Ahh! There’s nothing like a nice steamy shower to get you going in the morning … unless the hot water is only lukewarm, that is (sigh).
What in the world is causing this and how do you fix it? Follow our guide to troubleshoot your hot water problem.
1. Tripped Breaker
If you own an electric water heater, first see whether the power source has been interrupted by a tripped breaker. Because the hot water tank will cool down gradually, the hot water will be only lukewarm for some time before it becomes completely cold.
To fix the problem, flip the appropriate circuit breaker to “On.” This should cause your water heater to start up again. (Don’t plan on jumping into a scalding shower right away, though. It will take some time to heat the water thoroughly.) If the heater doesn’t restart, or if the breaker trips continually, you could have an electrical problem with your water heater.
2. Faulty Thermostat
Check the thermostat to see whether it’s been reset incorrectly. The thermostat should be set at 60° C, which is the recommended water heater temperature to prevent contamination of your hot water. (However, it’s wise to install a water-mixing or other anti-scald device.)
If the setting is all right, the thermostat itself may be faulty and need replacing. Your electric water heater tank might be equipped with two thermostats; in this case, replace them both at the same time.
3. Broken Gas Valve
As with any appliance, parts will start to wear down eventually. If your hot water heater is over a decade old, there’s a chance its gas valve has been damaged.
If you start to smell rotten eggs around your hot water tank, it’s likely due to a broken or leaking gas line. This means the cold water isn’t being heated up properly.
A gas leak is an urgent and dangerous problem that shouldn’t be fixed with DIY methods. Switch off your gas and call your energy provider or plumber.
4. Broken Internal Heating Element
If you have an electric water heater, they generally have two heating elements. When one of them breaks, the other has to work twice as hard to heat cold water.
Consistently lukewarm water can be caused by a problem with the upper heating elements. If you have a short-lived supply of hot water, it could indicate a problem with the lower heating elements.
Regular maintenance will help prevent damage from occurring, but if you’re already dealing with broken heating elements, it’s time to call in a plumber.
5. Leaking Water Heater
Your water heater tank might be leaking for several different reasons.
One of the most common reasons is due to corrosion. Minerals in the water build up over time, and will slowly start to erode away at your hot water tank.
Some other reasons for why your hot water tank is leaking are:
- Drain valve isn’t fully closed, or needs to be replaced
- Pressure release valve needs to be replaced
- Corroded anode rod
- Internal hot water tank is cracked
- Hot water heater has reached the end of its lifespan
6. Hot Water Heater is Too Small
Whether you’ve added more family members to your household, or have moved into a home with a smaller tank than you’re used to, it’s possible that your hot water heater is simply too small for the demand of your home.
If you’re constantly showering in lukewarm water, it might be time to consider a tankless water heater. This type of water heater, unlike a tank water heater, provides “endless” hot water because it doesn’t rely on a preheated hot water supply.
7. Mineral Buildup
Vaughan has hard water, meaning it contains a high level of dissolved mineral content — mostly calcium, magnesium, and manganese. These minerals tend to build up in the form of sediment at the bottom of your water heater, where the heating element is often located.
As a result, the heating process will be less effective and your “hot water” will be only lukewarm. Flushing the water tank annually to drain off mineral buildup is the solution to this problem. Find DIY instructions here, or if you prefer, we can take care of this chore for you.
8. Immersion Heater Not Working
A traditional tank hot water heater contains two immersion heaters. When either of these stops working, the heat supply will be halved. As a result of this reduced heating capability, the water never reaches the preset temperature and your hot water is only lukewarm. The non-functional immersion heater will need repair or replacement.
9. Broken Dip Tube
The dip tube brings cold water from your home’s plumbing system into your water heater. When working correctly, this dip tube routes the water down to the heating element, where it will be heated quickly and efficiently.
However, if you have a broken dip tube, incoming water may be left at the top of the hot water tank, and channelled from there to hot water faucets throughout your house without sufficient heating. Unfortunately, when the dip tube breaks down, it usually means that you will need to replace your water heater.
10. Aging Water Heater
All good things must come to an end, and your water heater may just be wearing out due to its age. Conventional tank heaters have a service life of 8-12 years, as a rule, compared to tankless heaters, which can last as long as 20 years. Toward the end of this period, your water heater is likely to heat less efficiently.
Husky Will Get The Hot Water Flowing
We know that a steady supply of hot water is vital to you.
That’s why we offer fast, expert repair. And if it’s time for a new water heater, we’ll help you choose the best tank or tankless water heater for your home.
Call us 24/7: 905-761-9485 or 416-665-3666