The Top Reasons You’re Running Out of Hot Water

Serving South Jersey Since 1979

February 12, 2021

Are you sick of waking up to a cold shower? Tired of waiting for your taps to heat up? Chances are, there’s a problem with your water heater. But what is that problem specifically? There could be many explanations. Keep reading to learn the top reasons you’re running out of hot water, and remember, for all your water heater service needs, call EnviroSafe today.

The Most Common Causes of Hot Water Loss

  1. Sediment Built-Up: If your hot water is only coming out in fits and spurts, chances are there’s an excess amount of sediment in your tank. This often happens as your pipes deteriorate over time, or when your anode rod (the component in your water heater that reduces sediment and bacteria build-up) wears down. Too much sediment will start to absorb the energy of your heating element, leading out to the inconsistent bursts of hot water you are dealing with. To take care of this problem, try flushing out your water heater tank, either on your own or with the assistance of a technician (this should be done on an annual basis.) You may also need to replace your anode rod. A water conditioning system can also reduce the hard water in your system, preventing rust and sediment. If, after doing all this, you are still experiencing sediment build-up, you will need to replace your water heater tank entirely. Never let sediment accumulate for too long, as this can be extremely dangerous.
  2. Your Heating Element Is Faulty: Your water heater actually has two heating elements—one at the top and one at the bottom of the tank. The bottom one in particular may cause problems though, as the top element reheats the water the bottom element has already heated. When the bottom heating element experiences issues, your system will be forced to solely rely on the top heating element, and you will start to run out of hot water quicker than you should. A problematic heating element will need to be replaced, meaning you will need to hire an experienced technician.
  3. Your Dip Tube Is Broken: A dip tube is a component in your water heater used to push cold water to the bottom of the tank, allowing the heating element to keep it warm. When the dip tube breaks, your water heater will be forced to replace the existing hot water with cold water, which then gets pumped throughout your plumbing system, leading to the lukewarm water you may be experiencing in your shower and/or sinks. You may be able to discover a broken dip tube by noticing chunks of plastic in your showerhead or sink strainers. Fortunately, a dip tube is cheap and easy to replace, so do not hesitate to purchase one yourself or call a technician to take care of this problem.
  4. Your Thermostat Is Not Set Correctly: Your water heater relies on a thermostat to set the temperature, just like your heating and AC system. When the thermostat on your water heater malfunctions, or the setting is off, you may experience colder than normal water temperatures. Most water heater thermostats have a reset button, so consult your owner’s manual to find where this is on your system. If after resetting your thermostat temperature your water heater is still not making your water hot enough, you may need to replace the thermostat entirely.
  5. Your Water Heater is Not Big Enough: The average water heater tank holds 50-60 gallons of water. However, for large households, you may need to install a water heater tank capable of holding 80-plus gallons. You will likely be able to tell your water heater is not big enough by how long it can sustain proper temperatures. If you find that you are running out of hot water after 20-30 minutes of use, chances are you will need to upgrade to a larger system. Keep in mind that if you have a large household, there may simply not be enough hot water to go around. So if you are tired of planning out how much time everyone in your family can shower every day, consider calling EnviroSafe to upgrade your water heater now.

EnviroSave is available by phone, or you can send us a message online.