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Husted Plumbing Blog

Hot Water Just Not That Hot? Let’s See Why

blue-question-markWhen you turn on a hot water tap in your house and no hot water comes out at all, that will set off the alarm bells. Something must be wrong with the water heater! We’ve addressed this issue before and what might lurk behind it. 

But what if the problem is that the hot water doesn’t feel hot enough? The water heater is doing something, since you can tell the difference between the cold water and hot water sides. But your showers have become uncomfortably lukewarm and washing dishes in the sink is more difficult. What might be going wrong?

Is this happening at only one tap?

If only one tap is experiencing this problem, it’s unlikely the water heater is at fault. The issue is probably a faulty mixing valve for that tap. You will still need plumbers to find the exact source of the problem and fix it, but the water heater should be fine.

Check the aquastat

The aquastat is the temperature control for the water heater, and someone may have accidentally lowered it. Raise it to see if this corrects the problem—but don’t raise the temperature higher than 140°F since this creates a scalding hazard. 

Failed heating element

If you have an electric water heater, one possible cause of the drop in temperature is a burnt-out heating element in the tank. Most electric water heaters have two heating elements, so if one burns out, it will lower the unit’s ability to raise the water temperature.

Excess sediment in the tank

Sediment settles along the bottom of the tank over time, and if enough accumulates in a gas water heater, it will block transfer of heat into the tank. If you hear a kettling sound from the tank, you should schedule a professional to flush the tank and remove the sediment layer.

Broken dip tube

The dip tube carries water into the water heater and down through the tank to the heat exchanger at the bottom, where it’s heated and then rises to the top of the tank to be pumped out. A broken dip tube will deposit cold water at the top of the tank, mixing with the hot water and lowering water temperature.

The water heater is too old

Unfortunately, heat loss from a water heater is an early sign the unit is beginning to fail because it’s worn down with age. No water heater can last forever, and once your water heater is over twenty years old, it becomes more likely it will start to decline. When this happens, ask our water heater professionals if repairs are still cost-effective or if the better long-term solution is a new water heater. 

Trust our water heater experts

When it comes to water heaters in Santa Clarita, CA, we’re the people to call. We install and repair both standard storage tank water heaters and energy-saving tankless water heaters. Please ask about tankless systems, which offer several tremendous benefits for the right homes.

Husted Plumbing has been family-owned and operated since 1935. Schedule service with us today if you have concerns about your water heater.

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