Have you ever had the unpleasant experience of brushing your teeth only to realize the water you’ve used was boiling hot? Maybe you’ve gone to wash the vegetables you were preparing, and even though you’ve only opted for cold water, a lukewarm rinse washes over your best tomatoes. Either way, this surprise can sure be unexpected.
When hot water makes its way through your pipes after you’ve purposefully turned the tap to cold, it can be anything from a minor inconvenience to a major red flag that will require an emergency plumber to come to the rescue. There are a couple of key culprits that could be the result of the plumbing repair scare you should look out for. Here are the top 3 reasons why there could be hot water coming out of your cold faucet.
3 Reasons Why Hot Water is Coming Out of Your Cold Faucet
From the standard faucets that have individual knobs for hot and cold settings to single directional knobs that slide back and forth, most taps give homeowners the option to select a hot or cold temperature as needed. When they start behaving out of character, these are 3 of the most common reasons this happens.
1. Proximity Problems
When it comes to problems like hot water coming out of your cold faucet that requires a plumbing repair, it could be due to one common factor: proximity.
Proximity of the Pipes
A typical issue that an emergency plumber may come across is the proximity of the pipes. In many cases, plumbing is run through tight spaces. In this case, the hot and cold water lines will run parallel to each other. When they run too closely together without proper insulation, this can cause the heat from the hot water pipe to affect the cold water line, heating up the water that runs through it. If this is an existing problem, the best solution is to insulate the pipes now to help maintain their internal temperature, despite the proximity problem.
Proximity of the Ventilation Ducts
If you’ve noticed that hot water seems to come out of the cold-water tap during the winter, you may have a different type of proximity issue; the pipes may be touching the ducts of your forced-air furnace. If you have the furnace roaring in the cooler months to heat your home and the ductwork is close to the water lines, this could be affecting the temperature of the cold water you’re hoping for when you turn on the tap. This type of issue is more common in older homes. If you’re looking for a plumbing fix that won’t require a big plumbing project, you can try to insulate the area more to help the lines maintain their internal temperature.
2. The Heating Effect
If you’ve noticed that there is warm water coming out of the tap when you’ve turned it to cold on occasion, it could be a temporary issue known as the heating effect. This happens when copper lines are near your faucet. This occurs when hot water causes the pipes to heat up due to the transfer of heat from the lines. As soon as cold water comes through, the lines will immediately begin to cool, making the heating effect a short-lived issue.
3. A Cross Connection Occurred
A cross-connection happens when a single handle faucet is leaking internally, or the pipes are incorrectly installed where a hot and cold line are combined by mistake. This could be the reason why you’re having hot water come out of your tap when you’ve turned the faucet to cold. This may indicate that your plumbing wasn’t appropriately connected initially and that there could be a faulty mixing valve. A local plumber can fix this by diagnosing the problem and running your lines correctly.
How to Fix Hot Water Coming Out of Your Cold Faucet
If you’ve discovered that hot water is coming out of your cold water tap, diagnosing the plumbing repair promptly is critical. Waiting it out could create a bigger problem to deal with later. The safest solution that will save you from the headache of “I wish I knew sooner” is to call one of our emergency plumbers. Plumbing Paramedics is available 24/7 in Calgary and surrounding areas. If you need one of our experts for a scheduled maintenance service or emergency plumbing repair, call us at (403) 879-7213 or email us to book an appointment.
Have you ever had hot water surprise you when you turned on the cold tap? Did you discover what the problem was? How did you fix it? Any questions you want an expert to answer? Add your comments below to help others that have been struggling with the same problem!