Has your hot water started turning cold? Does it seem like your hot water just isn’t lasting long enough anymore? After checking to make sure no one is taking extra-long showers, it’s time to consider other causes. Here’s why water heaters suddenly become stingy with their hot water.
Your Tank is Too Small
This often happens after a major renovation or if you just moved into a new home. Hot water tanks vary based on how many gallons they can hold or keep heated. If your tank is smaller than your current needs, you will find that you run out of hot water too quickly and may need a tank upgrade. Keep in mind that switching to a tankless water heater also takes some getting used to, and if you now have a tankless (or solar powered) model, it may be operating differently compared to a traditional water heater.
New Appliances are Causing Issues
Do you have any new appliances that are suddenly demanding more hot water? Some of these appliances can be quite obvious, like a new tub with hot water jets — those can take up a lot of hot water sometimes, and cut down on the water available for everyone else. Other appliances are more subtle, like a new showerhead that allows more water to flow through and decreases the hot water in your tank much more quickly.
You Could Have Sediment Build-Up
Sediment that is distilled from water tends to accumulate in hot water tanks over time. In older tanks, sediment can build-up; sometimes, there is so much build-up that it keeps the tank from holding the proper amount of hot water (and often causes loud banging noises as a side effect). You will need a thorough tank flushing to remove the sediment build-up.
The Weather is at Fault
If there are unexpected cold temperatures in your area, they could be rapidly cooling down the water as it leaves your tank, especially if you don’t have insulated pipes, or your crawlspace has insulation issues. Do faucets closer to the tank produce reliable hot water? Then your pipes might need the insulation again.
Your Thermostat Sensors Have Problems
Your tank uses a thermostat and sensors to adjust the temperature of the water. Sometimes the thermostat gets programmed with the wrong temperature, but this is relatively rare. More often, the thermostat starts to malfunction, sensors fail or fall off, and the tank can no longer regulate the water temperature properly. In this case, you need to replace the thermostat or the sensors, so it’s time for an inspection and maintenance.
Preventing problems with your water heater is essential. To avoid potential problems, make sure you schedule water heater maintenance once a year. Your technician will conduct a full inspection and can fix any potential problems before they get worse.
Having a plumbing emergency that needs attention right away? At Crawford Mechanical Services, we can help! Give us a call at any time!