No Hot Water Coming Out of the Kitchen Faucet Only Cold? 6 Reasons & Fixes


Do you have cold water in your kitchen, but no hot water comes out from the tap? As frustrating as this situation might be, the problem is often easy to fix. 

The most likely reason for no hot water coming out of the kitchen faucet is a closed or broken shut-off valve. A clogged waterline could also result in no hot water, or the water heater could be damaged. Air trapped in the pipe, a broken faucet cartridge, or frozen pipes are other potential culprits. 

The first thing to do if your kitchen faucet dispenses no hot water, only cold, is to check the other faucets in your home. Do you have hot water in the bathroom? If yes, you must look for potential culprits near the kitchen sink. 

If you don’t have hot water anywhere in the house, the reason is most likely a closed main valve, a clogged main pipe, or a faulty water heater. 

Let’s have a detailed look at all potential reasons for no hot water out of the kitchen faucet. 

1. Hot Water Valve Turned Off 

When troubleshooting hot water problems, start with the easiest (and often least obvious) potential culprit: the shut-off valve. 

If you have carried out any plumbing work recently, such as fixing the P-trap or garbage disposal, you might have shut off this valve to prevent water from leaking. However, many people forget to turn the hot water valve back on. 

Look at the pipes under your kitchen sink and locate the valve. Check if it is closed and open it if needed.

Also, check the shut-off valve near the water heater, especially if you repaired it or carried out maintenance work recently.

2. Defective Cartridge/Faucet Handle

If the valves are open and you have hot water elsewhere in the house, the faucet cartridge could be broken.

Most kitchen sinks nowadays have single-handle faucets that allow you to switch between cold and hot water. If the cartridge is broken, the faucet might not switch from cold to hot, leaving you with cold water alone. 

Luckily, replacing a faucet cartridge is relatively easy. Just make sure to buy a replacement part from the same manufacturer. 

Alternatively, you can replace the entire faucet. 

If your kitchen faucet has two knobs, one for the cold and one for the hot water, remove the hot water knob and check the washer. A broken washer can obstruct the water flow, and you should replace it.

Clean the faucet of any mineral buildup before putting everything back together.

3. Clogged Water Pipe

Clogged water lines are a common reason for no hot water at one of the faucets in your house, especially if you live in an older home with copper or steel pipes. 

Metal pipes are subject to rust and corrosion. Mineral buildup due to hard water can also cause a blockage. 

Debris accidentally pushed into the line during the installation of a new appliance – such as a dishwasher – can also obstruct the flow.

Unfortunately, there is little you can do if your water line is clogged. You can’t “snake” water pipes as you would with drains. 

Before you call in a plumber to dislodge the clog with air pressure, take a look at your water heater to make sure it’s not the culprit. 

Also, consider switching from metal pipes to PEX. While PEX pipes can get clogged from time to time, running into this kind of trouble is less likely.

4. Airlock In The Line 

Sometimes, air can get trapped in water lines and block the flow in the same way a clog would. 

The easiest way to get rid of an air lock is by pushing it out with water pressure. The video below demonstrates how to fix this issue yourself: 

5. Frozen Water In The Pipes 

Ice in hot water lines is something few homeowners think about. However, depending on your plumbing configuration, water can freeze inside the pipes. 

This problem could arise during a particularly cold winter if your water heater is located in a cold basement and the water lines are not insulated. Water can also freeze in uninsulated lines passing through exterior walls. 

A temporary fix is to raise the temperature in your basement with a space heater. Thawing frozen water in pipes inside the wall is often challenging, though. This is why you must insulate all exposed water lines.

6. Faulty Water Heater 

If you’ve tried all the tricks above, but you still have no hot water in your kitchen (nor elsewhere in the house), the problem can be with the water heater. 

There are several potential causes for water temperature problems: 

Damaged Gas Control Or Burner Assembly

The gas control and burner assembly are essential components of gas water heaters. If either is broken, the heater won’t start when you turn on the hot water faucet.

An easy way to tell if the gas control or burner assembly is faulty is to look for a pilot light. This is a small flame that keeps burning even when the heater is on standby. The role of this flame is to ignite the burner, and if it’s off, the burner will not ignite. 

If the pilot light is on, ask a helper to turn on the hot water tap and see what happens. Does the burner ignite? If it doesn’t, it could be a problem with the burner assembly. Contact your service center to have the water heater fixed.

Broken Temperature-And-Pressure Release Valve 

The temperature-and-pressure (T&P) release valve is a safety system that prevents the heater from bursting if the temperature rises above 210°F or the pressure exceeds 150 PSI. 

Generally, water heaters have other safety systems in place that prevent operation if this valve is broken. A leak may also indicate a broken release valve, although leaks could also be caused by other faulty parts.

It is not recommended to replace this valve yourself. Instead, you should contact the service center.

Broken Thermostat 

Water heaters also have thermostats that allow you to set the desired water temperature. A broken thermostat could interfere with the entire functioning of your appliance.

Luckily, a thermostat is relatively inexpensive to replace, and you might be able to do it yourself by following the steps in your user manual.

Mineral Or Sediment Buildup  

Minerals and sediment in the water (especially if you have a well) deposit on much more than plumbing and fixtures. Deposits can also accumulate on heating elements and other components inside the water tank. 

You can remove scale from any removable parts, such as valves or electrodes, with various scale removers or homemade solutions. White vinegar, for instance, can dissolve mineral deposits if you let the parts soak in it overnight. 

If scale affects internal components that cannot be removed, it is best to hire a plumber or call your service center to have the water heater cleaned professionally.

Water Pressure Problems 

Low water pressure can happen for a variety of reasons, and it could be the reason why your water heater doesn’t work. 

The optimal water pressure in a water heater is around 50 to 60 PSI. If it is lower, follow the instructions in your user manual or call in a professional to adjust it.

Tripped Limit Switch

If you have an electric water heater, the culprit could be a tripped limit switch. Check the circuit breaker in the service panel and switch it back on if it is tripped. 

A tripped switch could indicate problems with the wiring, so you should have the system checked by an electrician. 

Faulty Heating Elements 

Faulty heating elements are another common problem in electric water heaters. 

Resetting the temperature cutoff could fix the issue. To do this, remove the access panel for the upper heating element and take off the insulation. Remove the safety guard carefully, paying attention not to touch any wires, and press the red button above the thermostat. 

Replace the safety guard, insulation, and access panel, then open the hot water faucet to test it. 

If the problem persists, you should check each heating element for continuity and replace them if needed.

Conclusion 

A faulty faucet cartridge, shut-off valve, or water pipe are the most common reasons for no hot water in your kitchen. Problems with the water heater, ranging from a faulty thermostat to broken heating elements and a damaged burner assembly, are other potential culprits. 

We hope this guide can help you find and fix the cause with little to no hassle.

Roxana Bikfalvi

Roxana is a copywriter passionate about home improvement and interior design. When she’s not writing, you can find her upcycling old furniture or remodeling interiors. She has written for numerous home improvement blogs before joining PlumbJoe.

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