My apartment building in Albuquerque is being rehabbed. We live in a 188 unit building on the 2nd floor and the water has been turned off every Mon, Wed and Fri from 8am-6pm for about a year now while the construction people do replacement and repairs.

I have lived here 10 yrs but I have always had cold water even in the summer if I run the tap for a little bit. Unfortunately that's not the way it is anymore. My water never runs cold or even reasonably cool from any of my faucets, no matter how long I let it run.

The contractors have been dealing with constantly busted water lines after turning on the water again.

All the apartments have a water heater and I have tried turning off my hot water line under the kitchen sink to see if that changes anything, but it makes no difference. The manager says it is because it's summer but I am not convinced that is the case.

Can anyone suggest what it might be or any way that I can explain this to the maintenance person to problem solve the issue with the contractor?

  • 2
    If water comes from a tank(on the roof), the lack of use might cause the water in the tank to warm up. The cool/cold city/well water coming back in will take a long time to cool it back down(maybe a day or more) and then the water is turned off and warms up again.
    – crip659
    Aug 9, 2022 at 23:08
  • The contractors could have crossed a few pipes when connecting / repairing them. It could be anyone's guess.
    – JACK
    Aug 9, 2022 at 23:15
  • 1
    It can also be the source water has warm up. Would ask people in other buildings/houses nearby if their water is warm or cool.
    – crip659
    Aug 9, 2022 at 23:23

2 Answers 2


It sounds like they are doing a Big Job, such as a total re-plumb. Perhaps they are replacing lines which were originally cast into the slab foundation, and have failed due to age or corrosion. The slab will tend to run cool since it is embedded in the earth. Since running new lines through the slab foundation is impossible, they are running them through the attic.

The attic is hot as heck due to solar gain. Thus you are getting free solar water heating whether you like it or not! You can and should ask... but don't be surprised if there is no solution, short of wrapping the new pipes with insulation (which would help).

Keep in mind that insulation only slows heat absorption, it doesn't stop it. If the water is not moving, and is just sitting in the pipes, then it will reach the temperature around it no matter how much insulation you use.

If you want to push the warm/tepid water out of the pipe, you need to figure out the volume of the water in the pipe, (for instance 3/4", divided by two, squared, times pi, times the length of the pipe.) You will need to flow (waste) that much water before you get "fresh" water of a more desirable temperature.

If your area is in critical drought, do not do that! Keep water in the refrigerator if you want cool tap water e.g. to drink. For washing, warm water is only a blessing!


Your manager might be right.

I live in Arizona and the cold water is warm enough to take shower.

Not really hot, but warm.

However compared to Albq, it is really hot here >100

Depending how long that mess might take, and you do not want to drink water from newly installed pipes. You might want to consider small investment in Cold Water dispenser. You can buy 3 or 5 gallon water bottle with known quality.

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