why does my hot water run out

Wondering why your home s hot water supply is running out faster than it used to? Well, first, answer this question:
Did the change happen gradually or all at once? You see, if the change was gradual, the issue is most likely sediment buildup inside the water heater tank. But if the change was sudden, the issue is either: A bad lower element A broken dip tube We ll explain these problems below and what you can do to get your long, hot showers back for good. Need a plumber to diagnose and fix the issue stat?. We ll send one right over. you likely have sediment buildup in your water heater tank. So what is sediment buildup? Well, it s basically a thick layer of dissolved minerals that settle to the bottom of your tank. You see, even if your home has a water softener, the water coming into the water heater has a small amount of dissolved minerals (such as calcium and magnesium). And over time, because the minerals are heavier than water, they settle to the bottom of the tank, creating sediment buildup. Now, a little bit of sediment is normal and won t affect your hot water supply. However, if you don t keep your water heater maintained, that layer of sediment builds and displaces hot water, decreasing the amount of hot water available for use. Think about it: If you have a 40-gallon water heater with 10 gallons of sediment buildup in the tank, you now have a 30-gallon water heater. Signs you have sediment buildup: If the TPR valve stars hissing or the discharge pipe starts leaking water, you might have sediment buildup in your water heater tank. What to do:.

This means they will drain the tank, clean out the sediment, inspect and maintain other elements and refill the tank. you likely either have a: Electric water heaters have two elements that heat the water; one at the bottom of the tank and one at the top. The lower element basically handles the brunt of the work. Cold water is pushed to the bottom of the tank to be heated by the lower element. Then, as the heated water naturally rises to the top, the upper element only comes on periodically to keep the water at a consistent temperature. So, if that lower element suddenly goes bad, you ll immediately notice a severe decrease in the amount of hot water that s available to you. Reasons the lower element might go bad include: Sediment buildup is burying the element, causing it to overheat What to do: to confirm that the element is bad. They can repair or replace the element. Every water heater has a dip tube that s responsible for pushing the incoming cold water down to the bottom of the tank to be heated. After that cold water is heated, it rises to the top of the tank where it can be pulled out whenever you need hot water somewhere in the house. But if that dip tube breaks or falls off, incoming cold water no longer gets pushed to the bottom of the tank. Instead, it mingles with the already heated water at the top of the tank, lowering the temperature of the water that is delivered to you. And the more cold water that enters the tank, the sooner you run out of hot wate r altogether. Reasons a dip tube can go bad include: Normal wear and tear.

Some dip tubes are made of plastic that have a shorter lifespan than others. It s defective. A lot of water heater manufacturers sold water heaters with defective dip tubes from 1993 1997. These dip tubes were prone to cracking and breaking apart long before they should have. Need more information about a broken dip tube? Just read our blog,. What to do: to confirm that this is the problem. If it is, they ll replace the dip tube. Need help from a MN plumber? We re here to help. and we ll send over a qualified and trusted plumber in no time. Are you constantly running out of hot water even after only a few minutes in the shower? It s one of the most common plumbing complaints we hear from Atlanta homeowners (especially in the winter). This problem is usually caused from a lack of water heater maintenance. Luckily, it has an easy fix. But first, let s talk about how a lack of maintenance causes this problem How ignoring your water heater got you into this mess When water falls to the ground as rain, it is mostly pure (although it can accumulate some dust from the air as it falls). Then, as it travels into the ground, it accumulates natural minerals and sediment. This is carried by the water all the way into your. (Yes, the water utilities filter many impurities out, but they mostly focus on those that are harmful to your health. Other minerals, such as iron, magnesium and calcium, get passed through. ) Once inside your water heater, this sediment builds up on the bottom of your water heater. Not only does this make your water heater less efficient, it decreases the capacity of your water heater if not cleaned out.

So that means there s less room for hot water, and you run out of hot water more quickly. The solution: flush your water heater If you are constantly running out of hot water and you haven t had your water heater maintained in years, flushing your water heater is most likely the solution. Basically, you empty the water heater and flush it with fresh water to get rid of the sediment. You can do this yourself by following your manufacturer s directions. (But be sure you follow all the safety precautions! ) Or you can Other possible causes If a water heater flush doesn t fix the problem, there are a few other things that could be causing your shortage of hot water including: Small water heater Your water heater might just be too small for your family. You can upgrade your water heater or carefully schedule showers and other chores so that no one has to take a cold shower. Old water heater There could be other parts malfunctioning on your water heater that are keeping it from properly heating your water. Thermostat problems No, not the thermostat on the wall. Your water heater has a thermostat that regulates the temperature of your hot water. It could be set too low or it could be malfunctioning. These problems can be repaired by a professional plumbing company, or you can consider getting a brand-new water heater. If you choose the latter option and you use lots of hot water, a might be the best option. Ragsdale Plumbing serves the Atlanta metro area. For more information,.

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