No one likes running out of hot water. What’s worse is when your water heater is consistently running out of water or failing to heat it up properly.
Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo
There are several reasons why a water heater might not be working as well as it used to. Fortunately, it’s usually something we can fix.
1. New Fixtures or Appliances
Have you replaced your old showerhead with a luxurious high flow rate model? Did you install a new bathtub or a large-capacity dishwasher?
It could be that nothing is wrong with your water heater at all; it simply isn’t big enough to accommodate the change.
Traditional water heaters store hot water in a tank, keeping it warm for when you need it. Once the tank is about two-thirds empty, you will have to wait for it to refill and heat up to get more.
Adding new appliances that consume water increases the hot water demand in your home, draining the tank faster than before. Replacing old faucets or showerheads can have the same result.
There are two main solutions to this problem: reduce your hot water use, or upgrade to a new water heater. Either a larger tank-style water heater or a properly-sized tankless water heater can keep the hot water flowing.
2. Defective Dip Tube
The dip tube refills the water heater tank as you use up hot water. Since the outlet that sends warm water to your taps is near the top of the tank, the dip tube releases its cold water near the bottom.
A defective dip tube could be one reason why your water heater isn’t working as well as it used to. If the tube has a tear near the top, it will release cold water near the warm water outlet and result in lukewarm water that ought to be hot.
Dip tubes don’t malfunction nearly as often now as they did in the 1990’s, but it can happen. Fortunately, replacing the dip tube isn’t too time-consuming.
If you’re not confident replacing a water heater dip tube yourself, call a plumber or an HVAC company that offers water heater repair services in your area.
3. Sediment Build-Up
Water heaters in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area deal with relatively hard water. As a result, the tank develops a layer of mineral sediment on the inside over time, which flakes off and accumulates at the bottom of the tank.
Sediment can reduce energy-efficiency and prevent the water from heating up as well as it should. If your water heater isn’t working as well as it used to, and it has never been flushed, this could be the cause.
Flushing a water heater is a messy job, so we recommend having it serviced by a trustworthy company.
4. Problems with the Heating System
Whether your water heater is gas-powered or electric, various components in the heating system can malfunction.
Problems with the heating element, thermostat, or (in the case of a gas water heater) pilot tube can prevent the water from heating up as much as it should. Unfortunately, these issues are difficult to diagnose as a homeowner.
Have the tank inspected by a qualified HVAC technician if you suspect problems with your water heater’s heating system.
5. Increase in Hot Water Demand
As mentioned, most water heaters store water in a tank. Once the supply is exhausted, you’ll have to wait for the tank to refill. But what does it mean if you keep running out of hot water faster than usual?
Sometimes, this poor performance is rooted in one of the issues we’ve discussed: a defective dip tube, sediment build-up, or problems with the heating systems. Other times, it has more to do with your water usage habits.
Think about how things might have changed in recent months. Are there more people living in the house? Is someone spending more time at home? Are you washing more dishes and clothing?
It could simply be that you’re using more water than usual, and your water heater cannot keep up. If the change is permanent, we recommend upgrading to a tankless water heater or a tank-style heater that holds more water.
Water Heater Installation and Service in Toronto
Water heater not working as well as it used to? AtlasCare can help, whether you’re looking to upgrade or get your old unit back to peak performance.
Call us or fill out our contact form to receive a free quote for our water heater services in Toronto.
Since acquiring AtlasCare in 1986, Roger has shaped the company into what many consider to be the finest HVAC contractor in the Greater Toronto Area.
Latest posts by Roger Grochmal (see all)
- Here’s Why You Should Replace Your Air Conditioner This Winter - March 15, 2019
- Winter 2019 in Ontario — When Will It End? - February 27, 2019
- What Most People Don’t Know About HVAC Warranties - February 21, 2019