Why Does My Shower Go Cold After 10 Minutes?

If you’ve ever been in the middle of a nice, hot shower, only to have the water turn cold after 10 minutes or so, you’re probably wondering what’s going on.

After all, your water heater should be able to provide a steady stream of hot water for as long as you need it, right?

hot water storage tank

As it turns out, there are a few reasons why your shower might go cold after 10 minutes. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes.

Hot Water Storage is Smaller Than You Think

Most people are surprised to learn that hot water heaters have a limited storage capacity.

The average tank is only designed to hold between 20 and 80 gallons of hot water at a time.

This means that if you use more than this amount during your showers, the tank will run out of hot water before you finish. As the cold water refills the tank, it will eventually cause your shower to go cold.

So, it is important to check the storage capacity of your hot water heater and make sure you are not putting too much strain on the system.

If you find that you are regularly running out of hot water, you may need to consider upgrading to a larger capacity model.

Thermostat Settings are Off

Your hot water heater may have a thermostat that needs to be adjusted in order for it to heat the water more effectively (or at all). If your thermostat is set too low, the water won’t get hot enough before running out.

thermostat setting by a person

As the water flows through the shower, the space inside the heated water tank is filled with cold water. If the existing water inside the hot water tank is not hot enough, the water will get cold quickly.

Therefore, check the thermostat setting and ensure it is set to a level that will provide enough hot water in the tank.

Anti-Scald Ring Malfunction

An anti-scald ring can be installed in a shower to prevent it from getting too hot. The device works by sensing the water temperature and cutting off the flow of hot water when it gets too high.

However, if this device malfunctions or is not properly calibrated, it can shut off the flow of hot water prematurely, resulting in a cold shower.

Therefore, it is important to check the anti-scald ring regularly and make sure that it is working properly both for your safety and comfortable shower.

Malfunctioning Pressure-Balancing Valve

Most modern showers are equipped with a pressure-balancing valve that helps to maintain a balanced flow of water. This keeps the temperature consistent and prevents sudden changes in pressure when other fixtures like toilets or washing machines run simultaneously.

balance heat by using mixing valve

However, if the valve malfunctions or is not properly calibrated, it can cause the shower to go cold after 10 minutes.

Thus, it is important to check the pressure-balancing valve regularly and ensure that it is working properly.

If you notice that your shower is going cold after 10 minutes, it is likely that the pressure-balancing valve needs to be adjusted or replaced.

By keeping the valve in good working condition, you can help to prevent sudden changes in water temperature and maintain a consistent showering experience.

Leaks or Clogs in the Lines

Leaks or clogs in the lines can lead to a decrease in hot water flow. If there’s a leak somewhere, it could be allowing cold water into your hot water lines and decreasing the amount of hot water available for your shower.

clogged pipes removed

Likewise, any clogs in the lines can result in a decrease in water flow, which will also cause your shower to go cold.

If you suspect this is the culprit, check for any visible signs of leaks or clogs, and then contact a plumbing professional if necessary to fix the problem.

Identifying the source of the problem is essential to finding a solution. If you have leaks or clogs in your lines, it’s important to take action to fix them as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Inadequate Insulation

Another potential culprit for why your shower goes cold after 10 minutes is inadequate insulation. If your hot water pipes aren’t properly insulated, the heat can escape through the walls of the pipe and cause the water to cool quickly.

inadequate insulation around shower pipe

To fix this problem, you’ll need to contact a professional plumber who can install adequate insulation around your hot water pipes.

Sometimes, the cause of your cold showers might not be immediately apparent.

Call a Professional

If you’ve gone through all these potential causes and can’t figure out why your shower keeps going cold, it’s a good idea to call in a plumbing professional to inspect your water heater and other components.

take help from a professional

They should be able to quickly identify the underlying issue and help you get back to taking comfortable, hot showers.


To sum up, your shower going cold after 10 minutes could be caused by a number of potential issues.

From hot water storage capacity being smaller than expected to thermostat settings being off or anti-scald rings malfunctioning, there could be a variety of causes at play.

Therefore, it is important to identify the source of the problem and take action accordingly to ensure that you always have hot water for your shower.

If all else fails, calling in a professional plumber should help to find and fix the issue quickly.

With proper maintenance and regular checks, you can avoid the frustration of having to take cold showers.

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