AugerPros Plumbing Blog

Why Am I Running Out of Hot Water?

There are many different reasons why your water heater isn’t producing enough hot water. The unit could be too small for your usage, or the water heater settings may be incorrect, or perhaps it is on its way of going out. Sediment buildup, broken dip tubes or heating elements, and leaks can all cause your hot water to vanish. Determining how you’re running out of hot water, will enable you to hone in on the problem. Read the reasons why you could be running out of hot water below and see if any resonate.

You’re not getting any hot water at all

Your water heater has a thermostat that dictates how hot your water gets. It is similar in function to every other thermostat, you program it for how hot you want your water, and your elements heat to that temperature. If your issue is you are not getting any hot water at all, then your thermostat may be set improperly or not working.

Most water heaters have a reset button. Click the button to reset it. Somewhere on your electric water heater, you’ll find a reset button. It’s usually red and often located near the thermostat. It may also be hidden behind a removable metal panel on the unit—and then behind some insulation. Once you find the button, push and release it. In case that doesn’t work, locate the thermostat itself and make sure it’s set correctly. If you still have the owner’s manual, the manufacturer should have included the settings inside. If you are like me and have long ago lost the manual, google it online. Set to the heat you want, then try resetting again. If that still doesn’t do the trick, give Auger Pros Plumbing a call!!

You run out of hot water after a very short period of time

Depending  on the age and type of your water heater, there are a couple  of reasons  you don’t have enough hot water:

  • Electric water heaters commonly have two heating elements, one on top and one on the bottom.  
  • The top heating element repeatedly re-heats the water near the top of the tank. The bottom heating element heats all the water added to the tank to store it at a constant hot temperature. At least, that’s what it should be doing.
  • If your bottom heating element stops working, then it isn’t heating most of the water in your tank properly. Instead, you’ll be forced to rely on the small quantity of water your top element heats. When that water runs out, your water heater will send you unheated water instead… which makes for the hot/cold shower shock we all hate. To fix this problem, replace your tank’s bottom water heater element. Give us a call and we will get your showers more comfortable quickly!!

You have multiple appliances running at the same time

If you’ve grown up with siblings, you probably purposely flushed the toilet or turned the faucet on in order to turn their shower cold, just to show some brotherly love. This is a common reason why you run out of hot water fast, through running multiple appliances at once or having multiple faucets going at the same time. The hot water is trying to reach all of the appliances that need it, and because of this, it runs out faster than if only one was running at a time. Your water heater is probably too small for your usage. Conventional water heaters can supply an amount of water equal to the size of their storage tank. If you use more water than the tank can provide, then your heater spends 20 to 30 minutes reheating new water. If your household has grown in size, or you moved in somewhere where the previous owners didn’t have as many people, you may consider installing a bigger water tank. You can also ask us about tankless water heaters, That could avoid this issue.

Your water comes out in spurts of hot and cold

Water naturally has minerals and other sediments in it, and over time, these minerals and sediments build up in your water heater, which can cause you to run out of hot water faster than you did before. This is because the buildup reduces the capacity of your water heater, which means that you have less hot water than you did without the buildup taking up that space. Cleaning out the sediment will make it so that your water heater has the room it did before. We recommend either doing it yourself or having the professionals perform a full drain and flush around once per year. If you keep running out of hot water even after a flush, then it’s possible that too much sediment has built up. Unfortunately, the only way to solve that problem is to replace your tank. In fact, you should replace it quickly… or it could… explode.

Or You Could be running out of hot water because the water heater is just old

Water heaters don’t last forever. Generally, water heaters last around 7-10 years. If your water heater is nearing the end of its life span, this could be why you run out of hot water so fast. If this is the case, the best fix is to replace your water heater. A new water heater will make it so that you don’t run out of hot water so very quickly.

Auger Pros Plumbing knows how important it is to have hot water in order to maintain a comfortable running home. Especially in the winter, you want your hot water to last as long as you need it running for. We can help you find out why you run out of hot water so fast and either repair or replace your water heater. For questions or more information about our water heater services, Please give us a call!