If you’re having troubles with your hot water, that might be an indication something is wrong with your water heater or with your pipes. Keep reading to learn more about the possible causes and identify your issue so you know which pro to call to get it fixed!
“A witticism in an airport security line is like a Swiss tap - turn it on, and you instantly find yourself in hot water.” - Shashi Tharoor
Start by checking all the fixtures of your house to see if hot water is not running there too. If that’s the case, you can get to the conclusion that the problem is with the water heater. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Check the temperature control unit
- Check for blown fuses
- Relight the pilot light (for gas units)
If all of those are checked and okay, your problem can be:
- Obstructions in the flue
- Defective pieces
- Faulty temperature control
In which case, only by calling a professional service will you be able to know what’s really happening.
Once you check out other fixtures in your house, and you find that it’s just your bath that’s suffering from sudden cold water, then the problem can be your shower valve.
Why this happens: the rubber parts in the shower valve get worn and distorted from old age. These parts end up swelling up and restricting the waterways because of the increasing water temperature, and it’s not uncommon the rubber to break off within the mixer valves. The stray components can then travel into an orifice or port in the mixer, causing obstruction in the hot water valve.
Solution: The part has to come off and the valve needs to be flushed out. If you’re handy, you can disassemble the fixture yourself and clear out the screen on the hot water side, but it’s recommended to get a plumber so no small parts get lost and it gets reassembled correctly.
Broken Dip Tube
A dip tube is responsible for shooting cold water to the bottom of the tank so it can be heated. When there’s trouble with the dip tube, the water just sits on the top of the tank - and guess what: the hot water exit is also at the top of the tank.
One way to identify if this is your problem is if you’ve noticed small bits of plastic in the shower head, clogging strainers, or in appliance filter screens. A professional plumber can help you get that resolved, but be sure to ask them for a checkup.
That’s because if the heater is near its lifespan (about 10 years) it may be worth getting a new water heater instead of just fixing the current one.
If you have some hot water, but you feel like it’s not hot enough, then the issue may just be your thermostat. Adjust the temperature on your water heater to see if the issue is resolved. If not, then your thermostat may not be working properly and needs to be replaced.
Sediment Build-Up in Tank
Do you have the habit of getting your water heater flushed frequently? If not, then your problem may be just sediment build-up in the tank.
Why this happens: Sediment (sand, silt, rust, loose minerals) gets piling up on the bottom of your water heater tank as you use water. It ends up taking space in the tank, leaving less room for hot water, and it can also insulate the water in the tank from the heating source.
Solution: Get a professional to drain your water heater and flush it, to get rid of all the sediment. Remember to do this at least once a year.
Don’t DIY Plumbing
Plumbing is a serious thing. Painting a room or stripping away vinyl may sound doable for the DIY-ers, but plumbing should only be handled by professionals. The service is a specialty trade and even the “simplest” projects can quickly turn complicated and leave you with an even worse issue.
Avoid unnecessary headaches and call a professional plumber to get rid of any plumbing problems, with guarantee and efficiency.
Tired of hot water not lasting? Get a quote for a local plumber!
More from homeyou:
- Plumbing Maintenance: What Are You Doing Wrong?
- 5 Questions You Need to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber
- The Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater