Most of us wake up in the morning and jump right in the shower. One thing we’re all counting on a continuous flow of steamy, hot water for the full length of our shower time. Sometimes the water just doesn’t get hot enough. And sometimes the hot water runs out quickly and begins to turn lukewarm, and then cool.
Why does this happen? There are a variety of reasons your hot water just isn’t hot enough, or doesn’t last long enough!
Undersized Hot Water Heater
You may not have a hot water heater large enough to handle your home’s water demands. If your hot water heater is too small, showers and hot-water appliances will likely compete for the limited amount of hot water availability. When the hot water is being used by too many users, someone’s going to wind up getting a cold shower. You may need to replace it with a larger hot water heater.
Another solution: hot water recirculating system. This is a good system when you have a big house and bathrooms are far apart and the water must travel a great distance from the hot water heater to the furthest bathroom.
Check the Thermostat
You can turn the thermostat on your hot water heater up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But don’t turn it any higher than that or you’ll risk seriously burning yourself or someone in your house. In order to make the adjustment, turn the (usually red) dial on the side of the tank. It should read “Hot” and “Warm” and may have tick marks for temperature. If there are no temperature tick marks, run the hot water in a faucet for three minutes and then fill a glass with the hot water. Check the temperature of that hot water with a thermometer to verify the temperature is not exceeding 120 degrees.
Could be a Component of the Hot Water Heater
If you have an older hot water heater (made before 1997), there may be a problem with the dip tube. The dip tube moves cold water from the top of the tank to the bottom of the tank where the heating element is. When the dip tube is broken the un-heated water will enter the outlet pipe and go through the house as cold water. The thermal switch, heating element, gas line, gas valve and thermostat are also essential components to regulating water-heating action and temperature. You may be in need of hot water heater repair.
Sediment Build-Up in the Tank
One very common problem to losing hot water is sediment building up in the hot water heater tank. Ground water typically carries dissolved solids and silts into the tank, and over time they settle out on the bottom of the tank, right where the heating action occurs. When that happens, it creates a barrier between the water heater and the water in the tank, and the heating element loses its effectiveness.
Note: In the case of sediment build up – you can drain the water out of the tank yourself to flush out the sediment. If you choose to DIY, check the maintenance manual for that tank model for directions on how to complete the tank. Or you can possibly go online to the manufacturer’s website for directions or a downloadable pdf of that model’s manual.
At Coldwright Plumbing and Heating, we are experts in hot water heating maintenance, repair, maintenance, replacement and installation. If you need a new one, we have a variety of hot water heaters available, including electric water heaters, gas water heaters, and tankless water heaters. We’ll help you find the best fit for your budget, space, and hot water heating demands. Call us today to learn more!
We serve the towns of Joppa, Abingdon, Fallston, Belcamp, Forest Hill, Bel Air, Aberdeen, Baldwin, Hunt Valley, Kingsville, White Marsh, Towson, Fulton, Middle River, Perry Hall and more! Call us or request a quote online!