Ways To Avoid Running Out Of Hot Water

Ways To Avoid Running Out Of Hot Water

water heaterNothing is worse than being in the shower and running out of hot water halfway through. It’s literally a chilling experience, and one no homeowner ever wants to experience, especially first hand. There are several possible causes for this, such as having too small of a hot water tank for your home and needs, or more commonly having a malfunctioning thermocouple that could need hot water repair. Thermocouple problems have given more work to plumbers than you could possibly imagine, which is astounding considering how easy they are to diagnose, even for the layman.

First the basics: All the hot water in your home is from a hot water heater, and this is heated by either electrical elements or gas. In the case of gas, the heat is regulated by a thermocouple that tells the burners when to kick on and heat the tank. After some years this thermocouple will start to wear out and only heat the water to a small degree. The typical symptom of this is that you will only get a small amount of hot water before it gets cold quick. If you start to notice you’re running out of hot water quicker than ever before, and it’s getting quicker and quicker, the first culprit to look at is a worn out thermocouple. The best thing is that these things aren’t expensive and replacing them is nearly as easy as relighting a pilot light.

If you’re dealing with an electrically heated system, the same failings will happen but the problem here is most likely at least one burned out element in the system, but this fix requires turning off the heater and checking the continuity of the element to the others, which might be too much for the average homeowner to handle.

There is a solution for smaller homes where there is only one or two people using hot water, and that’s tankless units that only heat up water as it’s being needed. Problem with these is that they are more prone to being undersized for the need and can really only supply hot water to one need at a time, so taking a shower while someone does dishes is kinda out of the question.

Lacking hot water shouldn’t be a surprise a homeowner has to deal with. Luckily, if it happens there are easy ways to tell what the cause is, and in many cases an easy fix.

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