One of life’s little frustrations is running out of hot water while you are in the shower. Sometimes it is just a temporary setback attributed to someone turning on hot water elsewhere in your home. However, if you are constantly trying to beat the clock before you run out of hot water, your water heater might need maintenance or replacement. Some of the most common reasons you might be running out of hot water include:

Temperature is Set Too Low

The simplest reason you may be running out of hot water quickly is that the temperature on your water heater might be set too low. Do not set the temperature higher that 120 degrees because a higher temperature could cause burns from scalding water, especially to young children and elderly adults. If the temperature is set at 120 degrees and the water is not hot enough or runs out quickly, you can rule out that the temperature is set too low.

Sediment Build-Up in Tank

Water, especially well water, contains various minerals. Just like your shower or plumbing fixtures can show signs of scale buildup, the inside of your water heater tank can also be affected. If your water heater tank contains sediment, the amount of space left for water to be heated is reduced. This means you will run out of hot water faster. Flushing sediment from your water heater tank is a part of regular maintenance that should be done at least once a year, or more often as needed.

Part Replacements Needed

If you have an older water heater, there are multiple parts that might be causing your lack of hot water, including a broken dip tube, heating element, gas valve or thermostat. It is common for these parts to wear out and they are often replaced as a part of regular water heater maintenance. However, depending the age of your water heater, or especially if cracks or rust are found in its tank, it might be time to consider replacing it.

Water Heater Cannot Keep Up with Demand

The final most common reason for running out of hot water could be that your water heater can no longer keep up with your family’s need for hot water. This could be because it is over 10 years old and not as efficient with heating water as a newer model, or its tank is simply too small. Upgrading to a new water heater with a larger tank, or even better, a tankless water heater that supplies on-demand hot water may be your best bet.

Tired of running out of hot water in the shower? Call Bill Fenwick Plumbing at (904) 724-2455 to schedule maintenance or repairs to your home’s water heater, or to learn more about the benefits of replacing it with a tankless water heater.