Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts

Reasons Your Water Heater May be Running Out of Hot Water

There's nothing worse on a chilly morning than finding the water in your shower isn't hot enough, or that there's not enough of it.

Troubleshooting Your Water Heater's Failure to Deliver

As water heaters age, they may gradually produce less satisfying amounts of hot water. If yours is 10 years old or more, perhaps it's on the way out and it's time for a replacement. You can call a plumber for a repair and maybe get away with paying for a service call and a parts replacement, but be aware at that age, other things may soon break down.

Here are some other possible reasons for your water heater's failure to deliver:

  1. Sediment in the tank. Along with the water supply that fills the tank, you may also be getting some sediment. Over time, it can collect in the bottom of your tank and cover up the burner. This makes it difficult for the unit to heat water properly. To remedy this, you should hire a service to flush the tank annually to remove sediment.
  2. Broken dip tube. The dip tube carries the cold water down to the bottom of the tank where it gets heated by the burner. If this piece breaks, the cold water is deposited near the top of the tank, where the already heated water has risen. That means the supply of heated water is diminished by the cold water, and you get lukewarm water from your faucet.
  3. Faulty thermostat. The thermostat on your water heater may not be working properly and needs to be replaced.

Sometimes water heaters don't deliver as much hot water when there's a sudden bout of cold weather. Try adding an insulated jacket on the tank, or warming up the temperature in the space where the water heater is located.

For more information about your water heater or to schedule a repair, replacement, or service, contact Sherlock Heating and Air Conditioning of San Diego.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).