If you're noticing that your water heater is not getting the water hot enough even after turning up the thermostat, there are a number of possible causes.
1. The Dip Tube Is Broken
Cold water enters the water heater through the dip tube where it is forced to the bottom of the tank for quick heating. When the tube is broken the water remains at the top of the tank, where the hot water outlet is, causing it to return cold water with the heated water.
2. Sediment Has Built Up at the Bottom of the Tank
Over time, minerals in the water can build up at the bottom of the water heater tank where the burner is located. This causes a gradual reduction in heating efficiency that will make the water heater work harder and eventually resulting in less hot water. Flushing the tank annually will prevent sediment build up.
3. The Heating System Is Malfunctioning
Most water heater problems occur with these systems:
- Thermal switch
- Heating element
A licensed plumber should inspect the water heater and repair the pasts as needed.
4. Hot Water Heater Is Too Far From Where It's Needed
If the water eventually heats up, the problem is sometime a hot water tank that is too far from where it's needed. In the cold months in particular, pipes will cool the hot water before it reaches the faucet where it's needed. Insulating the pipes can help reduce heat loss.
5. The Water Heater Tank Is Undersized
If you have recently noticed that your water heater suddenly seems to supply less hot water, or runs out suddenly, it could be that your water heater tank is too small to keep up with demand. Installing a larger tank or tankless water heater will ensure that you have all the water your household needs.
Have questions about your hot water heater? Call ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric.