Have you been iced out in the shower recently? You were enjoying a nice, long shower when suddenly there was no hot water. Yikes! This is a common problem in many households, and though the culprit might be your teenager using up all the hot water, this is often not the case. There are several causes for this annoyance!
Our team at Integrity Home Solutions outlines some of the potential reasons why you’re running out of hot water and how to fix them. Let’s dive in.
The Reasons Why You Have No Hot Water
There are multiple reasons why your hot water has cooled to lukewarm or cold. They might include:
#1. Sediment in Your Water Heater
As water flows through your water heater, natural minerals and sediment gather at the bottom. Over time, this sediment builds up and can cause a problem if not flushed out periodically.
The sediment buildup can limit the amount of available water in your tank and reduce the water tank’s efficiency, resulting in running out of hot water, or having no hot water at all.
To reduce sediment build-up, you should drain your hot water tank every year. If you aren’t comfortable draining it on your own, call Integrity Home Solutions and we’ll get the job done!
#2. Your Water Heater is Too Small
If you have a larger family or run appliances that use water frequently, you’ll easily run out of hot water with a smaller tank. Most water heaters can handle enough water to meet high demands, but this isn’t always the case.
- 30-gallon water heater: 1-2 people
- 40-gallon water heater: up to 3 people
- 40-50 gallon water heater: 4 people
- 50-80 gallon water heater: over 5 people
Check your water heater’s capacity to see if it can handle your hot water demands. If it is too small, it might be time to install a bigger unit so you will never run out of hot water again.
If you are the last one to take a shower, and
there isn’t any hot water, you should get a bigger unit.
There are also tankless water heaters available, but you will need to ensure that the hot water capacity (a gallon per minute) is enough for your family’s usage.
#3. Thermostat Problems
Like your home’s HVAC system, your water heater uses a thermostat that controls the water heater temperature. If hot water is being used faster than it should, reset the thermostat and see if that remedies the problem. If it doesn’t you can try raising the temperature slightly to see if that helps.
If neither of these quick remedies works, it is likely time to call in a professional. Not having hot water is a big problem and should be fixed ASAP.
Sometimes water heater thermostat problems can be remedied with a replacement. In other cases, there could be a problem with the water heater itself, which is why a professional may be needed.
#4. The Water Heater is Old
Every appliance in your home has a limited lifespan, including your water heater. If it is over 12 years old, this may explain why the hot water is suddenly running out faster than it used to.
Most water heaters last for 10-12 years at most, so if yours
is older than a decade, it could be time for a replacement.
When a water heater has reached the end of its lifespan, it can’t produce the same volume of hot water that it once could. The best way to extend the lifespan of the water heater is to check and change the anode.
Investing in a powered anode can also double the life of your tank and save you a lot of money on energy costs.
Further, you will want to look out for any possible water heater leaks. If your tank is leaking, it will need to be replaced.
#5. The Lower Heating Element is Bad
Electric water heaters have an upper and lower heating element inside, though the lower element is the one that is responsible for most of the heating.
When you turn on the hot water, cold water is pushed to the bottom of your tank and is heated by the lower heating element. As it rises to the top, the upper heating element keeps the water warm.
If the lower heating element on your water tank has gone bad, it won’t be able to keep your water nice and hot. When this happens, you will notice a dip in water temperature and colder baths and showers.
The lower heating element may be going bad for several reasons:
- Sediment build-up causes it to overheat
- The thermostat is no longer working
- There could be a short somewhere in the wiring
A professional plumber can determine if you are running out of hot water due to a faulty or broken heating element and replace it if necessary.
#6. You’re Using Too Much Hot Water
Another common reason that you are running out of hot water is that you are just using too much hot water at once. Between loads of laundry, washing dishes, and several people taking showers or baths in your household, your water heater may be struggling to keep up with the demand.
Using hot water for several things at once can make it difficult for the water heater to keep up. Try to limit your hot water use by only taking a shower or bath when the appliances aren’t running.
If this reason is the case for running out of hot water, you should consider getting a larger tank that can handle your home’s hot water demands.
Learn More > Solved! Signs Your Water Heater is Failing
Water Heater Troubleshooting
If you notice that your water heater can’t keep up with your hot water demands, or are met with a deluge of cold water in the shower unexpectedly, our team at Integrity Home Solutions can help! Our team is skilled in troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining water heaters and we are on call 24/7 to help you!
Schedule water heater repair or service today at 813-473-6007!