You just got in the shower and you have already run out of hot water. Has this been happening in your home more often lately? Having little or no hot water in your bathroom is not interesting at all, especially if you enjoy a long hot water bath to start your day or at the end of a tiring day. The good news is that most of the causes of this problem can be sorted by a knowledgeable plumber. Below are 7 reasons why your shower run out of hot water and some of the steps that can be taken to rectify the situation in each case.
1. Accumulation of sediments in the tank
This especially happens where there is hard water with a lot of minerals. Over time, these sediments accumulate in the water tank and take up a huge volume of the tank that would have otherwise been filled with water. This will obviously translate to less water in the water tank and less heated water for your shower. Sediments may also result to clogging and this can cause other numerous problems that will either limit your hot water supply or compromise the water heating system entirely. To solve the problem you can flush the tank to get rid of the sediments. If you live in an area that is notorious for hard water, it is advisable to get a plumber to perform water heater maintenance and get rid of accumulated sediments at least once every year.
2. Burned out water heater elements
For electric heaters, heating elements are responsible for heating water inside the tank. There are generally two heater elements in an electric heater. The upper element heats water at the top of the tank first before power is transferred to the lower element to heat the bottom of the tank. In the case where you are getting a little hot water, then the most likely situation is that the bottom element has burned out. If the top elements burns out then you will not get any hot water. The only solution to take care of a burned out heater element is to replace it. Fortunately any competent plumber will easily fix this at a reasonable price and ensure that you can enjoy your long hot water shower in no time at all.
3. Undersized water heater elements
This situation will in most cases arise when you replace your old or burned out water heater elements. If you get undersized elements, then your problem will most likely persist and you will not have enough hot water. To ensure that this does not happen, you should check the ampere and voltage requirements of your water heater before going to purchase new heater elements. You may also need to note down your water heater brand among other specs that may determine the type of heating elements used. To be on the safe side and to avoid wasting your money and other resources can involve your plumber to ensure that the elements you get are the right size and type for your water heater.
4. Limited water supply
This is especially common in tank-less water heaters. For tank-less water heaters, water is heated on demand. If the water supply is limited, then it means that there will be a limited supply of hot water. Apart from installing a water heater system that comes with a tank, the only solution in this case is to use hot water one person at a time. That means that when you are in the shower, no one should be running hot water anywhere else in the house until you are done with your shower. While a tank-less water heater system is cost effective and easy to install, it is only ideal for a small family and it is not as effective for a large family.
5. Failed thermocouple
A thermocouple is an integral part of old gas heaters that work to fire the heaters. When the thermocouple begins to fail, water is heated for just a few minutes after which the thermocouple fails to fire the heaters effectively. Where this is the case, you will realize that you will start off with hot shower water then water will turn cold after just a few minutes. You may need to get a plumber to determine whether your thermocouple is the problem. If this is the problem, then you will have no choice but to get the thermocouple replaced in order to get adequate hot water in your system again.
6. Small water tank
If your water heating system is intact and there are no accumulated sediments, then the problem could be the size of the tank. If you have never had adequate hot water in your home or you notice that your hot water supply has considerably gone down after installing a new tank, then the size of the tank could be the problem. It is advisable to get a water tank that matches your families need. You therefore need to make the necessary arrangements to get a bigger tank when your family hot water needs grow or you move in to a new home that does not meet your daily hot water requirements.