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How To Shower When Water Heater Is Broken

Do you ever face no hot water in house but have cold water? Gas heater is broken, and you need to take cold showers? Facing a broken water heater can be an inconvenient and chilly situation, especially regarding a hot shower. However, there are several ways to adapt and maintain personal hygiene even without access to hot water when your water heater breaks. It isn’t just the shower, but you need a steady supply of hot water to wash dishes.

One option is to take a sponge bath using warm water. Fill a bucket or basin with warm water heated on the stove or using boiling water from a kettle. Dampen a towel or sponge and gently wash your hair and body, focusing on areas that require cleaning. You can also find a special shower head containing a heating element, yet they may lack water pressure to get a satisfying full shower.

Alternatively, you can consider taking cold showers. Cold showers offer health benefits like improved circulation and an immune system boost. It can invigorate and refresh if you can tolerate the chilly water. However, if you prefer a hot shower temperature, you can mix hot water from a kettle with cold water to achieve ice baths at the right temperature.


In our guide, you can learn more about what to do when hot water not working but cold is. By the end, you’ll better understand why is my hot water not working and what you can do during this inconvenience. (Read Does Shower Drain Need A Trap)

Can You Shower Using A Broken Water Heater?

1. Stop the Flow of Water

The first step to take when dealing with a broken water heater is to stop the flow of water to prevent any further damage or leaks. Locate the main water valve in your home and turn it off.

2. Turn off the Power

After stopping the water flow, turning off the power to the water heater is crucial.

Locate the circuit breaker or fuse box that controls the water heater’s power supply and switch it off.

3. Drain the Water

To proceed with temporary showering solutions, it’s necessary to drain the remaining water from the water heater tank.

To drain it, you can follow these steps:

  1. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the water heater’s base.
  2. Position the other end of the hose near a suitable drainage area, like a floor drain or outdoor space.
  3. Open the drain valve and allow the water to flow out. Be cautious, as the water might still be hot.
  4. Once the tank is empty, close the drain valve securely.

Exploring Temporary Showering Solutions

Now you’ve taken the precautions; there are a few alternatives you can consider:

Sponge Bath: Sponge baths are convenient for quick bathroom clean-ups. Use a sponge or washcloth to clean oneself after filling a basin or bucket with warm water from a different source, like a kettle or stove. It can keep you clean in a pinch.

Use Cold Water: Cold-water showers are refreshing if you can handle them. Cold water wakes you up and refreshes you. Accept the first cold shower till your water heater is fixed.

Gym or Community Centers: Use local gym or community center showers. While your own hot water heater also is broken, these places usually have hot showers. Before joining, check fees.

Is A Leaking Water Heater Dangerous?

A leaking water heater can be more than just an inconvenience; it can pose potential dangers that should not be taken lightly.

Water heaters are essential appliances in our homes, providing us with hot water for various purposes. Here’s more of what you need to know about how to fix hot water in shower where there is no hot water in shower. (Read Do You Need To Replace Wax Seal After Removing Toilet)

shower with water heater

1. Problems with the Water Supply Line

One of the common causes of water heater leaks is a problem with the water supply line. This line connects the water heater to the main water source; any damage or deterioration can cause leaks.

2. An Old Tank

Age is a significant factor regarding water heater leaks. Over time, the tank can deteriorate because of wear and tear, corrosion, or sediment buildup, making it more susceptible to leaks.

An old tank is more likely to develop cracks or weak spots, resulting in water leakage.

3. Fittings That Leak

Faulty or leaking fittings can also contribute to water heater leaks. Fittings like pipes, valves, or connectors may become loose or develop cracks, leading to water seepage.

4. Problems with Pressure Valves and Temperature

Water heaters have pressure relief valves and temperature control mechanisms to ensure safe operation and avoid water damage.

5. A Rusted-Out Tank

Rust is a water heater’s worst enemy. Over time, corrosion can eat away at the tank, creating weak points to lead to leaks, eventually. A rusted-out tank is a sign of imminent leakage and poses potential health risks.

Rust-contaminated water can carry harmful particles or bacteria, compromising the quality of the hot water supply.

Can You Take A Bath If The Water Heater Is Broken?

