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Water Too Hot or Cold? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know

Water Too Hot or Cold? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know


Stepping into your morning shower only to find it's too toasty or feeling a little icy can be a shock. There are a number of fixes you can make to get your water heater back on track. Instead of calling a repairman, there are some easy repairs and troubleshooting you do. Follow these simple fixes to get your water back to that perfect temperature.

Shower running hot or cold water

Potential Fixes


Adjust the Temperature Thermostat

For digital thermostats, make sure to write down the current temperature setting. If you have a manual dial thermostat, take a marker and mark on the tank and dial where your temperature is currently set. Turn the temperature up or down a little bit. Wait an hour for the temperature to settle and then test the water.


adjust the water heater thermostat

limit reset switch

Reset/Replace Thermostat Limit Switch

If the water reaches an unsafe temperature, then the limit switch will cut the power from the water heater. Try pressing the red reset button to reset this switch on the thermostat. Then turn down the temperature. If it trips again, you may need to replace the switch. Should the new switch trip, you'll need to address an underlying issue.


Replace the Heating Elements

On electric water heaters, there are typically two heating elements. After checking the circuit breaker to be sure that there is power going to the heater, you may need to replace the heating elements themselves.


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water heater heating element

water heater thermocouple

Replace the Thermocouple

With a gas water heater, you'll want to first check to make sure that the pilot light is on. If it is, then the issue could be with the thermocouple. This piece senses the pilot light and will ignite the gas to warm the water.


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Replace the Gas Control Valve

Typically part of the thermostat on a gas water heater, the gas control valve allows the burner to operate. If the valve has failed, it won't allow enough gas or any at all to flow and help heat the tank. Although malfunction with this piece is rare, replace the thermostat and valve if it's not working properly.


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water heater gas control valve

water heater thermostat

Replace the Thermostat

If you have an electric water heater, your appliance will likely have a thermostat for each heating element. You'll need to take your multi-meter and test the power on each thermostat. Should you see that one or both aren't producing any power, then they'll need to be replaced.


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