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water heater replacement

Why You’re Running Out of Hot Water

It’s the cold season, and you’re getting yourself ready for your day by taking a nice, relaxing hot shower. Suddenly, the water starts turning cold as you lather yourself up. Just like that, your relaxing shower turns into a nightmare, and you struggle to finish within the next few seconds.

Running out of hot water can be stressful and inconvenient to anyone living in Murrieta, CA. You may even be experiencing the same problem while washing dishes or taking a bath. If you’ve been asking yourself why your hot water keeps turning cold, then you came to the right place. Keep reading to discover the top reasons why your hot water keeps running out and what to do about it.

How Your Water Heaters Work

To understand better why you could be running out of hot water, you need to understand how your water heater works. Since your water heater is most likely powered by gas or electricity, here’s how the two types work.

A gas water heater comprises a gas vent, a cold water line, and a hot water line. It also contains a water storage tank. The gas is sent to a burner below the tank, where it heats the water. The temperature of the water is regulated by a thermostat, and you receive the hot water through the hot water line.

This system also contains a relief valve, an anode, dip tube, and the drain valve. The relief valve essentially helps in releasing pressure from the tank when it becomes too high. The anode prevents corrosion and bad odors from the tank, and the dip tube helps in directing cold water to the bottom area of the tank for heating. The water leaves the tank through the drain valve.

The overall heating setup of a traditional electric water heater is very similar to that of a typical gas heater. The main difference is that this system uses electricity to heat the water instead of gas. Now that you have an idea of how water heaters work, let’s now take a look at why you may be running out of hot water quickly.

There’s a Buildup of Sediment

The cold water that enters your tank usually carries tiny amounts of minerals, like calcium and magnesium. When the water is stored and heated, the dissolved minerals start precipitating and depositing at the floor, becoming a sediment layer. As time goes by, the sediment layer may increase to the extent of displacing a large amount of water in the tank. As a result, the amount of hot water getting into your home may reduce.

Your Water Heater Is Small

If your water heater wasn’t installed by a qualified professional, then chances are it is not the right fit for your home. Also, if the number of people living in your home has increased since your water heater got installed, then the system may not be adequate for your family.

As you may know, water heaters come in many different types and sizes, and getting the right match for your household is critical. This means that before you start blaming other factors, you need to get a qualified plumber to make sure that your water heater has the right capacity for your home.

If you’re using a tankless water supply, then your heating unit’s size is a critical factor you have to consider. A tankless or instant water system is typically made to ensure that hot water is available instantly. That means that if the system’s heating unit is not large or efficient enough for your home, then you’d likely run out of hot water quickly.

Your Dip Tube Is Broken

As mentioned earlier, the dip tube is what makes sure cold water gets to the bottom of the tank for heating. When the dip tube stops working correctly, the cold water stays at the top and combines with the hot water that is getting into your house. This generally reduces the water temperature, and you get colder water.

There are many reasons why your heater’s dip tube might become defective. For instance, the tube may have become too old or developed cracks for some reason. Since the dip tube is a delicate part, you should make sure that only a certified professional handles your water heater.

Your Thermostat Is Old or Broken

Sometimes, running out of water is an indication that the thermostat is not working properly. Thermostats tend to misbehave or become defective due to many reasons. It may have become damaged as a result of the natural wear and tear, its quality, or for some other reason. If you suspect that your thermostat is the source of the problem, don’t attempt to fix it. Call an expert to inspect it and make the necessary adjustments, including repairs.

Your Heater’s Lower Heating Element Is Faulty

Many water heaters have two heating elements. One is located at the lower side of the tank, and the other one is near the top. The bottom element is the one that is mainly involved in heating because water gets heated through conventional currents. In other words, when water is heated, it rises to the top, and cold water comes to the bottom.

The element located at the top is therefore mainly involved in maintaining the water temperature within a certain range. If you are running out of hot water quickly, then your heater’s lower element could be faulty.

You Have a Piping Problem

Many homes usually run out of hot water fast because their plumbing has an issue. The pipes may be faulty or broken, leading to the mixing of hot and cold water. As a result, you may think your water heater is not working properly, but the problem is in the plumbing. When your pipes become too old or damaged, having a great thermostat, the right water tank, and a perfect set of heating elements won’t guarantee you a consistent flow of hot water to your home.

The good news is that a piping issue is relatively simple to solve. However, it is a highly sensitive job that should only be handled by a certified plumber. Don’t hire someone who is not qualified to fix some pipes and put the rest of your plumbing system at risk.

It doesn’t matter how long this water problem has affected you; We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air is here to help you put it behind you. Since 2000, we’ve been helping residents of Murrieta, CA, enjoy hot water without experiencing any glitches. We install, repair, and replace water heaters after making thorough inspections to assure our clients 100% satisfaction and value.

We know that water heater repair is a very delicate task that requires the right skills, experience, and expertise to handle. Lucky for you, our team is experienced enough to restore your water heater in no time. Call us today to learn more about our services! We also repair, maintain, and install heating and cooling systems at affordable prices.

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