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Your water heater works pretty much full-time. All your taps rely on it, so do appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine. Like any machine, the water heater eventually develops problems due to damage or wear and tear and requires water heater repair. Common among these problems is the water heater failing to produce enough hot water.
Here we outline some possible causes for your water heater not producing enough hot water. We also share possible fixes. However, we recommend contacting a plumbing professional in Carrollton, TX, to provide an effective long-term repair solution.
Demand for hot water is too high
One of the most common reasons behind a water heater producing an inadequate amount of hot water is too many appliances and fixtures relying on the heater for their hot water supply. An increase in demand for hot water diminishes the supply. If this is the first time that you’re experiencing the problem, here are some possible culprits.
- You recently installed a large bathtub or replaced a previous one with a larger one, and the water heater is unable to match the demand.
- You recently installed a high-flow or multiple-sprayer shower head like a rainfall showerhead that uses more hot water.
- You expanded your kitchen or added a new bathroom as part of a remodeling project, increasing demand for hot water.
- You have more people in your home (e.g., relatives visiting for the holidays) using hot water.
- You bought a new appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine that increased the demand for hot water.
Water heater repair professionals recommend the following fixes.
- Get a larger water heater. A 30-gallon tank should be sufficient for one or two people. For three or four people, go for a 40-gallon. For five or more people, you need a tank with a capacity of 50 or more gallons. Keep in mind that compared to electric water heaters, gas heaters recovery.
- Get a tankless water heater. It heats water on demand. So, unless all your appliances and fixtures are on at the same time, you’ll always have enough hot water. You can go for a whole-house or point-of-use tankless water heater depending on your needs. You can fit the latter beneath the sink.
- Set a hot water usage schedule. If your household has many members, spread apart the shower times and run appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine at night.
Incoming water pressure is too low
The hot water in appliances and fixtures is pushed out by the incoming flow of cold water. If the pressure of the cold-water supply decreases, so will the pressure of the hot water that flows out of the water heater. As a result, there seems to be a diminished supply of hot water.
Water heater problems related to water pressure are quite tricky to diagnose because they can be the result of several possible causes. For example, the pipes in your plumbing may be worn out and corroded and may need replacement. In some cases, you may have a faulty water pressure regulator, which you may need to adjust or replace. In this case, you might need a water heater repair professional.
The water heater thermostat is set too low
You may be concerned with the safety or energy-efficiency of your water. For that reason, you may have set its thermostat to a modest temperature of, say, 120° F. Understandable as your concern may be, this setting requires you to run fixtures like taps and showers at the full hot position to get the water hot enough. This quickly depletes your hot water supply.
To resolve this problem, water heater repair professionals recommend setting your thermostat to at least 140° F. This setting requires you to regulate the flows of hot water and cold water to get the water flowing out of a tap or shower to be just the right temperature. That way, your hot water supply doesn’t deplete too quickly.
Thermostat is faulty
If you increase the temperature setting of the thermometer and the water temperature doesn’t increase, the thermostat may be faulty. This often occurs in electric heaters because the upper and lower heating elements both attach to the thermostat on the tank. To resolve this, replace the faulty thermostat.
The electrical heating element is faulty
Electric water heaters feature two elements, both of which are mounted in the back and wear out fairly often. It’s relatively easy to determine whether the heating element is the problem. If the water is constantly lukewarm, that’s often because the upper heating element is defective. Likewise, if the water is fully hot for a brief period, that usually means that the lower heating element is faulty. To resolve this, have a water heater repair professional replace the defective element.
The tank has a build-up of sediment
The water-heating elements and burner heat the water less efficiently when sediment, corrosion and rust build up at the bottom of the tank. As a result, the supply of hot water diminishes. The best way to solve this problem is to prevent it by having a water heater repair flush the water heater annually to remove rust, corrosion or sediment build up at the bottom of the tank in your home.
The water heater is too far from appliances and fixture
If the water heater in your home is too far from an appliance or fixture such as a dishwasher and washing machine, it may take longer for the hot water to reach it. Moreover, the hot water may deplete too quickly. This happens because much of the heat dissipates as the hot water runs along the plumbing pipes that conduct away from the heat.
Water heater repair professionals recommend the following fixes.
- Add a point-of-use water heater near the fixture or appliance. For example, you can add one in the cabinet under the kitchen sink.
- Add an instant hot water pump to maintain the temperature of the hot water as it recirculates.
- Insulate conductive plumbing pipes between the water heater and the fixture or appliance to prevent the dissipation of heat.
The water heater has worn out
Water heaters typically last 8–12 years. Sediment eventually builds up despite regular maintenance. As a result, the water heater becomes less efficient and the supply of hot water diminishes. The solution for this is to have a water heater repair professional replace a water heater if it’s older than 10 years.
The fixes that these articles outline can help improve the supply of hot water from your water heater. If the plumbing problems persist, contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of North Dallas for professional water heater repair in Carrollton, TX.