What can cause a water heater to suddenly start running out of hot water more qu

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  1. Daughter Of Maat profile image95
    Daughter Of Maatposted 7 years ago

    What can cause a water heater to suddenly start running out of hot water more quickly?

    I seem to be asking you all sorts of questions! My water heater is old (of course) and has suddenly started over-heating the water? The water comes out extremely hot at first and then about 10 minutes into a shower, or dishes, the hot water runs out. This is unusual, it usually lasted about 30-45 minutes before running out. I'm assuming it's probably something with the thermostat, but thought I'd ask the expert! (Yes I know it's dusty).


  2. Randy Godwin profile image93
    Randy Godwinposted 7 years ago

    It is possible one of the 2 heating elements is burned out in your hot water heater.  If so, the cool water entering as the hot water is being used is not being heated quicky enough to compensate for the loss.  this is especially so if the malfunctioning element is on the bottom where the cold water is last to be heated.

    To replace the burned out element you must first turn of the electricity and drain the tank before removing the elements.  Be sure you tuen on a hot water tap to remove the air in the water lines before truning the power to the heater back on to prevent the cold water from contacting the new elements when they get red hot, otherwise the new elements may be damaged.  Good luck on your repairs.

    1. Randy Godwin profile image93
      Randy Godwinposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Another problem may be the bottom thermostat malfunctioning.  This means only the top element is getting power.  A multimeter will tell you if either element or thermostat is at fault if you know someone who can read one for you.

    2. Daughter Of Maat profile image95
      Daughter Of Maatposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Awesome, thank you!! I think you might be right about bottom thermostat, and actually that was my gut instinct as well.

  3. neildabb profile image70
    neildabbposted 7 years ago

    Another possibility is that hard water deposits have built up in the tank.  This limits the amount of water that the tank will hold.  This comes on more slowly, but also matches the symptoms you describe, especially if the deposits have covered the thermostat.

    The way to check this is to disconnect the line going into the water heater (after disconnecting the power) and look inside.  You should see the deposits right away if that is the problem.  For me the best solution would be to call a professional to come clean the tank out.  I've never found a good DIY solution to this problem that lasts.

    1. Daughter Of Maat profile image95
      Daughter Of Maatposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      It could be hard water as well. We have a well and no water softener! Thank you, I will check this first.

  4. Cre8tor profile image98
    Cre8torposted 7 years ago

    Hi DOM. There's not to much I can add to the other comments here as they are all legit possibilities. I don't mean to self promote but I do have a hub on draining your tank and since it costs nothing, it may be worth a shot. Beyond all of that, here is the real consideration...

    You have an older tank and as a parts supplier and once a service provider...you're going to pay at least half the cost of replacing the tank if not more depending on the repair need. Then of course you still have the same old tank that if it leaks, your repair money is gone.

    Anyhow, I know we all do what we have to but carefully weigh how much you might spend on repairs vs. the cost of replacement which also carries benefits beyond a new tank such as anode options and utility savings.

  5. Felina Margetty profile image70
    Felina Margettyposted 7 years ago

    A leak!

    Since I have to make my answer longer and this stupid program wont let me simply say that it is a leak! I will say it again now. It is a leak.

    Check walls under floor, old fittings. This is if you are running out of water more quickly.

    If it is a matter of not having enough hot water it could be any number of things from thermostat to off peak power usage or even the pressure relief valve?

    If your loosing water it is a leak.

    Dad was a Plumber and it is the only time we shared while growing up. I actually know a lot about plumbing for a girl with no tattoos.

  6. Mikeg422 profile image66
    Mikeg422posted 6 years ago

    The other comments are good answers and may be the cause of your problem. There is one more that I don't see mentioned. On the Hot side, where your plumbing is connected to the water heater, there is a long tube under the connection that draws hotter water from the bottom of the tank (it adds cold water to the tank at the top), if the tube is cracked or broken it will cause the same situation by drawing in cold water with the hot.

  7. profile image47
    nomart5posted 6 years ago

    I actually don't know the answer. I just needed help finding someone in Calgary that deals with plumbing and heating. I have seen the site http://www.thegentlemenplumberscalgary.com/en/, and it looks like they could help me but I wanted some reviews first. Has anyone visited this site before? Did you have a good experience?

  8. calgaryplumbing profile image61
    calgaryplumbingposted 19 months ago

    I'm sure that hot water tank is full of sediment.
    If you are in Calgary
    we can help



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