There is little that can start your day off worse than a cold shower. Hot water is vital to many things we do every day such as cooking and cleaning. When you find that you have little to no hot water, you have to investigate and troubleshoot the problem. Here are some of the more common causes of hot water problems and the signs to watch out for.
The Water Heater Could Be Too Old to Function
Old water heaters should be replaced every 8 to 12 years, depending on the make and model. When a water heater has reached the end of its life, it may stop working without any warning. If your water is not as warm as it usually is, check the manual for your hot water heater to ensure that it doesn't need to be replaced.
The Thermostat Could Be Set Wrong
The thermostat temperature may not match the temperature of the water coming from the water heater. Check the knob on the heater and set it appropriately. Water heaters also come with "vacation" modes that allow you to use less energy to heat the water but only gives a small amount for the user. These settings are not recommended for daily use.
There Could Be a Leak Somewhere
If there is a leak in your hot water heater, it will refill continuously and attempt to heat the new water. Leaks are easy to spot, since there is generally a puddle of water under the hot water heater.
There Could Be Build Up and Sediment in the Pipes or Tank
Systems with hard water running through them on a daily basis can have build up in the pipes. These will need to be cleaned and flushed out in order for the system to work correctly. When this happens, small debris and pieces of sediment may come from the faucets.
The Heating Element May Need To Be Replaced
The water heater may need a new heating element. This is the part of the machine that helps to heat and maintain the correct temperature for the water. If you're getting only ice-cold water, this part should be assessed and replaced if necessary.
If you find that you cannot fix or locate the problem, speak with a professional plumber. Plumbing issues can become dangerous or detrimental quickly, so it is imperative to have them addressed as quickly as possible.
For professional plumbing help, contact a company such as Roto-Rooter.