It happens to everyone. You’re minding your own business, just taking a shower, when all of a sudden, you hear the toilet flushing. Frantically you try to get out of the way of the water before it turns scorching hot. But why does it even happen? What is the connection between a flush and the temperature of your shower?
A Walk-through of Your Water System
To understand what is going on when there is a sudden spray of hot water coming from the showerhead, you need to know a little something about the way water travels in your home.
First, water gets to your bathroom through two separate pipes: The hot and cold water service lines. After exiting the main water supply trunk, the water is split between the hot service line, which is heated by your water heater, and the cold service line which bypasses it. From then on, both water service lines run parallel throughout your home until they come to a service line’s intake pipes. When these intake pipes are open, they will siphon off some water from both pipes.
When you turn on a faucet’s knob or adjust the handle from left to right, you are mixing the amount of hot and cold water you are allowing into the showerhead, and therefore controlling the temperature of the water.
Things Are About to Heat Up
Now that you have the basics of how the water in your home works, understanding why a flushing toilet should change the temperature of the water isn’t all that complicated. When a toilet comes before a shower on the same service lines is flushed, the toilet siphons off water to refill its tank. This greatly reduces the total amount of cold water available for use further along the cold-water service line. With less cold water available, there is less to mix with the same amount of hot water, the water temperature rises and you get burned.
You don’t have to be afraid every time you take a shower. There are things you can do to avoid getting scalded. The first is the easiest and costs nothing, avoid flushing the toilet when someone is in the shower. If that isn’t possible, then the next most inexpensive solution is to have a plumber reduce the speed that your toilet tanks refill to allow more cold water to reach your shower. There are other options available for homeowners willing to make major home renovations.
Things Can Cool Down as Well
Showers not only get unbearably hot, but they can get downright frigid if an appliance is using hot water. The major culprits are the dishwasher and the washing machine. Again, the cheapest and easiest solution is to avoid running appliances while someone is in the shower but talk to your plumber for more options.
When it comes to keeping your water hot, Buckeye Heating & Cooling in Central Ohio is the one to call. They have expert technicians who can repair and install a range of water heaters. Call 614-888-HEAT to learn more.