5 Likely Causes of Your Hot Water Shortage

Hot water shortages can occur in just about any home. Perhaps someone just took too long of a shower right before you did. Maybe you didn’t realize the washing machine and dishwasher were both running when you tried to take a hot bath. The occasional hot water shortage usually isn’t something to be concerned about. But if it’s happening all the time, it might be a good idea to figure out the cause of these shortages so that you can fix the problem. Here are five common causes of hot water shortages in homes and how you can fix them.

Undersized Water Heater

Perhaps the most common cause of hot water shortages is a water heater that isn’t large enough to meet your home’s needs. The tank of a water heater can, of course, only hold so much hot water. As the tank is emptied, it must be refilled and reheated; drain it too quickly, and there won’t be any hot water left for whatever poor soul was last in line for the shower.

Suppose there’s nothing inherently wrong with your water heater, but its supply keeps coming up short. In that case, it might be a good idea to replace your water heater with a larger one, add a second water heater to your home, or look into upgrading to a tankless model that can heat water on demand.

Water Heater Is Far Away

Perhaps you don’t have a hot water shortage; maybe the water takes a long time to heat up instead. This typically doesn’t have anything to do with the water supply itself but rather with the water heater’s location. If the water heater is too far from the shower or other fixture you’re trying to get hot water to, the water will cool down before it gets there. It can take much longer for the water to heat up in the colder months since the pipes are colder.

Eventually, the hot water traveling through the pipes will heat the pipes until hot water can finally reach the desired outlet. But if you don’t want to wait several minutes for your shower to get hot, you might consider adding a water heater to your plumbing system.

Sediment Buildup in Tank

Over time, minerals in your water supply can settle to the bottom of your water heater’s tank. This reduces the efficiency of your water heater while also effectively reducing the size of the tank. The more space the sediment takes up, the less space there is for hot water storage, resulting in more frequent shortages.

If you have frequent hot water shortages in your home, have a plumber look and determine if you need a new water heater installation in Sacramento, CA.


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