Getting hot water on demand is a luxury that most of us take for granted daily. However, when that convenience suddenly disappears, you realize how much you appreciate it. Of course, hot water doesn’t necessarily disappear overnight. You might be able to get your water to a lukewarm temperature, or get hot water for a while, only to lose it later. What’s causing your hot water to fail you? Keep reading to learn the potential causes and whether you need a new water heater or a water main repair in Sacramento.
Sediment Buildup in Water Heater Tank
If you have a traditional water heater with a tank, check that tank for sediment buildup. As the water inside your tank is heated, minerals from the water can settle to the bottom of the tank and form a hard crust. Because the heating elements are underneath the tank, it is difficult for the water heater to get to the right temperature. When this is the problem, it will typically manifest as lukewarm water rather than a complete loss of hot water. To check for sediment buildup, you can open the drain port or valve at the bottom of the tank, and drain it through a hose or into a bucket. If you see a large amount of sediment or if you see only a trickle of water come out, there’s a good chance your tank has buildup.
Undersized Water Heater
If the problem you’re facing with your hot water is frequently running out, then the odds are that your water heater is too small to meet your family’s needs. Traditional water heaters always keep a certain number of gallons of water hot. If you drain that tank rapidly, it won’t have time to refill and reheat your water supply. You could correct this issue by being more conscientious of your hot water consumption; for example, make sure you space out family members’ showers and don’t try to shower when the washer or dishwasher is running. However, the better solution is typically to replace your water heater with one that has a larger tank or with a tankless water heater that heats water on demand instead of storing it.
Broken Dip Tube
One feature of a traditional water heater that most people don’t know about is the dip tube. This component makes it possible for you to continue receiving hot water, even as the water heater refills with cold water and starts reheating it for your use. The dip tube directs the cold water to the bottom of the tank, allowing the hot water to rise naturally rather than having the different temperatures mix. If the dip tube breaks, the temperature of your water will drop as cold water is added to the water heater tank, resulting in water that is anywhere from lukewarm to cold, depending on the ratio of the hot and cold water supply.
Extremely Cold Weather
Winter isn’t gone just yet, and many areas of the US are still experiencing pretty frigid temperature drops. When this happens, it can impact your hot water supply by dropping the core temperature of your water heater and forcing it to work harder and longer to get that water temperature back up. While this typically won’t result in a complete lack of hot water, you might notice that your water isn’t getting as hot as you would like during these cold snaps. The solution is to turn the temperature on your water heater a little bit; for safety purposes, however, ensure that the water heater temperature setting does not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You can turn it back to its previous setting when winter is over.
Break in Hot Water Supply Line
Most issues with your hot water supply will be connected to your water heater. However, a lack of hot water in your home may be caused by a break in a water line rather than a problem with the water heater itself. If there’s a leak in your hot water line, you may notice that the hot water isn’t flowing to where you need it like it used to. Water pressure may drop significantly when using hot water, or you may only get lukewarm water when trying to get hot water.
Whether you think you need a new water heater or water line repair in Sacramento, CA, Bullseye Leak Detection can help. We’ll pinpoint the cause of your hot water problems and provide the solution you need to get sufficient hot water flowing through your home again.