5 Potential Causes of Water Being Too Hot & How to Fix Them

Having scalding hot water in your home can be uncomfortable and dangerous, especially for young children and the elderly. There are several reasons your water might be too hot, and identifying the cause is the first step in fixing the issue.

In this blog post, we will explore five potential causes of overly hot water and offer solutions for each problem.

1. Faulty Thermostat

A common cause of excessively hot water is a malfunctioning thermostat. The thermostat is responsible for regulating the temperature of your water heater. If it’s not working correctly, it may not be able to accurately gauge the temperature, causing the water to heat to unsafe levels.

How to Fix: First, check the thermostat settings to ensure they are set to the correct temperature, usually between 120°F and 140°F. If the settings are correct, but the water is still too hot, you may need to replace the thermostat. This is a relatively simple and inexpensive fix that a professional plumber or an experienced DIYer can do.

2. Broken Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve is a safety device that helps to maintain the appropriate pressure within your water heater. If this valve is malfunctioning or broken, it can cause the water heater to overheat, resulting in dangerously hot water.

How to Fix: Inspect the pressure relief valve for signs of damage or leakage. If you notice any issues, replacing the valve immediately is essential. 

3. Too High Temperatures

Sometimes, the cause of scalding hot water is as simple as the temperature setting is too high. If your water heater is set to a higher temperature than necessary, it can waste energy and pose a safety risk.

How to Fix: Lower the temperature setting on your water heater to a safe and comfortable range, between 120°F and 140°F. This will not only prevent scalding but also help save energy and reduce utility bills.

4. Mineral Buildup

Over time, minerals such as calcium and magnesium can accumulate in your water heater, forming a sediment layer. This buildup can cause the water heater to work less efficiently and overheat the water.

How to Fix: To remove mineral buildup, you will need to flush your water heater. This process involves draining the tank, removing the sediment, and refilling it with fresh water. Flushing your water heater should be done once a year to maintain its efficiency and prevent overheating. If you need help with how to do this, it’s best to call a professional plumber.

5. Electric Heater Issues

If you have an electric water heater, issues with the heating elements or wiring can cause the water to become too hot. A faulty heating element may not turn off when it should, leading to overheating.

How to Fix: If you suspect that the heating elements or wiring are causing your hot water issues, you must call a professional electrician or plumber to diagnose and repair the problem. Do not attempt to fix electrical issues alone, as this can be dangerous.

Final Thoughts

Scalding hot water is uncomfortable and can pose a significant safety risk to you and your family. By identifying and fixing the cause of the problem, you can ensure that your home has a safe and comfortable hot water supply.

Regular maintenance, such as flushing your water heater and checking the thermostat settings, can help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place. If you need help fixing a problem with your water heater, it’s always best to consult a professional plumber or electrician.

Do you need water heater repair in Shelby County, AL? Professor Plumb is the best partner for you. Please call us for a specific quote — be ready to prepare the location, accessibility, dimensions, and power source of the water heater for a complete service!

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