After a long day under the scorching Arizona sun, there’s nothing quite like splashing cool water on your face. Unfortunately, many Arizona residents encounter the common problem of hot water coming out of the cold water tap. If you’ve been asking Google, “Why did hot water come out of my cold water tap?” you’re undoubtedly one of them. This is a frustrating problem that has several possible causes. If your cold water tap is consistently giving you hot water, it may be time to call a licensed plumber out to check out the problem. At Intelligent Design, our licensed plumbers have found that the following are the most common answers to “Why did hot water come out of my cold water tap?”
The Most Common Reason for “Why Did Hot Water Come Out of My Cold Water Tap?”
In Southern Arizona, the temperature of your water is often controlled by the outdoor conditions. It all has to do with geography. The desert region has a great deal of caliche. Caliche is a very hard layer of soil that forms when calcium carbonate essentially cements the soil particles together. In the ground in your own yard, you’re likely to find caliche ranging from lumps the size of an inch to solid sheets that may be a few inches or a few feet thick.
The problem with caliche is that it’s very hard, and it makes digging difficult and more expensive. This is why many of the pipes in Southern Arizona are laid quite close to the surface. Because these pipes are close to the surface, they are affected by the surface temperatures of the soil, which absorbs heat from the sun. This causes the water inside the pipes to heat up. It’s why water is sometimes hot even when it’s poured from the cold water tap. If they were farther underground, the pipes would stay cooler.
Unfortunately, if that’s the only thing causing your hot water situation, there isn’t much to be done about it. However, it’s still worth it to call a plumber because there may be other causes or contributing factors that the plumber can fix.
The Role of Pipe Proximity
Your sink has three pipes attached to it. One pipe drains away the wastewater. The other two bring clean hot and cold water to the faucet. In some cases, plumbers discover that having a hot water line run too close to the cold water line causes the cold water to warm up. This can also happen if the water heater itself is situated too close to the cold water pipes.
If the plumber determines that this is the cause of your problem, he or she may recommend insulating the pipes to prevent heat transfer. Insulating the pipes can also reduce your energy costs because you’ll lose less heat from your hot water.
The Influence of Ventilation Ducts
If the pipes are ideally situated, the next thing the plumber might check is the ventilation ducts. The ventilation ducts may be the culprit if your hot water problem occurs during the colder months of the year, but not during the summer. As the warm air travels through the ductwork, it can heat up the water in nearby pipes—including your cold water pipes.
This is a problem that can also typically be solved by wrapping the pipes in insulation. You may also need to have an HVAC technician examine your ductwork to ensure it isn’t leaking.
The Possibility of a Faulty Thermostat
If the locations of the pipes and the ventilation ducts aren’t a problem, the plumber might consider whether the thermostat in the water heater is broken. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, this can sometimes cause the water to be overheated. As a result, the hot water may sometimes flow into the cold water pipes. This can result in hot water coming out of your cold tap.
The Faulty Work of Inexperienced Plumbers
It’s natural for homeowners to want to cut expenses wherever possible. Sometimes, this means they’ll call the cheapest plumber they can find. Unfortunately, when it comes to home repair services, you’ll get what you pay for. The cheapest plumber in town is also likely the most inexperienced one. Inexperienced plumbers sometimes hook up the cold water to the hot water line, and vice versa.
Intelligent Design is the number one rated HVAC provider in Southern Arizona, and now, we also offer five-star plumbing services! If you’re having any sort of problem with your plumbing, give us a call any time of the day or night. Our plumbers are all licensed professionals with years of industry experience, and all of our work is backed by ironclad guarantees. Give us a call today at (520) 214-6178 to request a service visit from a licensed plumber in Tucson or the surrounding areas.