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Hot Water from Cold Water Tap

Posted By: ppeacock
Sunday, 3 December 2000, at 6:21 p.m.

We've had this problem for several years and have just lived with it. I don't remember now if it began after replacing any faucets or anything, but I don't believe so.

When you turn on any cold water tap in the house, you get very hot water for a few seconds, then it goes to cold. Today our water heater seemed to poop out (not giving any hot water or very little). My wife turned it off, and when I got home I re-lit the pilot and it is working fine, but not the cold water taps yield cold, then hot, then cold water.

My father suggested a bad faucet somewhere that mixes the cold and hot in one valve, but as I said it happens at every tap in the house.

Is it possible hot water is coming back out of the cold water inlet of the heater? If so, then my theory is that the hot water coming out would rise quickly above the cold water in the pipes (since heat rises) and make its way quickly to the cold taps. That would explain why you can get this hot then cold problem, turn the faucet off for 30 seconds to a minute, then turn it on and again get the same problem.

What might be wrong with the water heater, or is it something else?

Thanks

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