Picture this: you wake up in the winter, ready for a relaxing and refreshing bath, only to find your water heater is broken.

The disappointment sets in, but fear not! Just because your water heater isn’t working doesn’t mean you have to forego the luxury of a bath.

1. Oven or Cooktop or Microwave Water

If your water heater is broken, your oven, cooktop, or microwave can come to the rescue.

Although these methods require extra effort, they can provide warm water for your bath.

Here’s how you can use these kitchen appliances:

Oven: Fill a large pot or basin with water and place it in the oven. Set the oven temperature to a moderate level (around 300°F or 150°C) and gradually allow the water to heat to almost boiling.

Monitor the temperature and stir the water occasionally to ensure even heating. Once the water reaches a comfortable temperature, carefully remove the pot from the oven and use it to fill your bath.

Cooktop: Like the oven, fill a pot with water and place it on the cooktop. Heat the water in a medium-low setting, stirring occasionally to distribute the heat evenly.

Wait until the water is warm enough for washing to your liking, transfer it to your bathtub and enjoy your bath.

Microwave: Depending on your microwave’s size and the water volume needed, you can heat water in smaller batches using microwave-safe containers.

Heat the water in short increments, stirring, and check the temperature between intervals. Be cautious, as microwaves can heat water unevenly, and hot spots may develop. (Read Can You Use Joint Compound On Cement Board)

2. Pressure Cooker

pressure cooker

A pressure cooker can be an unexpected ally when your water heater is on the fritz. While primarily used for cooking, a pressure cooker can also heat water quickly. Follow these steps to use a pressure cooker for your bath:

  1. Fill the pressure cooker with the desired amount of water, ensuring it doesn’t exceed the maximum capacity showed by the manufacturer.
  2. Place the pressure cooker on a heat source, like a stove, and close the lid securely.
  3. Turn on the heat and allow the pressure cooker to build up pressure. Follow the instructions provided with your pressure cooker model for specific guidelines on achieving the desired pressure level.
  4. Once the pressure has been reached, reduce the heat to maintain a steady pressure and allow the water inside the pressure cooker to heat up.
  5. After the water has reached a comfortable temperature, turn off the heat and carefully release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Pour the warm water into your bathtub and immerse yourself in a relaxing bath.

3. Sun–Steam Up Your Bathing Water

Nature’s own heating system, the sun, can be harnessed to warm your bathing water. While this method requires some patience, it’s an eco-friendly and cost-effective option. Here’s what you can do:

Fill a full tub or large, dark-colored container with water. Dark colors absorb more sunlight and help heat the water faster.

Place the container in a sunny outdoor area where it will receive direct sunlight throughout the day.

After a few hours, check the water temperature. If it’s warm enough for your liking, transfer the sun-warmed water to your bathtub and indulge in a blissful bath experience.

4. Buy a Solar Kettle

Purchase a solar water heater from a reputable retailer or online store. Look for a model that suits your needs and is designed for heating water.

Place the solar kettle in a location where it will receive ample sunlight. Ideally, choose a spot that receives direct sunlight for maximum efficiency.

Fill the solar kettle with water and secure the lid tightly. The kettle captures and traps the sun’s heat, gradually warming the water inside.

Once the water reaches a comfortable temperature, carefully pour it into your bathtub and enjoy a relaxing and warm bath.

5. Firewood

If you can access firewood and a fireplace or fire pit, you can heat your bathing water, even if it means you sound desperate for a bath. Here’s how you can use firewood to provide hot water:

Once the fire has established and there are enough glowing embers, place a large pot or cauldron filled with water near the heat source.

Once the water has reached a comfortable temperature, carefully transfer it to your bathtub and enjoy a cozy and warm bath. (Learn How Long Should Mud Bed Cure Before Tiling)


A cold shower may not be to everyone’s liking if there is not enough hot water in the faucet, yet cold showers offer health benefits to the hair and body. They can give you the shock of your life, yet it does wonders for the skin and give you a boost of energy.

Luckily, instead of a cold shower, you can boil water effectively using any of the above methods. This means you won’t freeze until you can replace your broken heating element or water heater in your bathroom.

How To Shower When Water Heater Is Broken