Have you noticed there is no hot water coming out of one faucet at home? Perhaps hot water is not coming out of the bathtub faucet, but it works just fine when you open the sink tap. Or it works in the bathroom but not in the kitchen. Meanwhile, cold water runs at full pressure, as usual. Why does this happen, and how to fix it?
Hot water not coming out of one faucet in the house could be the result of a clogged water line, air trapped in the pipe, a stuck or damaged diverter valve, or a closed or damaged shut-off valve. A frozen pipe is another potential culprit during winter. Sometimes, a plugged aerator could also stop the water flow.
Hot Water Not Coming Out Of One Faucet: 7 Reasons & Fixes
When hot water is not coming out of the faucet, but cold is, and the issue is isolated to only one faucet, the problem is more frustrating than serious. Check out the most common reasons (and solutions) below.
1. Closed or Damaged Shut Off Valve
A shut off valve forgotten in the closed position is the most common culprit when you have no hot water at one faucet, but the hot water works everywhere else in the house.
Check the hot water line near the fixture and locate the shut off valve. Not all hot water lines have a shut off valve installed, so if yours doesn’t, you can skip to the next potential culprit. However, if the line has a shut off valve, check out its handle.
A closed shut off valve has the handle square with the line. If that’s the case, turn it a quarter of a turn until it is in line with the pipe. Open the hot water faucet again and see if it works. If it doesn’t, the shut off valve could be damaged, or there is another reason why the hot water doesn’t work.
The only way to fix a broken shut off valve is by replacing it. However, you should check the other reasons and solutions below before installing a new valve.
2. Plugged Aerator
A plugged aerator could be the reason why there is no hot water in the bathroom sink but everywhere else if your bathroom fixtures have separate faucets for the cold and hot water (the same goes for your bathtub if it has two faucets).
The faucet aerator is the small, round device screwed onto the tip of your sink or tub faucet. Its role is to reduce splashes and create a more consistent water stream, using a mesh or plastic screen to achieve this purpose.
However, the mineral build-up and water residues can clog the fine mesh. The first sign of a clogged aerator is a reduction in the water pressure and random splashes. Eventually, the clog could stop the flow completely if you don’t clean or replace the aerator.
To clean the faucet aerator, soak it in vinegar and baking soda overnight, then scrub it with a toothbrush. A needle can help you remove residue bits lodged in the mesh. If the problem persists, replace it with a new aerator.
3. Broken Faucet Handle or Stem
If your faulty fixture has only one (double-handled) faucet and the cold water runs just fine, the problem could be a broken handle or handle stem.
An indicator of a broken part is a handle that turns freely without gripping onto the stem. Leaks from the handle (with or without water coming from the tap) are another sign of a broken handle, stem, or faucet valve.
To replace the stem and handle, buy a new part from the same brand (if you don’t know who manufactured your faucet, check the Central Components Company website or a plumbing book to identify your faucet model), remove the stem with a socket wrench, and install the new parts.
4. Stuck Or Damaged Diverter Valve
Another common reason why hot water is not coming out of your bathtub faucet, if you have a shower over bath, is a stuck or broken diverter valve.
The diverter valve is responsible for directing the hot water stream either to the tub faucet or to the showerhead. In most cases, if the diverter valve breaks or gets stuck, it will still allow the water to flow either to the tap or the showerhead, but you won’t be able to switch between the two.
However, in rare cases, the valve can get stuck mid-way as you’re opening or closing it, blocking the flow of water to both the showerhead and faucet.
A stuck diverter valve could also let water flow freely, but the water doesn’t warm up. This happens because the stuck valve can prevent the boiler from getting the signal that the hot water faucet is open.
The shower diverter valve often gets stuck due to debris or mineral build-up. You can clean it with white vinegar or use penetrating oil to unstick it. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to replace it.
5. Clogged Water Line
Clogs in the water line are often the result of hard water or corrosion. They are more likely to happen in copper or steel pipes, but PEX water lines can also get clogged from time to time.
Depending on where the clog happens, it could block the main water supply to your home, the entire water supply to a fixture, or only the hot or cold water to a sink or bathtub.
Changes in water pressure and water flow are the first signs of a clog in the pipe. Frequent debris coming out of the fixtures, strange noises, and a bad odor could also indicate a blockage.
There is little you can do if the pipe is clogged. Since you can’t snake out a water line, you can either replace it or call in a plumber to dislodge the clog with air pressure.
6. Air Trapped In The Pipe
Similar to a clog, air trapped in the pipe can block the water flow and is one of the main reasons for a single handle faucet with no hot water but plenty of cold water.
The video below explains how to fix stubborn airlocks in your water pipes:
7. Frozen Water Pipe
When dealing with no hot water from one faucet in winter, very few people think of ice as a culprit. Yet, depending on the configuration of your plumbing system, the water could freeze inside the hot water line.
For instance, if the hot water pipe runs through a cold basement or inside a poorly insulated exterior wall, the water in the line could freeze in frigid temperatures. You should not assume that ice isn’t a problem just because you have cold water – sometimes, the hot and cold water lines to a fixture don’t follow the same route.
Thus, if you mostly have problems with the hot water not coming out of one faucet during winter, it could pay off to inspect your plumbing plans and insulate any exposed pipes.
Why would I have hot water in the bathroom but not in the kitchen?
When no hot water is coming out of the kitchen faucet, only cold, but you have hot water in the bathroom, the most likely culprits include clogs or airlocks in the pipe. Likewise, when no hot water is coming out of the bathroom faucet, only cold, you may deal with a broken diverter valve, plugged aerator, or a broken shower stem.
Why is there no hot water coming out of my taps?
If you have cold water in your home, but no hot water is coming out of any of your taps, the most likely culprit is a broken water heater. Before calling in a professional, check the main hot water shut off valve near the heater and make sure that the heater is turned on.
There are several reasons why there is no hot water in one bathroom but everywhere else – or in your kitchen or laundry room, for that matter. However, most of them are easy and inexpensive to fix yourself. We hope this guide can help you find the culprit and fix the problem in no time.