#1: Your family has grown.
This is a clear problem. However, it might not just be that your family has added a few new members. It might also be that your family has grown up. If more people are using hot water, or if more people are taking longer showers or baths, your water tank is running out faster. Then, it might be that you need a bigger tank.
#2: There’s too much demand all at once.
Another common mistake is to use too much hot water at once. A lot of things could happen while someone is in the shower, like running a dishwasher or laundry load, or having two people try to take a shower at once. If you look the other way, you might find the same thing: You’re taking a shower and then you get scalded by the water.
In the shower, this can happen if someone runs cold water while you are in there. If you don’t use a lot of hot water at once, it’s easy to solve the problem. In a big house, this can be hard to do, but it can be done with a lot of help. Otherwise, the person taking the shower should be careful! Be ready to get cold!
#3: The temperature setting is wrong.
Your water heater could be set at the wrong level. Between 120 and 140 degrees is a good temperature for your home, but you should try to keep it that way. If the temperature is below 120, you can just turn up the heat. This will help. Make sure you don’t set it too high, because you could seriously burn someone if you did. If you have small children, you can cut the risk of them getting burned by getting a 125.
#4: Broken dip tube
A broken dip tube could be the reason why the temperature isn’t right. Whether this is the case, you can look for small pieces of plastic in your shower head and drain strainers. You can also look for small pieces of plastic in your appliance filters. If you find plastic pieces, your water heater’s dip tube is likely broken. One of its jobs is to move icy water down to the bottom of the tank so it can warm up. Water that is cold stays on top, so it comes out the other side. It also doesn’t get hot because it isn’t below. If this is the case, call a professional to find out what’s wrong and to change the dip tube.
#5: Sediment build-up
Another thing that can make it hard to get hot water is sediment in the water tank. There is a gradual change in your water heater over time. If you haven’t flushed your water heater’s system every year, this could be the problem. Sediment is made from minerals that are found in water that aren’t very big and don’t have to be weighed down. Your tank will run out of hot water quickly if they fall to the bottom.
Sediment can be things like sand, silt, or rust that take up space in your water tank. These things can make your water dirty. As a result, your hot water supply runs out. When your heating elements heat up sediment instead of water, it takes longer to heat up, so sediment can build up. The only way to fix this is to flush out the system. While you can try to do this on your own, it might be better to leave it to the experts at RichCo Plumbing. They know how to drain the water heater without flooding your basement!
A good rule of thumb is to have your water heater checked out once a year. When you do this, you don’t have to worry about things like sediment buildup and broken dip tubes.