When you struggle to wake up in the morning, a nice hot shower is a great way to start your day. So when you step in the shower and find freezing water instead of steamy luxury, it can make you want to call the day a loss and crawl right back in bed.
Hot water problems don't just affect your shower, but also your dishwasher, sink, and other appliances. To get your hot shower back, you need to know the most common hot water issues and how to fix them.
If all the faucets in your house, not just your shower, have tepid water, you might have the temperature set too low on your water heater. In this case, the water will get warm, but not hot.
This problem has a simple solution. Check the thermostat on your water heater and adjust it if necessary. Gas water heaters usually have one dial near the bottom of the tank. You don't need to turn off the gas if you're only adjusting the thermostat.
Electric water heaters usually have two thermostats to correspond to two different heating elements. They might be hidden under panels, and you'll need a screwdriver to access them. Make sure to turn off the electricity before you open them up.
Be aware that 49°C is a good water temperature for most households. Lower than that probably won't feel hot enough.
If this doesn't fix the problem, but you still think the thermostat is responsible, call our professionals at EZ Plumbing to have it calibrated properly.
Broken Heating Element
If all the faucets in your house run lukewarm and you have an electric water heater, one of the elements might have burned out. When this happens, the water will usually feel hot at first, but quickly turn tepid.
When one heating element breaks, the other element has to work extra hard. It can't efficiently heat water alone, and it will break down faster. To prevent your second element from breaking as well, replace the first one as quickly as possible.
You can use a multi-tester on your own to see if the elements function properly. However, our professionals at EZ Plumbing can do this for you if you don't have the equipment yourself.
Failed Dip Tube
Many water heaters built in the 1990s have problems with deteriorating dip tubes. If your water heater was built about 20 years ago, a malfunctioning dip tube might be the cause of your hot water problems.
The dip tube is a long plastic tube that runs from the top of the water heater to the bottom. If the tube breaks down, all the faucets in your house will have trouble producing hot water.
To check if your dip tube has broken down, inspect your water for small white particles. They will float and won't dissolve. You can also take the aerators off your faucets and see if white plastic pieces are trapped inside.
If your dip tube has deteriorated, you'll need to replace it. Contact us at EZ Plumbing and we will flush out the tank and put in a new tube for you.
Worn Shower Valve
If your other faucets produce hot water, but not your shower, you might have a problem with your shower valve.
The valve mixes hot and cold water together to make the proper temperature for a comfortable shower. However, when parts like the O-ring or washer wear out, the valve doesn't mix properly.
If you have newer faucets, and only your shower won't put out hot water, you might have a clog in your hot water line. Newer faucets have cartridges with valves inside. If debris builds up in these cartridges, it confuses the pressure balance and your hot water shuts off.
You can remove the cartridge yourself and see if there's debris trapped inside. If you see a lot of buildup, you can either replace the cartridge yourself or call us at EZ Plumbing.
If your shower produces hot water, but not enough for a normal shower, you might have a problem with timing. Does your whole family take showers right after one another? Do you run the washing machine or dishwasher at the same time you take showers?
Your water heater can only produce so much hot water. Once your household goes through the supply, it takes about 30 minutes to heat more. To make sure you have a constant supply, give everyone in your house a separate shower time, and wash clothes and dishes later.
Dirty Water Tank
If you don't have a timing problem and your hot water still runs out too quickly, you might have sediment in your water heater.
You should drain your water heater about once a year to get rid of residue. If you haven't flushed it out for a long time, buildup in your tank will keep it from producing enough hot water.
Call the professionals at EZ Plumbing to help you drain your water heater tank and clear any dirt and buildup inside.
Nobody enjoys a tepid shower. We at EZ Plumbing can help turn up the heat on your water supply by fixing these common issues with your water heater and plumbing system. Call us today!