Why Does My Cold Water Line Feel Hot?
LESLIE: Tony in Iowa is having a hot-and-cold water situation. What’s going on?
TONY: Well, I’ve got an electric water heater. And the main feed that comes in from the city, that goes into my electric water heater, it’s a cold line. But yeah, I get cold water to come out of my faucets and everything but that cold water line, up around through the water heater there, it’s hot, the line, when I touch it. And I’m just curious what’s going on with that.
TOM: So, you have an electric water heater and that’s going to be fed by a cold-water line and it’s going to go through the water heater and come out as a hot-water line.
TONY: That’s correct.
TOM: OK. And so what’s the problem? So far, it’s normal.
TONY: The water line that goes into the water heater – the cold water?
TOM: Yes. Yep.
TONY: That line is hot.
TOM: Well, some of the heat from the water heater can be working its way back up the pipe. So you may be feeling some conductive heat that comes from – the hot water in the water heater itself could be making that pipe warm. But if you go farther down the line, you’re going to feel that it’s cold again.
It goes in cold and comes out hot but the fitting right around the top might feel like it’s a bit warm. But that’s only because of the conductive heat of the water in the water heater coming back up the metal pipe.
TONY: OK. That alleviates my concerns then.