Why Does My Hot Water Run Out So Quickly?
Have you ever experienced this: you’re at home, getting ready for a day of pampering, you’re filling up your bathtub with that hot water to relax in when you suddenly realise halfway through that your water is already running cold? Your whole relaxation plan is ruined just because you ran out of hot water. We know how frustrating this can be, especially if you have a growing family where hot water is necessary for every member of the household.
Don’t fret, everyone has faced this problem at least once. There is definitely a solution to every hot water dilemma, and it is definitely not just boiling water by the pot! Here are a few things you need to know about hot water, simple solutions so you don’t run out, and water heating systems so that you never run out of hot water again!
Many reasons why your hot water to runs out so quickly in the water tank
Before you can fix a problem, you must first know its root. There are plenty of reasons why your hot water may run out quickly. Here are some of the most common causes:
1. Old water heater
If you’ve had your water heater for ages, you may want to consider it as a factor as to why your water runs out too quickly. Like any other piece of equipment or fixture, water heaters also deteriorate and become less effective over time. While the Australian Taxation Office does not provide for an estimate as to the depreciable value of water tanks/heaters, this is something you can ask from your manufacturer right away.
However, if your water heater is already installed, you may want to observe how it’s working. If you have a 10-year-old water heater, it may be time to start looking for possible problems like deterioration, leaking, and the like. Of course, if you find any issues, it may be a good idea to replace your water heater. One of those things could be the cause of hot water running out too quickly.
2. Small water heater
This may be obvious in some instances, but sometimes, you never really know until you see for yourself. If you run out of hot water quickly, one of the main reasons why may be that your water heater may not be big enough for the family. Water heaters come in all different sizes and types, and if you moved into a new home, for instance, or are growing your family, it might be one of the things you’ve overlooked.
Sizes of water heaters vary to meet every household’s needs. Before you blame it on the piping or other factors, you should check to be sure that your water heater has enough capacity to run hot water that’s enough for the family.
An excellent way to determine the proper size for your water heater is to start with at least 90-litres of water, and add 40 litres more for every person in your household. This is the best way to ensure that your family is being cost-effective, yet at the same time, is capable of meeting all the needs of the family.
Remember that family size cannot be the sole consideration in choosing the size of your water heater. If you live in much colder climates, hot water is often needed and used a lot regardless of size of the household.
For tankless water supplies, the size of the heating unit is also essential. Since a tankless water supply or instantaneous water system is designed to make hot water available immediately, the details that must be taken into account is the type of home where the unit is to be installed and the current state of the house’s plumbing. Only an expert can determine the proper size of a tankless unit for your household. Thus, if you plan to switch to a tankless unit or you’re having a problem with your own unit, it might be best to put it in the hands of professional plumbers.
3. Sediment build-up
The most common problem with water heaters is sediment build-up. Unknown to most, when your water heater fills with water, that water contains minerals. These minerals settle in your water tank and accumulate until you have little space in your water heater, so you have to check in every now and then. Dirt can also find its way into the tank.
In case of sediment build up, you really need to take time to flush all those minerals and dirt out of your water heater. Cleaning this out is a simple task, but it does take a lot of time to do so, especially if you own a large water tank. Here are the things you need to do:
- First, empty your water tank, make sure that you have thoroughly rinsed it.
- Second, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Water heaters are not like plates or glasses. Care must be taken to clean the water heater and ensure that the water heater remains functional. Some manufacturers even have a detailed safety precautions that must be followed to successfully clean the water tank unit.
This can be a big job and you don’t have to do yourself, you can always hire a trustworthy and professional plumbing service to do the job for you.
4. Old or broken thermostat
The thermostat is set at the perfect temperature for your morning bath but the water still runs cold? It may not be because you’ve run out of cold water, but because your thermostat isn’t working properly! There are times when thermostats are faulty. This can be due to changes in the environment where it is situated, or the age of your thermostat.
