the house, or other areas where it’s frequently cold. Once you find out where the pipes are exposed to cold temperatures, you can insulate the pipes.

Install an Auxilary On-Demand Water Heater Near the Bathroom

Another option that has helped people get hot water in their shower without any issues is by placing an auxiliary on-demand water heater near the bathroom to reheat the shower water. This is a tankless heater that can improve hot water flow.

Auxilary On-Demand

When it’s set up, it will heat up the cool water that passes through. This unit will help you get hot water quickly. You won’t have to wait long for hot water when you’re in a hurry to shower. Most modern auxiliary on-demand water heaters are electric, but you can also purchase gas heaters.

Using an on-demand water heater is very easy. Once it’s set up, all you have to do is turn on the hot water to activate it.

Corroded Pipes

Corroded pipes are a common problem in older houses. If you live in an old house and your bathroom is on the top floor, this is most likely your issue. This can often affect the water temperature and the water pressure.

Houses that have galvanized steel pipes are at a higher risk of having corroded pipes. One of the main reasons why is that hot water triggers the corrosion and over time makes it worse.

Corroded Pipes

It’s not just galvanized steel pipes that can become corroded. If you have hard water, there will be many mineral deposits. These can affect other types of pipes, including copper.

If your pipes are corroded, there is only one solution to the problem. They will need to be replaced. For this, you will need to hire a reputable plumber that you trust to work on your home.

Did You Consider This?

Before you pull your hair out trying to figure out what the problem is, we have one more thing for you to consider. Are you experiencing low water pressure along with the loss of hot water? This could be occurring because of a leak in the pipe.

There’s an easy way for you to tell if this is your problem. You will need to use a pressure meter to test the pressure of the water coming from your shower’s faucet. If it doesn’t match the pressure on the water heater, this is most likely your problem.

If there is a leak in the pipe, you will need to contact a plumber to get it repaired.

What Makes A Good Plumber?

A good plumber is fully educated in the plumbing industry and has several years of experience. They will be able to assess the problem and go over their options to provide the best solution.

Even working under a lot of pressure, a good plumber will be able to apply their problem-solving skills to nearly any plumbing emergency. This is why seeking out a plumber is often your best course of action when you are having water problems.

Seeking Out a Good Plumber

Now that you know what makes a good plumber, you might be wondering how you can find one. One thing you should be prepared for when trying to find a plumber is that each plumber specializes in something different.

Some plumbers strictly work on new installations while others are experts at unclogging drains. No matter what their expertise is, there are a few key things that all good plumbers will have in common.

  • License & Insurance: All reputable plumbers will be fully licensed and insured. They will have no problem sharing proof of this information with clients. Are you unsure if the plumber you’re planning on hiring is legitimate? Every state website will have information on plumbers that are licensed.
  • Warranty: A good plumber will be proud of the work they do. To ensure their clients are getting a job well done, they will provide a manufacturer’s warranty on all of the parts they install.
  • Soft Skills: Plumbers that are serious about their job will treat every client with respect. This includes being polite from the very first phone call to their behavior and manners inside your home.
  • References: A reputable plumber will be able to provide new clients with references. This is a great way to get more insight into recent jobs they have completed. It also helps to check online reviews and testimonials.
  • Community Involvement: A good plumber realizes they play a fundamental role in the community, so they will want to be involved in it. Check to see what kind of community associations they are involved in to get a better grasp of their values.


There are several reasons why your shower isn’t running hot water, even though your sink is. The most common issue is with the anti-scald device under the faucet handle. However, this problem can also happen if the shower’s mixer valve is worn out or installed incorrectly.

In older homes, this problem could be due to corroded pipes. If this is the case, they will need to be replaced. Another reason could be that the water heater is too far away from the shower.

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