Getting home from a long day at work and taking a hot shower can be a great way to relieve the stress of the day. However, if that shower turns cold before the stress is gone, it can create even more stress and frustration.
Running out of hot water or having no hot water at all can make it hard to perform many necessary tasks in a household. It is also a sign of a problem that should be investigated. These top nine reasons may be why the hot water keeps running out and will allow homeowners to find a solution to the problem.
Hot Water Issue
The various issues with the hot water supply can be broken down into the particular problem the home is having. Some of these issues can be easily repaired by the homeowner. However, there are some that may require the help of a plumber near you.
First, the problem must be identified by the severity of the lack of hot water. Is there hot water at all? Is the water warming up but not getting hot? Is the hot water running out too soon? Or is the hot water seeming to come and go? These questions can help narrow down some of the possible issues.
First and foremost, for a water heater to heat the water for the home, it must have water in the tank. If the home is experiencing no hot water, checking the tank is a good start. Over the years, the tank can corrode and allow water to leak out. If there is water around the water heater, it may be leaking and will need to be replaced.
If there is no water leaking and the tank is empty, check to see that the water is turned on to the tank. If it is on, but no water is entering, there may be a leak in the supply line. Follow the water line from the tank to identify any areas where there may be a leak. It may be necessary to shut off the water to the home so that repairs can be made to the leaking pipe.
Electric water heaters require electricity to heat the water. If the power is off in the house, the water heater cannot work. If the electricity is on, check to see that the heater is getting power. There may have been an issue that tripped the breaker for the water heater.
There may also be a problem with the high-temperature cutoff switch. This shuts off the power to the heater if the temperature gets too high. Resetting this switch could restore the hot water. However, a faulty switch could cause continuous problems and may need to be replaced.
No Pilot Light
For gas water heaters, there may be a pilot light. If the pilot light goes out, the water heater cannot function. Removing the plate at the bottom of the water heater can help identify if the pilot light is on. If it is out, follow the instructions on the water heater for relighting the pilot.
Gas Line Issues
The pilot light will only work if there is gas running to the water heater. In some cases, the gas valve may have been turned off. Set the control to pilot and turn the gas back on. A failing gas valve may prevent the gas from flowing and will need to be replaced by a professional.
If there is a gas smell around the water heater or in the house, or if there is a hissing sound coming from the gas line, there may be a gas leak. A gas leak is very dangerous and could result in an explosion. At the first sign of a gas leak, vacate the area immediately and call 911.
Most water that enters the home contains small amounts of minerals in it. Hard water contains a lot of these minerals. As the water enters the water heater tank, the minerals can settle, creating sediment. This sediment can create a lot of problems for the water heater.
The more sediment that builds in the tank, the more room it takes, leaving less room for the water to be heated. It can also absorb the heat and prevent the water from properly heating. It can even make it seem like the water changes from hot to cold randomly. Flushing the tank can help remove this sediment. However, this job can be complicated and may require help from a professional.
If the water isn’t at the right temperature or seems to be staying warm instead of hot even though it is set to hot, it may be a problem with the thermostat. The thermostat regulates the water temperature inside the tank. If it is failing, it may not allow the water to heat to the right temperature.
There may also be other issues causing the water to not be as warm as it should be. The dip tube that keeps the cold and hot water separated in the tank may have broken. There may even be a problem with the heating elements in the system.
Cold weather can also be a problem for a water heater. If the temperatures are getting low, the water coming in may be colder than usual. This may require the heater to work harder to get it to the right temperature.
If the hot water heater is not properly insulated or kept from extremely cold temperatures, it can also cause problems with heating the water. Even though the heater may be working fine, the low temperatures may be cooling the water too quickly for the heater to keep up. Insulating the pipes and the heater can help prevent this problem.
Water Heater Too Small
Another big problem in households is not having a water heater large enough to accommodate everyone’s hot water needs. If it seems like the hot water runs out before everyone has gotten their daily shower or completed the daily chores, a bigger water heater may be necessary. If you’re unsure of the problem with the water heater, it may be a good idea to contact a professional to help with the problem They are experienced and able to find a solution quickly. They may even be able to find the perfect water heater to prevent future problems.