In such cases, it is advisable to reset your thermostat first to check if it is set at the temperature you want it to be. It might just be at the wrong temperature than you want. Do tests first. For instance, raise the temperature to high then set it low to see if the thermostat changes before contacting your plumber if the problems still occur.
5. Piping issues
When using the water from the shower or from the faucet, you can always set the proper temperature. This is not without its issues. You can run out of hot water due to piping problems as there are cases when they are broken or faulty. Unknowingly, cold and hot water can mistakenly be combined. Then they come out of the faucet cold, making you think that you’ve run out of hot water when in fact, you haven’t.
You may have a good water tank and a working thermostat, but your pipes might be so old or broken that no good water tank could fix. In such these cases, you need the help of a reliable plumbing service that can repair what you have, install proper piping, and advise you on appropriate care and maintenance.
6. Incorrect system
Unknown to most, your heating system is also crucial not only to meet your hot water needs but also to save money. Water heating accounts for approximately 25% of household costs in Australia, most of which used is the bathroom, laundry, and in the kitchen.
Selecting the right system will help you be more cost efficient as systems are able to be customised according to your household, home, climate, budget, and the like. There is a water heating system suited to every home. It is impossible to run out of hot water if the family has chosen the right system suitable to them. You may be using a water tank, but you actually need to have a different system to ensure you never run out of hot water.
Importance of Water Tank Heater Safety and Maintenance in Storing Hot Water
Poor water heater maintenance can lead to unhealthy conditions. It doesn’t matter if the heat in the water heater is still working, or if it still stores hot water. If there is no regular maintenance, members of the family can become ill because of the sediments in the water and possible rust from having an old or defective water tank.
Also, things to be taken into consideration are the small parts of a water tank such as the safety valve or temperature pressure relief valve, which is designed to release hot water when there is too much pressure or too much heat. Parts like that, and the thermostat, are things that require replacement every few months or years. The safety valve and temperature pressure relief valve must be replaced or examined through regular maintenance every five years. Failure to do so could risk you, your family, or your business. You may have hot water all year round, but such is but a small immediate satisfaction and is nothing compared to the harm that carelessness may bring.
Types of water heaters that can stop hot water from running out too quickly
Australia has made sure that there are several water heating technologies available to every household. Currently, there are two main types of water heaters, your basic water heater tanks and instantaneous flow systems. While the systems are different, both of them can be powered with gas or electricity.
Water heater tanks are pretty straightforward. As discussed, with this system water is heated in a tank. It stays heated and ready to be used anytime it is necessary. The energy source is not limited to gas and electricity, there is now solar energy and ambient air that can be used to heat the water tank.
For instantaneous flow systems, however, the system only heats water when needed. Unlike tanks, energy is not constantly used to sustain the temperature needed in case of use. There are no heat losses.
This is not to say that instantaneous flow systems are best. The best system is not merely based on the properties of the system itself. It also has to do with where you are.
For instance, if you find that you’re in an area where it is always sunny, the upfront investment required for solar panels may be repaid as they will be cost efficient. You will never run out of the water if your area is sunny all year round and won’t even need to pay a lot for it!
In certain areas of Australia, solar water heaters have become increasingly popular because they are incredibly cost-efficient and less detrimental to our environment due to using sustainable energy.
Never run out of hot water with Green Planet Plumbing
Having plumbing problems? Contact Green Planet Plumbing in Newcastle today! Green Planet Plumbing has a commitment to using only the most environmentally friendly means and methods to fix your plumbing needs – from blocked drains, toilet repair, hot water maintenance and the like, you can bet on Green Planet Plumbing to do them for you!
We even provide information on ways to conserve energy and store water through sustainable energy. Our team focuses on grey water recycling, solar hot water systems, rainwater tanks, and more to make sure you aren’t spending more than you actually need to.
We make sure that we are not only addressing our clients’ problems, but we also go the extra mile by providing additional information to maintain their water tanks in a healthy and environmentally friendly way.
Here in Green Planet Plumbing, we help repair and create simple changes that will save you more water and energy!