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westendmedia 12-28-2009 04:24 PM

Cold and Hot Water Issue
I have been in a new construction home for about 5 years. The cold water was always ice cold and hot was hot. Within the past few months, we noticed that sometimes hot water comes out of the cold water faucets. This is for all faucets. This never happened before and we are not aware of anything changing. We have WeilMcClain furnaces and one is hooked up to a hot water holding tank which heats the water. I do notice that the cold water feed pipe gets warm and/or hot up it. Can anyone provide any insight to our problem and possible ways to fix it? Also, why would it work for a number of years and then go weird. I believe I should call a plumber but wanted to be knowledgeable before I did so.


Thurman 12-28-2009 08:08 PM

I hope this can be of some help: Recently (Sept-Oct) I was visiting my daughter in Fairbanks, AK. She had lived in a two apartment unit which has a fuel-oil fired boiler which provides the hot water to heat water in the "water heating tank". Make sense? There's a heat exchanger in the "water heating tank". This boiler was replaced the fall of '08 and worked just fine until Sept. '09. The same problem occurred with hot water coming from the cold water piping. I was there when the boiler tech came to look at it, and yes, the cold water inlet pipe would get quite hot going back away from the unit. He says "it should not do that", TA-DAH! Good deduction there! His explanation was much like what happens with gas or electric fired units--the water expands when it gets hot and backs up into the cold water feed line which let it into the cold water piping. Or so he said. He put in a check valve (first time I saw a ProPress used, quite neat) and the problem was solved. Any chance this may help with yours? Thanks, David

westendmedia 12-29-2009 06:22 AM

Thurman, Yes it does make sense and that was a solution I was leaning toward. It has been bothering me as to the why part of it and I think you shed the light there. I want to be knowledgeable when a plumber comes in so I don't get ripped off. Thanks!

AllanJ 12-29-2009 07:03 AM

Do you turn off the shower or bathtub at the showerhead or sprayer instead of using the faucets? This could cause hot water to go down the cold pipe or vice versa.

This could also result in a flood if the sprayer hose burst with nobodyh around but that is another program.

Maintenance 6 12-29-2009 08:41 AM

Also check your washing machine connections. Make sure there isn't a solenoid valve hung open in the washer that's creating a cross connection.

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