4 Things That Can Cause Your Water Heater To Stop Making Hot Water Or Run Out Too Fast

Posted on: 3 August 2020

You rely on your water heater to keep your showers warm and kitchen water hot. You probably don't think too much about your water heater until it suddenly stops working. Several things can go wrong with a water heater whether it's an electric or gas model. Here are four reasons a water heater can't keep up with your demands for hot water.

1. The Tank Is Too Small

If you just moved your family into a new home or if the number of people living in your home has increased, the water heater tank may be too small to keep up with your needs. If you have hot water sometimes, but it runs out too fast, the solution might be to buy a larger heater or to add a tankless heater to your system.

However, malfunctions with the heater might be causing the problem of not enough hot water, so call a plumber to check your heater and offer advice on whether it needs to be repaired or replaced.

2. A Heating Element Is Bad

If a heating element in the tank is not working, then the water won't get as hot as it should. An electric water heater usually has two heating elements. One is at the top and the other is toward the bottom of the tank. These elements are controlled by thermostats and safety switches, so a plumber needs to determine if the element itself is bad or if the problem is with the thermostat or other electronic parts that control the heating element. Any of these parts, even a heating element, can be replaced when they're bad.

3. The Thermocouple Is Bad

The thermocouple is a part of a gas water heater that is part of the pilot light system. The thermocouple allows the pilot light to ignite the burner, but if the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple turns off the gas so gas doesn't leak in your home.

This is an important safety feature, but if the thermocouple is bad, it can keep your gas water heater from igniting and that means you'll have no hot water. A plumber can put in a new thermocouple so your water heater works as it should.

4. There Are Power Or Plumbing Problems

Sometimes you may be out of hot water even when nothing is wrong with the water heater. Solving this problem can take a bit of detective work by the plumber. An electric heater might have an electrical supply problem if something is wrong with the circuit breaker in the electrical panel or if there is bad wiring. A gas heater might have problems with gas flow, such as a valve that's been shut off.

There could also be trouble with a plumbing leak that keeps your tank from filling with water and heating. If water leaks out of the tank because the heater is rusted, you'll need to replace your water heater, but if the problem is in a supply pipe, a plumber has to track down the leak and then repair it.

For more information on water heaters, reach out to a local plumber.

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