Unless you like cold showers or dirty dishes, hot water is a necessity in your home. In fact, it’s easy to take hot water for granted, until you are the lucky one who is in the shower when it runs out. The sudden loss of hot water can quickly get your attention. Let’s take a look at why hot water runs out and how you can prevent it from happening in your home.
Much like its same suggests, hot water heaters have the responsibility of heating water and sending hot water when you demand it. Unfortunately, traditional water heaters are limited by storage capacity and require many working components to stay at optimal performance. This increases the chances of running out of hot water, especially if you have an older tank or multiple people living in your home.
How a Hot Water Heater Works
There are two different types of water heaters: tank and tankless. They both heat up existing water and send it through the pipes to the faucet where you demanded it. However, they each heat water differently. A tank water heater will hold and heat water in a large drum. Cold water is pumped into the tank and sinks to the bottom where it is heated. This triggers the hot water to rise to the top of the tank and into the pipes when needed. A tankless water heater works differently and does not involve a large drum or tank. It receives smaller amounts of water at a time and heats it up quickly before delivering it into your plumbing system. A tankless heater is more expensive, but this “on-demand” method requires less storage space and is more efficient. Each water heater type can be heated through gas, electricity or propane.
Why Your Hot Water Suddenly Disappears?
Running out of hot water unexpectedly is often either a capacity issue or mechanical failure. If you have a tank heater and your demands have exceeded the amount of hot water your tank can hold and produce, the hot water runs out. It can refill and reheat, but not if it doesn’t have enough time to do so between uses. Therefore, it may be a matter of too many people showering at one time, or running the dishwasher and washing machine while bathing. A tankless water heater can also struggle to keep up if you are using more than one faucet at a time.
Just like any other working system in your home, your water heater can suffer damage or simply wear down over time. All water heaters are subject to malfunctions that cause heating failure. Depending on the source of energy, age of water heater and type of water heater, your system should be maintained on a specific timetable. If not, you may experience the ramifications through cold showers and frustrated mornings. Many heaters have a lifespan of 10-15 years – when is the last time you had yours serviced?
How to Prevent Cold Showers
In conclusion, if you are running out of hot water on a frequent basis, it is best to consider the demand you are putting on your hot water heater. Try staggering your showers or waiting until no one is home to run the dishwasher or washing machine. If usage isn’t the problem, hire a professional plumber to evaluate the health and condition of your water heater. At Metro Septic and Plumbing, we can educate you on the size and type of water heater that is best for your household. Our experts also handle maintenance, repairs and installations for tank and tankless water heaters. Call today to get a quote!