Being able to relax in a hot shower is something we can all take for granted – until we notice our showers turning into a lukewarm disaster. That’s when you know something’s not right! If you’re not getting hot water, there may be something wrong with your water heater. Here are the top 5 things that could be causing your water to not heat up properly.
Water Heater Is Not the Correct Size
Running out of hot water is such a common issue for households that it has even become an oft-referenced television trope. When you have people taking showers before you, or you have appliances such as the dishwasher or laundry machine running at the same time, the demand can become too high for your water heater to keep up.
This means your water heater might be too small for your family, and you may have to upgrade to a larger capacity model. You can also consider upgrading to a tankless water heater, which will give you an endless hot water supply. The key difference between a hot water tank and a tankless water heater is the latter does not store hot water but rather directly heats up the water as it moves through the unit. Give us a call and we can help you decide which tank works best for your home and budget.
Your water may not be heating up because your thermostat is set to a lower temperature. You can increase the heat, but make sure to not go over 120°F/49°C, as that will result in scalding water. Some thermostats are labeled “warm, hot, and very hot”, so for an accurate rating, run your hot water tap, and measure the temperature with a thermometer. If your water is still not heating up, your thermostat may be malfunctioning and need to be replaced.
Sediment can collect at the bottom of your tank, especially if you have hard water. The minerals stick to the bottom near the burner, preventing heat from your burner from reaching the water. This causes slower heating, and poor efficiency, and you need to empty your water tank. The safest way to do this is by calling a professional to assist you, however there should be instructions on the tank to empty it yourself – but again, we do not recommend this as a DIY project!
A dip tube is a plastic tube inside your hot water tank that separates the cold and hot water from mixing. If the dip tube breaks or cracks it can cause the cold water to seep through and mix with the hot water. You can find dip tube replacement parts at any hardware store or ask an expert to come and replace it for you.
Your Heater May Be Old
Over time, everything needs to be replaced and that includes your water heater. The lifespan of a water heater is typically about 10 years depending on how well it has been maintained. If you’ve had your water heater for over a decade, it’s time to replace it and enjoy those hot showers again.
If you suspect any problems with your water heater, call us at We Love Plumbing and have an expert properly diagnose the issue. We are always ready to help whether the job be big or small!