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What Do I Do? - Hot Water Is Not Running Hot

By Jon Ching on December 18, 2018

You might notice that your hot water is not as running as hot as it used to be. It might be a gradual change, or it might have changed overnight. There are a few different reasons this can happen, and several possible fixes that usually will result in calling your local plumbing and heating specialist.

Although, before you call your plumber, you should check the temperature that your water heater is set to. If it looks to be lower than usually, trying turning it up a few degrees. Do not set a temperature any hotter than 120ºF. Any higher temperature is scalding and can cause burns to whoever is using it. If the temperature is not the issue, read on to see what the possible issues can be with your hot water heater.

One common reason for older hot water heaters made before 1997 is that the dip tube can be broken in your hot water heater. This piece is where the incoming cold water enters the tank. A dip tube should shoot the water to the bottom of the tank where it can be heated, but if it is broken then the water remains at the top of the tank and does not heat as quickly or effectively. This cold water will still run through your faucet or shower, even when you are on the hot setting.

Another common problem with older hot water heaters (made in the last 10-15 years) is a faulty heating system. This issue can also arise if you aren’t getting the recommended maintenance done on your system, like cleanings. The fault might come from the thermal switch, thermostat, or heating element. These parts need to be sometimes need to be replaced every few years based on your usage and maintenance schedule.

Old plumbing systems are often built using cross connections. This sometimes causes low water temperature, or even cold water getting into the hot water pipe which will cause your hot water to not be hot enough.

Another reason for your hot water running at a lower temperature can be sediment build up in your hot water heater tank. The water than events the tank can carry dissolved minerals and debris. As the water is heated, the debris settles at the bottom of the tank and will build up overtime. This build up causes your hot water heater to heat with poor efficiency and will lead to not fully heated water.

If your plumbing and heating technician finds that your hot water heater is running in good working condition, there are a few other things that could be contributing to your hot water not being hot enough. Has your household size or water usage recently changed? Your water heater might not be the right size for your current usage, and the hot water is getting used up quicker than it was in the past. This can happen when someone showers before you or runs a hot-water appliance before you shower.

J2 Plumbing and Heating has certified technicians that are trained to find and repair the issues with your plumbing and heating systems. If you aren’t sure why your water is running cold, give us a call today at 1-833-523-4948.

About Jon Ching