How to Make Shower Water Hotter

You come home from a long day of work, ready to strip and relax in a steaming hot shower to wash the day away. You turn the faucet on, greeted by the soothing sound of running water. But as the minutes go by as you wait for the water to turn hot, your excitement turns into disappointment as the water barely reaches lukewarm.  Whether you just want to relax or use the shower as a steamer closet for wrinkly clothes, knowing how to make shower water hotter will elevate the quality of your daily routine.

There are several basic maintenance actions you could take to make shower water hotter, such as:

  • Turning the temperature up higher
  • Fixing your water pressure
  • Fixing/or replacing your water heater

While there are many ways to make shower water hotter, it’s important to consider the many reasons that are causing the lack of hot water.  Read on to learn more about the easily missed places in your bathroom and water-heater closet that are affecting your showers.

Tips to Make Shower Water Hotter

There’s nothing like stepping into a hot shower to relax. Practiced throughout time, warm water was used to calm the nerves, promote muscle relaxation, and open the pores to clear blemishes. Here are a few tips to keep the trend going.

Turn the water heater up high

adjusting the water heater

Yes, I am going to start with the most obvious one. For common gas and electric heaters, you will need to find the access panel to view the thermostat.

There are typically two levels of the thermostat, the upper and lower one. The only difference is that the upper one has a screw, which allows the internal mechanism to open and close between the two thermostats as you turn on hot or cold water.

Make sure the hot water breaker is shut off before taking the screws or adjusting the thermostat.

Hit the Reset Button

The reset button is usually located alongside the thermostats beneath the access panel lid.

Push and release.

If your water heater now has power, you’re good to go.

However, if there is no power and the reset button begins to trip, then it’s time to call in a professional to take a look.

Turn up the flow control of the showerhead

close up photo of a showerhead with flow control

There are many ways to create a more substantial flow with your showerhead.

If it takes longer than 6 seconds for 1 liter of water to get through, you have a significant water pressure problem that could also affect the flow of warm water. Here are a few tips to clear those pipes!

Clean your shower head. Make a solution of water and commercial cleaner.

Replace the shower head.

Install a shower pump.

Showerheads are a good defense against the mineral deposits of hard water which contains calcium and manganese.

Add a Hot Water Tank Booster

Rheem Water Tank Booster

This will improve water heater performance significantly.

They are a great option for those looking for something more affordable than replacing a weak water heater.

They are small, adjustable, and help keep the tap water healthy.

Insulate the Pipes

Pipe insulators can be a life-saver if you live in a colder climate.

Made with insulation foam, these affordable devices act as sleeves around your pipes, capturing heat and raising temperatures by 4 degrees.

Change the heating element

shower water heater
Image froMaribeth Divinagraciam

Water heaters last 6 to 10 years. Buying a new one may help with repair costs and are more energy efficient.

Have a repair specialist come by to confirm that your water heater is actually on its last leg before purchasing a new one.

Why is the Water in my Shower Not Hot Enough?

So, you’ve replaced your old showerhead with a sleeker one, coated your pipes, and adjusted the temperature.

Yet, you can’t get that steaming hot water you crave.

There could be any number of reasons.

Broken Thermostat

a man adjusting an electric water heater thermostat
Image from Father & Son Plumbing and Heating

You might have heard how the switches of thermostats “trip” when they begin to act funky.

That’s because, as an electric water heater, the upper and lower thermostats will not always coordinate correctly.

Clogged Shower Head

Clogged shower heads are mainly caused by mineral deposits from hard water. To clean, mix a solution with water and a commercial cleaner. Any kind is fine, but Lime-a-way works great.

Water Valve is turned off

water heater valve

Your water valve should be located on top of the water heater. If they are ball valves, meaning they look like long, horizontal door handles, it’s possible someone mistakenly turned it off.

The temperature on Thermostat is not High Enough

The standard water temperature is between 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. But depending on the water tank size and the number of people in your house, the temperature may be cooling quickly.

Turn the temperature dial to the left (which is universally red) which increases the temperature.        

Damaged Water Heater

a plumber installing a new water heater

If you’ve already checked out the shower head, the valves, and the pressure of all the water faucets, then it’s possible you’ll need to replace your water heater.

Unless you’ve already tried servicing it, buying a new one will reduce repair costs in the long run.

Plus, newer models are more energy efficient.

Wrong Sized Water Heater

People often miss this one because they assume heaters universally work the same.

However, that is not the case.

If you have five to ten people living in your home, yet only have a 36-gallon water heater, that is going to be a problem.

36 to 46 gallons will typically serve 2 to 4 people, while 56 or over usually serves 5 or more people.

Don’t let these factors stop you from having a nice hot shower. By determining the capacity of your home, and the state of your water heater, pipes, and showerheads, you’ll be taking a spa bath in no time.

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