no hot water in my upstairs bathroom

I have very little hot water in my upstairs bathroom. The cold works fine, the hot works downstairs, but in the shower or from the sink, it just comes out in a trickle. Im thinking that the pipe has some build-up in it, so its cutting off the flow. Does that sound right? Is there anything I can put in the pipe to disolve this build up thats safe? I dont really want to take a shower in chemicals, so how long would I have to flush it if there is something I can put in there? The house is pretty old, built in the 1920’s I believe, and I’m pretty sure they are copper pipes. If chemicals wont work, would a plumber be able to snake it out with out tearing out the floor? The only access to the hot water pipe is under the sink, the pipes for the shower are behind the wall with no access panel. Please help me!!

Hopefully someone will be able to help you with this soon. Hang in there and good luck.

Hi there,

I am pretty sure that mineral deposits or some other blockage is causing your flow problems, however due to the age of the pipes I would think that they will have to be replaced, I suspect that they may be Galvanized Iron pipes for that age but they maybe Copper. Any method of trying to clear them is likely to result in pin hole leaks. I would call out a good plumber to fully evaluate the situation and go with his recommendation.

The image below is of a 1950 copper supply line that had reduced hot water flow by about 80% on a property in Massachusetts, we replumbed with PEX piping as it was cheapr and easier to snake through the old building




Thanks Gerry, so most likely I am going to have to get new pipes put in at least to the upstairs. Im guessing its not possible to do this without tearing up the floor? The problem is my washer and dryer are in the upstairs bathroom, very convenient for doing the laundry, not very practical for any repairs. Also, if I get the pipes replaced upstairs, how much approx. am I looking at, a few hundred or will it run into the thousands?

First line under “plumbing”. Only a “ball-park guess”. The plumber would be the one to ask. And ask about “PEX”–it may be much easier to install.

Best of luck–:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I had always found that I was less inclined to get into hot water in my upstairs bedroom during those times that my wife was visiting her sister.

Lately in my area, I have remodeled a few full baths. Replacing all the old copper with new. I had full access to open walls & floors. It cost me just for the copper over $250.00 to $350.00. This did not include any fixtures or supply lines, etc. Just the pipe & fittings. Now add the cost of a plumber, supplies, his knowledge, his assistant, his business expenses & his mark-up on supplies. I would guess a couple grand at least, not knowing the extent of the work that needs to be done.

Get yourself 3 estimates before you hire any plumber to do the job.

You might find that this would make a good time to update the entire bathroom… $5,000.00 plus depending on how fancy you want to make the project.

NOTE: The numbers I stated are just a starting point. Not meant to be quoted.

Hope this helps.

Jason, Im in Michigan too, I sent you a PM.

First thing to check is the nipple coming out of the walls for the lavy and toilet and the nipple closest to the tub valve on the bath tub. Often times this is were I would find an occlusion. If not, You’ll probably have to replace mush of the pipe. Good luck.