Cold faucet runs hot first then cold

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  #1  
Old 06-05-07, 05:29 PM
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Cold faucet runs hot first then cold

Whenever I turn on the cold water (hot water has a separate knob) it runs cold for about 5 seconds and then starts getting wamer until it' sreally hot and then it cools down again (about 30 seconds total) and runs like normal cold water. When I first bought the house the hot and cold water line was switched and the guy who "flipped" the house came and fixed that problem. Any suggestions on what the problem is?
 
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Old 06-06-07, 09:39 AM
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All kinds of possibilities here.

For example: My kitchen is on the west side of my house, red brick. On a hot summer afternon, when I turn on the cold water there, it runs pretty hot for about 5 seconds.

I was up in my attic the other day. It's not well ventilated. It was HOT. My water pipes aren't up there, luckily, but if they were I expect the cold would run hot like yours do.

Or possibly the hot and cold water distribution lines are in contact. If the remodeler used PEX and ran the H/C lines through the same holes in the studs, this might cause it.

30 seconds, however, makes me wonder if somehow hot water isn't somehow backing up from the HW heater into the cold water supply line, then being flushed out through the cold water tap when you turn it. Especially since the seller did some kind of quick fix to correct the hot/cold water mixup.

Does this occur at every fixture? Does it occur the same way at different fixtures? Try it at one fixture, then go immediately to another and try that one too, and let us know what happens.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 01:15 PM
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I tried a few things.

Thanks for the response. I tried a few of your suggestions...

I ran the bathroom faucet closest to the hot water heater and it went hot like normal. I timed it and it was actually only about 15 seconds. I then immediately went to the other bathroom and ran the cold water and it never got hot.

As far as other taps having the same problem, yes, the other bathroom has the same problem. Though I didn't think to check the showers. I'll do that tonight.

What would I look for to check if the guy used a PEX and if the H/C lines are running through the same hole? The hot water heater is below my house in the crawl space.
 
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Old 06-08-07, 07:20 AM
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PEX is plastic water line widely used in new construction and remodeling nowadays, generally much easier and faster to install, as there no critical cut-to-fit or sweating of copper pipe connections to do.

If you have a crawlspace, in all likelihood your water distribution lines are run there, you should be able to see if they are in contact where they are installed.

But the little experiment tells me that the problem has something to do with how the cold and hot water lines are connected at the tank.

Look at the HW tank and identify the cold water supply line that feeds it. See if that line is in fact hot for several feet back away from the tank. Then go run the cold water in the house long enough for it to get cold, then check that line again to see if it is now cold. If so, then that is the problem and you may need a plumber to advise you on how to correct it.
 
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