Experiencing no cold water in the house can be quite frustrating.
When there’s cold water not working but the hot water is still functional, it helps narrow down the potential issues. While hot water is beneficial, it’s not ideal for washing dishes or taking a shower, especially if the water is scaldingly hot.
When no cold water from all faucets is evident, but the hot water flows smoothly, pinpointing the problem becomes more straightforward. Follow the steps below to address your cold water concerns.
What Should You Do If Cold Water Doesn’t Flow?
Imagine spending a day outdoors under the blazing sun, and upon returning home, you eagerly anticipate a refreshing cold drink. However, to your dismay, you discover that the cold water not working, but the hot water is.
Here are some suggestions to restore your cold water supply.
Is It Just The Kitchen?
Experiencing no cold water in the kitchen but everywhere else in the house can be puzzling and inconvenient. While the bathrooms, laundry, and other areas might have a steady flow of cold water, the kitchen faucet seems to defy this norm.
Such an issue could be attributed to various reasons, ranging from a malfunctioning valve in the kitchen plumbing to a blocked pipe specifically leading to the kitchen.
It’s essential to address this problem promptly, as the kitchen is a vital space where cold water is often needed for cooking, cleaning, and drinking.
Before getting into the technicalities of troubleshooting your lack of cold water, ensure that there is still water flow when you turn on the hot water.
Check the faucets in your kitchen, shower, bathtub, and bathroom to ensure that there is water flow in the other taps in your home.
You may be experiencing a lack of cold water in your house. This can result from an accidental bump to a shut-off valve in the main water supply line. Check your main shut off valves to ensure that it is not the culprit.
If there is no cold water in your house at all, it could be a possible indication of a frozen pipe or debris blocking the cold water pipe. Since the cold water pipe splits off from the hot water pipe that heads to the water heater, and you have no cold water, the blockage may be in the cold water pipe.
Removing debris blocking the cold water flow can be tricky, and it is better to hire a professional plumber to handle it if you are not comfortable doing so yourself.
Sometimes, the temperature will drop so low that pipes can freeze if not used regularly in the winter. This could happen overnight while you sleep if the temperatures get low enough, or it may take several days for ice to build in the pipe.
Once you have determined which faucets the cold water works in, take a look at the pipe layout in your home if you have them. You may be able to narrow down which pipes may be frozen.
Fixing frozen pipes can be tricky, especially if the pipes have burst, so it may be best to pass this one off to a professional plumber. If you are experienced with this sort of maintenance, you can try these tips:
- Keep the water running: Allowing the water to flow slightly will help move water through the frozen areas, helping to speed up the thawing process.
- Use heat on the section of frozen pipe: You can try using a hairdryer or heating pad on the area of the frozen pipe. Do not leave the heating pad unattended. Avoid using a space heater unless you are sure there are no flammable objects in the area, and if you do use one, do not leave it unattended. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene, or propane heater, as this presents a severe fire hazard.
- Apply heat until the water flow is normal: Thaw the pipe thoroughly, ensuring that there is no residual ice. Check that the water flow has returned to normal by running the faucets in your home.
Although this should not be a problem for individuals who live alone, you should check your shut-off valve. Kids or pets may have been playing in the area and may have bumped the shut-off valve. Ensure that the cold water valve is open by turning it counterclockwise as far as it will go.
Shut-off valves are usually located beneath the sink. The shut-off valve may be the culprit if the lack of cold water has been isolated to a single faucet.
If the shut-off valve was not the issue, check the supply line underneath the sink. There will be a braided steel supply line in most newer homes that can withstand damage reasonably well. However, older homes may have a pliable copper or all-metal supply line that can be warped or bent easily, thus cutting off the water supply.
If a bent cold water supply line seems to be the issue, try to straighten it out and see if that helps the cold water situation.
Ensure the Cartridge is in Good Condition
For those with a single-handled faucet in their kitchen, bathroom, or shower, it’s essential to note that the cartridge might deteriorate over time. Such faucets function by blending hot and cold water. However, if the cartridge becomes faulty, there’s a possibility they might interfere with each other.
When hot and cold water mix inappropriately, you might observe that only tepid water emerges from the cold tap. This indicates that the cartridge needs replacement to address the issue of warm water being dispensed from the cold side.
If the cold water not coming out of the faucet is a problem specific to your shower, the shower faucet cartridge might be the culprit. Within the shower faucet, there’s a pressure-balancing valve. A malfunction in this valve can hinder the flow of cold water from the showerhead.
Addressing this concern should be straightforward – the faulty cartridge must be extracted and replaced. However, many DIY enthusiasts often find the cartridge challenging to remove.
A specialized tool, known as a cartridge puller, might be required. In certain situations, it might be more practical to enlist the services of a plumber to replace the cartridge for you.
A lack of cold water in your home can be very aggravating. If you are not experienced with at-home DIY plumbing projects, it is best that you do not try to handle them. Instead, enlist the help of a professional plumber who has all of the necessary tools and knowledge to address the issue at hand adequately.
Locating the shutoff valve or the main water supply is simple enough, and most people will not have any issues doing so. However, repairing a burst pipe or removing clogged debris from a line is much more complex and should only be handled by experienced individuals or professional plumbers.
In the event that you choose to have a professional handle the issue, proceed with caution while you wait for it to be handled. The water coming out of the tap may be extremely hot, so be careful not to scorch yourself. You can also try setting the temperature on the water heater much lower than usual to help combat this issue.