Just about everyone has felt the effects of running out of hot water in their homes. It’s never a pleasant experience, and while you usually just have to wait a while before your water heats back up again, it’s good to know exactly why you occasionally get stuck taking cold showers.
If you have a large family and you’re using too many hot water appliances at once, you’re just physically running out of hot water in your water heater tank. The tank will refill in time and the water will heat up again, but you’re simply going through too much hot water at once. This can be solved by either getting a bigger tank or making an effort to conserve your hot water.
If you find that your water gets cold too quickly and doesn’t come back, the culprit is usually one of two issues: either you have a broken dip tube or you have sediment in your hot water tank. The dip tube shoots cold water into the bottom of the water heater tank so it can heat up. If this is broken, water will fill right up to the top of the tank where it flows into your plumbing before it has the chance to heat up. You might have a broken dip tube if you’ve been seeing bits of plastic in your appliance filter screens or in your shower head. Fortunately, the dip tube can be replaced fairly easily.
Sediment in your hot water tank is a little more complicated and builds up slowly over time. It comes from minerals and other debris that appears naturally in water as it flows into the tank. Sediment build-up is normal, and as long as your water tank is flushed at least once a year you shouldn’t have a problem. If it is allowed to build up, it will take up space in your tank that would otherwise be filled with hot water, effectively giving you a smaller tank. It will also insulate the water from the heating source at the bottom of the tank, which means the little water that is in the tank won’t heat up.
If you’ve been noticing that you’ve been running out of hot water faster than usual or you rarely have enough hot water for a decent shower, there might be a problem with your water heater. Contact the experts at HIS Plumber in Newnan GA to find out what to do next or to schedule a maintenance call. We will be happy to provide any assistance you might need.