Life is often about the simple pleasures, such as being able to sleep in every now and then, enjoying a day off from work, and taking long, warm showers. And since that last one is the one you can indulge in most often, it’s a bummer when the hot water runs out in a heartbeat.
Why does this happen and what can you do to fix it?
4 Common Reasons Why Hot Water Runs Out Fast
1. Water Heater’s Temperature Needs Adjusting
It’s common for people to leave their water heater at the default temperature it was installed with. However, adjusting it can improve the hot water flow in your home. If you have a gas heater, an ideal temperature range is between 115 and 120 degrees. Do not set it any higher than that to avoid overheating the tank.
If you have an electric heater, shut it off before getting started. Then look for two thermostats. They are usually located one above the other. Use a screwdriver to remove both covers. Set the top thermostat between 115 and 120 degrees and the bottom at a slightly lower temperature.
Make sure to review the instruction manual to avoid any potential hazards.
2. Mineral Buildup
Living in Florida, you’ve probably noticed the unsightly white residue left on glassware after dishwashing, or even on your skin after a shower. The Sunshine State is notorious for its hard water, and the same minerals that leave behind that residue can build up inside your water heater. To prevent this from happening, flush it regularly. Watch this video tutorial to learn how. Make sure to shut off the power at the circuit breaker before getting started.
3. It’s Time for a New Water Heater
The average lifespan of a water heater is about a decade, give or take a year or two, depending on the type of heater and the amount of maintenance it has received. Running out of hot water fast is one sign that you need to upgrade. Additional warning signals include rumbling sounds coming from the tank, water leaking from the heater, and rusty water. If your heater is relatively new, you can cross this possibility off the list.
4. Your Home Needs a Bigger Water Heater
There are different types of water heaters: conventional, tankless, heat pump, and solar. Each has a different water flow rate (this is the number of gallons that can flow from the heater per minute). When you purchase a shower head, it should specify the flow rate. If you’re not sure of the flow rates for your shower heads you can find this information online if you know the brand. Multiply the water flow rate times the number of bathrooms fully utilized in your home to determine your family’s needs.
If your water heater has a heat pump, you’ll take a different approach: Determine the tank capacity (number of gallons of water the tank holds) and the tank’s first-hour rating (number of gallons of hot water the heater can supply per hour).
As a general rule, you can follow these guidelines to decipher how much water your home requires:
- Family size of 1 or 2: water heater requires a 30 gallon capacity.
- Family size of up to 3: water heater requires a 40 gallon capacity.
- Family size of up to 4: water heater requires a 50 gallon capacity.
- Family size of up to 5: water heater requires an 80 gallon capacity
If the tank is too small for your family’s needs, you need to install a bigger water heater.
Want an Efficient Water Heater? Let Sansone Help!
At Sansone, we strive to make your home as comfortable as possible. If your shower’s hot water is running out too fast and nothing you do seems to correct the problem, give us a call today!Schedule Service