Like most homeowners, you probably don’t think about hot water or your water heater until something is wrong. One change in the hot water supply that never goes unnoticed is when suddenly it seems to be taking longer to get hot water or you just feel like you’re getting less hot water in general. If you think your water heater is taking longer than normal to heat up, there are several conditions that may be causing the delay.
Sediment buildup. A large portion of the U.S. has what’s know as hard water. Hard water refers to water that has a high concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium that can build up inside of your faucets, showerheads, and water-using appliances over time. This buildup, often characterized by a chalky white substance, can cause your plumbing and appliances to operate less efficiently and effectively over time. This scaly substance can also accumulate in the tank of your water heater, reducing the overall capacity of the tank and forcing the heating elements or gas burner to work longer to heat the water inside.
Failing heating elements or faulty burner. If you have an aging water heater that is more than ten years old, the heating elements in your electric water heater or the burner in your gas water heater may be showing the early signs of failure by not keeping up with your hot water demand as efficiently as they once did.
Change in season. If you just started to notice the hot water drop off in the winter months, that may be because the incoming groundwater temperature is much lower than it was in the summer and fall months. This drop in temperature means your water heater has to work harder to raise the incoming water temperature to the set temperature of your water heater, which is typically 120◦F.
Using more hot water. The kids come home from college. You have guests for a few days. There’s been a change in your daily schedule. Any of these scenarios can change up when and how much hot water is being used at different times throughout the day. In this case, it may not be a matter of your water heater not working but instead a case of it not being able to keep up. If the change in demand seems like it’s going to be permanent and hot water is a frequent problem, it’s probably time to consider sizing up to a larger water heater tank.
If you have concerns about your home’s water heater and need advice, request an appointment with a trusted IT Landes plumber. A professional plumber can easily diagnose what’s causing your hot water delay and can recommend preventive maintenance, needed repairs, or a replacement based on your needs. To learn more about our water heater options, visit itlandes.com/water-heater-installation.