showerhead against a blue wall

Why Am I Always Running Out Of Hot Water?

Never having enough hot water is a frustrating problem, especially on a cold morning when you need to warm up! If a lack of hot water is a continual problem in your home, below are a few things that might be causing the issue.

1. Your tank water heater is too small for your household.

Does nobody like being the last one to shower in your house? If the last person finds themselves without enough hot water, then your home’s water heater tank is probably too small. You have a couple of options: you can install a larger water heater or try to stagger your family’s showers so that some of you shower at night while others shower in the morning.

2. You’re using too much hot water at once for your tankless water heater.

Tankless water heaters have a flow rate measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Their flow rate is the amount of hot water they can dispense (in gallons) every minute. If your home’s tankless water heater has a high enough GPM for a hot shower and a load of laundry, but you’re also running the dishwasher and using hot water to wash your hands at the same time, there might not be enough hot water to go around in your household.

The easiest solution is to stagger your hot water usage so that you’re not using it at multiple sources simultaneously. If you’re part of a large, busy household, you can also consider installing a second tankless water heater. For instance, you might want to devote one water heater to your appliances and kitchen, while the other can be dedicated to your bathrooms.

3. Your water heater is old and needs to be replaced.

Your water heater will need a replacement eventually. Tankless water heaters should last 20 or more years before needing a replacement, but tank water heaters generally last only 8 to 12 years on average.

As these plumbing fixtures age, they can struggle to heat water. Additionally, tank water heaters become increasingly prone to sediment buildup. As layers and layers of minerals blanket the heating element and the bottom of the tank, the water heater loses both tank capacity and the ability to heat water efficiently.

4. A thermostatic mixing valve needs to be replaced.

Thermostatic mixing valves are devices in plumbing fixtures like showerheads and faucets that prevent you from getting scalded. They can detect sudden drops in water pressure and adjust the flow of hot or cold water to keep the temperature of the water coming out consistent. These valves can wear out over time. When that happens, you might experience water temperature that changes between hot and cold and vice versa from a particular faucet or showerhead.

Are you having water temperature problems in your home? Trust the Columbus plumbers at The Rooter Works Plumbing and Drains to get to the bottom of the issue: (614) 412-3324.