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Hot Water Problems: Reasons Your Shower is Running Out of Hot Water

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Hot water problems – we’ve all been there. One moment you are taking a relaxing shower with the water at just the right heat when suddenly everything goes cold and you are huddled there shivering. Your hot water just ran out… but why? Should you blame other people in the house? Is your water heater or water tank causing problems? Here are the top causes behind hot water running out too quickly.

Sediment has built up in your tank.

You see this problem a lot on older tanks or water heaters in rocky areas where water is “hard” or filled with tiny mineral particles. When water gets heated up in your hot water tank, this particles precipitate out of the water and onto nearby metal surfaces in your pipes and tank. In the worst case, this forms layers of sediment called “scale” which can cause a number of painful hot water problems. However, the particles can also accumulate and roll around in a thick layer at the bottom of your water tank, called sediment.

If your tank has a lot of sediment, it may not be able to hold as much hot water as before. A plumber can flush out the sediment and advise you on maintenance to keep the problem from happening again.

Your hot water system is too small or too old.

If your shower habits are smart but you still run out of hot water over and over again, then take a step back and look at your hot water tank. How old is it? How many gallons can it hold? Around 30 to 40 gallons is usually enough for a normal family. If you have an extra-small tank, it may be time to upgrade. Likewise, newer water heater models will be able to heat water more quickly and have more advanced insulation so the heat won’t leak away.

You are using the wrong type of fuel or the wrong system.

Some types of fuel can heat water faster than others. A gas water heater can heat more quickly than an electric system, which means you may need a larger tank if you use electricity. Switch to a natural gas heater or similar system if possible – these tend to be more efficient overall. A “tankless” system that heats water as you need may also help.

Your water heater has broken.

Your water heater may be encountering mechanical problems. The most common in this situation is a broken dip tube. The dip tube circulates cold water closer to the heating element of your system, so if it breaks, then cold water and warm water will mix together, leading to a lack of hot water. Other problems with your heating element and similar components may also be to blame – consider a professional checkup. Check your area to see if local plumbers offer free inspections and estimates.

For answers to your questions about hot water problems, contact the Pink Plumber today!

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