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
Natural minerals and sediment gather at the bottom of your water heater as water circulates through it. If not regularly flushed out, this sediment builds up over time and may become an issue.
The sediment accumulation can reduce the amount of water that is available in your tank and decrease the efficiency of the water tank, which can cause you to run out of hot water or not have any at all.
Every year, you should drain your hot water tank to prevent sediment buildup. If you don’t feel confident draining it on your own, give Integrity Home Solutions a call, and we’ll handle it for you!
#2. Your Water Heater is Too Small
With a smaller tank, you’ll quickly run out of hot water if you have a larger household or frequently use water-intensive appliances. Most water heaters create enough water to keep, but not always!
- 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 family’s hot water demands. If it is too small, it might be time to install a bigger unit.
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 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 not being replenished like it should try resetting the unit’s thermostat and see if that fixes 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 required.
#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 that, it could be time for a replacement.
When a water heater has reached the end of its lifespan, it can’t produce the same amount of hot water that it once could. The best way to extend the lifespan of the water heater is to have the anode checked and replaced.
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 does most of the heating.
Cold water is sent to the bottom of your tank where it is heated by the lower heating element when you switch on the hot water. The topmost heating element keeps the water heated as it ascends to the top.
Your water tank won’t be able to keep your water nice and hot if the lower heating element has failed. You’ll notice a drop in water temperature as well as colder baths and showers when this occurs.
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
Using too much hot water at once is another common cause of running out of hot water. Your water heater might be having trouble keeping up with the demand if there are multiple people taking showers or baths, loads of laundry going, and dishes to wash.
It may be challenging for the water heater to keep up if you use hot water for multiple purposes at once. Attempt to reduce the amount of hot water you use by only bathing or taking showers while the appliances are off.
If this is the cause of your home’s hot water shortage, you should think about purchasing a larger tank that can accommodate your home’s hot water needs.
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!