What does it mean when you don’t have hot water?

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It’s been months now that we haven’t had much hot water. In the summer, it doesn’t bother me, but as soon as there is a chill in the air, I want to be able to take hot showers. Since the lack of hot water started, I have the shower faucet cranked at max hotness, and I am lucky if it comes out lukewarm. Over the months, this became the new norm. I had forgotten what it was like when we had an abundance of hot water.

Today, finally, hubs stayed home to meet the plumber. Prior to calling in the plumber, hubs did some research and figured out that we likely needed a new thermostatic mixing valve for our hot water tank. He could purchase the part from Home Depot, but then what? Follow online DIY videos? It was more convenient to call in the plumber. Hubs explained the problem, and indeed it was a problem with the valve.

What does this valve do? From what I understand, it takes the hot and cold water sources, mixes it, and outputs water at a safe temperature. If the fixture calling the supply of water is supposed to be hot, the mixer should output hot, but not scalding, water. We were having the opposite problem. We weren’t getting any or enough hot water input into the valve.

The cost for parts and labour came to over $500, but I did not hesitate. Winter has properly arrived, with windchill temperatures reaching -17 degrees Celsius today. After the plumber left, we turned on the faucets. I haven’t seen steam rise from a sink full of hot water in months! It was amazing. Before I jumped into the shower, I had to remind myself not to crank the hot water to max. It certainly would have been uncomfortably hot!

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