Many people practically can’t survive without hot water in their homes. While this is a must-have during the winter season, homes in other regions get extremely cold tap water throughout the year, especially in the mornings. It would be nearly impossible to take a shower, as the icy feel of water on your skin is intolerable. Hence, ensuring that your hot water system is running perfectly is paramount.
Hot water is used for bathrooms and in the kitchen sink. Unfortunately, you may experience some issues with the system now and then. Knowing about them beforehand is advantageous, as you know how to tackle these issues whenever they occur. Here are some of the most common hot water issues and their corresponding solutions:
Insufficient Hot Water
One of the most common problems many homeowners experience is hot water shortage. It’s possible that your water heater doesn’t produce enough hot water to satisfy the needs of your entire household.
It’s worth noting that your hot water needs should not exceed 75 percent of the water heater’s capacity. If, for instance, you have a 200-liter hot water cylinder, you can only expect it to supply 150 liters at any time.
Therefore, it’s best to get a larger tank due to the difference in the actual and perceived capacity. However, if this is beyond your budget, you can consider other alternatives. For example, you can schedule different chores throughout the day to distribute hot water consumption rather than doing all of them at the same time. You can also ask your family to shorten shower times.
In the event that your tank is no longer producing a sufficient supply of hot water than it previously used to, this means it’s a different issue. It could be that there’s a failed heating element in the system unit. In a shower, getting consistently lukewarm water indicates a defective upper heater. When this happens, it’s best to seek professional help. Hot water solutions contractors, like Pipe Dream Plumbing & Drainage or others, could help you out with such issues.
Strong Water Smell
There’s a chance that your hot water tank may have a buildup of bacteria if you notice a strange smell whenever you turn it on. One of the primary causes of bacteria buildup is blockages within the hot water system.
This is why it’s important to prevent clogs and blocked drains in your sinks and bathrooms, plus everywhere else in the system. One way to get rid of these piled-up bacteria is to increase your hot water’s temperature to a maximum of 140 degrees. This is enough to get rid of the bacterial elements responsible for the foul odor.
However, this is a hazardous temperature level. So, ensure that no one uses the waterline when carrying out this operation. Try to allow hot water to run for about one hour or so, to remove all the sediments, residues, algae, grimes, and other impurities in the line. You can also clean your water tank by using strong cleaning solutions, like bleach, to remove all dirt.
Sometimes, you may have to wait for several minutes for the water to heat up once you turn on the hot water faucet. If so, know that there could be a problem with your hot water system. Although there are different underlying reasons for this, one of the most common issues is the distance between the water heater system and the faucet.
Lengthy pipes between the faucet and the water heater may store cold water. This has to flow out first before you start getting the hot water. One solution for this issue is to directly set up a tankless water heater system in your bathroom. Such point-of-use designs eliminate the need for lengthy pipes, meaning you get hot water from the tap immediately when you turn it on.
Water Heater Leaks
While fixing a leaky faucet can be easy, this might be different with water heater leaks. It’ll require you to inspect the tank and other components before coming up with a solution. And this issue is hard to avoid, given the many probable causes.
For instance, it could be due to the tank’s age, wherein wear and tear over many years finally takes a toll on it. If not, the leak could be a result of faulty temperature and pressure relief valves. Other possible causes of leaks include overheating, wrong water pressure, damaged gaskets, and loose bolts on the heating unit.
Fix any obvious leaks in your plumbing by tightening any loose connections. However, ensure not to overtighten them, as this can lead to a graver issue with the connections. When you tighten any loose connection and still find some leaks, perhaps you need to replace the gasket.
Lastly, suppose the leak is a result of internal corrosion. In that case, your water heating unit has a more serious problem and will need to be replaced or professionally repaired. You can have a plumbing expert check out whether it’s still fixable.
Water heaters typically last for decades without issues. But as time passes by, you’ll start experiencing minor to moderate or severe problems with them. Knowing the common hot water heater issues and their corresponding solutions helps you to better manage your household’s hot water supply. Use the tips mentioned above to diagnose and fix minor problems. For the more complex ones, you better rely on professional plumbers.