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Hot Water Running Out Quickly?

A-1’s plumbing experts sure understand the importance of hot water in our everyday lives. If you’ve ever experienced a lack of hot water in your home when you need it, this is the post for you! Today we’re sharing a number of factors that might be contributing to your home’s availability of hot water.


Timing affects hot water too. Though many of us appreciate lengthy hot showers, there is a limit due to the fact that your home can only supply so much hot water at any given time. If you have five people in your household and everyone decides to shower at the same time (or two people choose to take an extra long, extra hot shower), it’s likely you’ll run out of hot water. Same goes for if you run the dishwasher while you run the washing machine, it’s about high-volume consumption. When this high-volume consumption of hot water can outrun the capacity of your storage tank or water heating system to keep up. If this is what’s happening in your home, the good news is there’s a simple way to fix it! Outpace the hot water heater capacity is to space out how you choose to use hot water throughout the day.


Your current water heater tank size could also be the culprit. How? Well, it might be too small for your household. Do you happen to have several people living in your home (or frequent guests) and find that you’re repeatedly running out of hot water? If so, your hot water tank might not be the right size for your collective needs. Even if your family isn’t particularly large, size still matters based on how frequently you use water. For example, you might have one kid but find yourself constantly doing laundry between school and soccer uniforms, beach towels, and craft projects. Those are all factors to consider when determining if your hot water tank is the right size for your needs.


Is your water heater is tankless? A tankless hot water heater supplies hot water on demand. That means there’s no stored supply. Since there is no stored supply, if your unit is too small, you may experience hot water supply problems. While tankless water heaters are a fantastic and long-lasting option, it’s essential to have a professional A-1 plumber properly size the unit for your family. Keep in mind that annual maintenance for your unit is also key to keeping it running safely and smoothly.


More specifically, minerals and sediment buildup in your home water heating system. Sediment, which is any solid material carried by water, travels with the water through the pipes and into your home’s hot water tank, causing minerals to build-up. The sediment found in water heaters might be sand or debris from a well or water main. Minerals are most often part of the sediment, and are typically found in the form of calcium carbonate.

While hot water heaters have filters that remove impurities, they don’t capture beneficial minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium. When minerals build up in the bottom of your hot water tank, they take up more and more room — leaving less space for water. This leads to the hot water tank losing capacity to hold the amount of water it’s meant to. At that point, the hot water heater is not as efficient at  providing hot water to your household. Your home starts running out of hot water more quickly. Listen for popping or cracking sounds coming from your hot water tank to indicate possible sediment buildup.


From build-up to burn out…the heating element could simply be burned-out. If the heating elements in an electric heater are old, burned-out or simply not large enough, they cannot heat all the water the tank holds. Sometimes the heating element loses its function because of sediment build-up. You can check the heating element voltage yourself by using a continuity tester on it, or you can call a professional to assess the problem and replace the elements as needed.


Another common cause of hot water loss is damaged parts. Individual parts inside your hot water heater unit could unfortunately be worn or damaged. Over time, the dip tube (a line that runs cold water down into the tank’s heating elements at the bottom) often wears down because it’s immersed in water. A damaged dip tube will mix warm water with the cold water, which can cause water to feel tepid once it touches you from the tap. A faulty or damaged thermostat can also cause hot water heater issues. However, if you suspect thermostat issues, a quick adjustment might be all that’s needed! It could simply be set too low. Note that if you have a gas-powered hot water heater, beware the smell of rotten eggs. It’s a common sign that the aluminum rod is damaged.


Clogs and leaks can be problematic when it comes to your hot water supply. Water erupting in spurts? You could have a clog. Spot pools of water around the base of your heater? How about mold? Those are common indicators that your tank is not holding the amount of water is was built to store. Here at A-1 Plumbing, we understand that hot water is a necessity we all count on from shower power to clean laundry and clear dishes. Your Smiley water heater experts at A-1 Plumbing are here to make sure you’ve got it when you need it most. With decades of experience repairing and installing water heaters – our professional plumbers have learned what works best.

Put an end to running out of hot water! Contact A-1 Plumbing for any and all of your Residential & Commercial plumbing needs.


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