Hot water can suddenly run out while you enjoy a hot shower after a long day. This problem is usually a sign of underlying water heater issues that you shouldn’t ignore. If you fail to take action, the underlying issues could result in costly repairs or even equipment breakdown.
Check out the common reasons why your hot water seems to run out faster than before.
Compromised Water Heater Parts
The internal components of your heating unit can deteriorate over time. As a result, your hot water supply can reduce significantly.
One example of a sensitive internal heater component is the dip tube. This tube sends cold water to the base of your tank, where most of the heating occurs. If the dip tube malfunctions, warm and cold water will mix, and you end up with lukewarm water from your showers and faucets. Unless you replace the dip tube, this problem persists even if you crank up your heater’s temperature settings to the maximum.
In addition, your water heater won’t work properly if you wrongly calibrate the temperature settings on the thermostat. Thankfully, you can easily adjust the settings to restore your water heater’s functionality. But if you still don’t get hot water, your thermostat might have a faulty reset button or bad wiring that requires further attention.
Severe Sediment Buildup
With time, sediment collects at the bottom of your hot water tank. The sediment could be a mixture of loose minerals like rust, sand, or silt from your water well. Eventually, this extra layer displaces a large amount of water inside your tank. As a result, your hot water tank won’t hold its expected water capacity.
The decreased water capacity ultimately reduces the amount of hot water that your water heater can deliver. You’re likely to notice that the hot water from your faucets and showerheads slowly turns cold after only a few minutes.
Sediment buildup also slows down heat transfer between the heating element and water inside the tank. The water inside the tank will then take longer to heat up. With time, your water heater will constantly struggle to provide enough hot water on demand.
The obvious signs of sediment build-up are:
- Strange cracking, popping, and knocking noises
- Visible sediment deposits in your hot water supply
- Leaks or hissing sounds from the pressure relief valve
Thankfully, you can flush your water heater to get rid of the sediment. During this process, your water heater technician drains all the water and sediments from the storage tank. Doing so minimizes the harmful effects that accumulated sediments have on your water heater.
Remember that if you fail to flush your tank, the sediment might find its way into your other plumbing fixtures. Eventually, the water pressure from your hot water supply tank reduces while parts of the heating equipment break down. Be sure to flush your water heater often to enhance its safety and functionality.
Higher Hot Water Demand
You could also experience an acute shortage if you overuse the hot water from your system. For instance, if all your household members take showers at the same time, you are likely to run out of hot water a lot faster. Long showers can also quickly deplete your hot water supply, especially if you have a small tank.
Similarly, your hot water supply will run out much quicker if you use multiple hot water appliances at the same time. For example, if you run your dishwasher while someone else uses the washing machine, both appliances will quickly deplete the available hot water.
As you can already tell, you’re likely to have problems if the hot water demand is higher than your water heater’s supply capacity. To avoid this problem, don’t use hot water appliances before you shower. Also, if you have a large family, install a bigger tank that can meet your home’s hot water demands more efficiently.
If, however, an old unit is to blame for the supply issues, invest in a more efficient unit. You can always contact Quality Plumbing for expert installation of your new water heater.