Water Heater - Water Reversed, Hot Is Cold, Cold Is Hot - Plumbing - DIY Home Improvement | DIYChatroom

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-08-2009, 08:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 10

Water Heater - Water reversed, hot is cold, cold is hot

It's -20 here in Montana, woke up today with the typical frozen pipe scenario. As I rambled around heating up the cold areas of the house where pipes were close to outer walls, a problem emerged a few hours later as the waterflow got back to normal:

The hot faucet now spews cold water, and the cold faucet spews hot. And they worked just fine 8 hours earlier.

And, just to state the obvious - the water heater is 2 years old, the connections are hooked up right and I have more than enough hot water when it's operating correctly - no shortages there.

There is no information on this that I can find online, so anyone who has experienced this problem can be a real hero right now. I have turned the gas to 'pilot', drained the hot water tank, shut off the main line, checked the relief valve (works), drained the house pipes and am trying to think of how to get them to switch back around. It sounds like a basic mechanical problem, but I am at a total loss here.

Thanks in advance


Last edited by acaciaavenue; 12-08-2009 at 08:27 PM.
acaciaavenue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2009, 09:18 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 558
Rewards Points: 500


Ishmael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 10

Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
Haha. Yeah, quite the stumper. Right now I am attempting to try and reverse what may have happened this morning. I have drained the entire house and water heater, attempting to refill it and hope that whatever happened earlier was systemic of the pipes freezing and not a problem with the water heater itself.
acaciaavenue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2009, 11:58 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 11
Rewards Points: 10

time out. when you turn on the cold water faucet, hot water comes out???
you need to find out if that is from more than one faucet.
i could see a mixing valve failing, and back flowing hot water into the cold line. but other than at one possible failed fixture. i cannot see hot water flowing thru a hot line at the tank and mixing into a cold line.
wiley0714 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2009, 05:11 AM   #5
An old Tradesmen
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 34,398
Rewards Points: 7,786

A single lever faucet may have become damaged.
And or, one of your pipes is still frozen and forcing the water to reverse flow at a single lever faucet.
beenthere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2009, 11:00 AM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 7,965
Rewards Points: 1,536

Most likely you would have gotten it to have both pipes spewing warm or hot if you let them run for a few minutes longer.

Turn off the shutoff valves under each sink to see if you can isolate a damaged or defective faucet set as evidenced by the erroneous flow ceasing.

Does anyone turn off the shower water only by a valve at the shower head? This can cause water to go up the down staircase, er, cold water to go out the hot feed the wrong way or vice versa. Turn off the regular faucet(s) after your shower.


The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gas Hot Water Heater - Help? MaximumAsh Plumbing 22 03-13-2009 10:57 AM
Very Low Hot Water Pressure. PAS1970 General DIY Discussions 2 02-25-2009 03:01 PM
No Cold Water at all - both cold and hot pipes are burning to the touch bluecifer Plumbing 12 01-19-2009 10:29 AM
Low Hot Water Pressure btennant Plumbing 4 12-09-2008 09:31 PM
No hot water to new water heater bvsmith_1974 Plumbing 15 08-31-2008 01:57 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1