Why is the hot water not hot enough and peaking at lukewarm? At the start of the day, a deceptively mild shower when you want a hot one can put you in a cranky mood. What’s going on? It’s a frustrating problem, and it doesn’t stop with your shower. The problem is all over the house. Even the water in the kitchen sink doesn’t get as hot as it should.
What’s the cause your water not hot enough?
You’re likely facing a faulty water heater. The onset of problems with your water heater is a dreadful thing for most people, due to it being an intimidating piece of equipment. However, there’s usually a simple explanation why your water won’t heat as it should. Check out the following reasons that you may be struggling with your water heater:
Pilot or Burner Failure
The pilot is a small flame that’s always on at the base of your water heater. It’s this flame that’s used to light the main burner that heats your water. If the pilot goes out, your hot water simply won’t heat up. Sometimes, fixing the pilot is as easy as switching the control knob to “on” and making sure it’s lit. If it doesn’t light, then you’ll need the help of a professional to solve the problem.
The burner could also be causing problems. If it isn’t coming on, it could be a thermostat issue or a burner failure issue. To test this, you should check your water heater’s thermostat and turn it to about 120 degrees. Then, run some hot water in your home for a few minutes and return to see if the burner ignites. If it won’t ignite, try adjusting your thermostat to a lower temperature and then a higher temperature after a few minutes. Run more hot water to get more cold water in the system and see if your burner turns on. If not, you may be facing a thermostat or burner issue that should be seen by a professional.
Broken Gas Valve
The unmistakable smell of gas, which is similar to the smell of rotten eggs or garbage, is the telltale sign of a broken gas valve. If you notice this smell when you get close to your water heater, the reason your water isn’t heating is probably a leak in your gas line or valve, meaning there isn’t enough gas to heat the water properly. This is a dangerous problem that needs to be taken care of right away! Turn the gas valve control to the “off” position. Then, call your gas company or plumbing specialist as soon as possible to take a look at the issue.
Broken Internal Heating Element
Most gas water heaters have two heating elements. If one of them breaks, your water heater won’t work as well and the one element remaining will have to work twice as hard. To avoid having the second one break as well, make sure you get your water heater checked.
Even if the hot water does work, it may not be hot enough to enjoy. Then you’re left with mediocre.
Other problems that might affect how well your water heater heats the water include the dip tube and sediment build-up. The dip tube is a special piece that pumps cold water into your tank strategically so that the water heats up evenly. If there’s a crack in the dip tube, it could lead to uneven heating of the water which means you’ll occasionally get lukewarm or even cold water when you want hot water. In many cases, the best option when facing a dip tube problem is to replace your water heater. Your trusted Orange County plumber can help you make your decision.
Sediment build-up is another issue that may affect your water heater’s efficiency. Get your tank occasionally cleaned to ensure maximum functioning. If this is a recurring issue, you may want to consider getting a water softener which will reduce the mineral content in your water. This will result in less sediment build-up in your heater, meaning fewer cleanings are necessary to maintain efficiency.
Getting water that is nice and hot throughout your house will improve your quality of life and make your morning shower much more pleasant. Also, it can help your dishwasher work more efficiently. So, don’t ignore a change in your water temperature! Diagnose and solve the problem right away so that you can have not only hot water but peace of mind that risks related to gas leaks are eliminated.