Need a hot water heater? You just may if you are consistently running out of hot water. Here are some things to check.
If you have a large family, running out of hot water everyday may be commonplace (in part, due to that teenager that takes those 30-minute showers!). However, if you start seeing a consistent trend where there just doesn’t seem to be enough hot water you, may need to investigate further to determine the root of the problem.
- Conventional and Tankless Water Heaters
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With more than 35 years of plumbing service experience in Decatur, Atlanta and Tucker, we have helped hundreds of homeowners with their hot water issues. We can help you with water heater replacement. Here are some things we always suggest the homeowner check before we come out for a service call:
PILOT LIGHT–If you are completely out of hot water the first thing to check is your water heater’s pilot light (if you have a gas water heater). Consult your water heater owner’s manual for its location. Usually the pilot is at the bottom of the water heater. If you look into the opening or site glass, you should see a blue flame, and just re-light the pilot. Call us at 404-370-0999 if you have questions regarding this.
One thing to consider if your pilot light is out – or after you light the pilot it goes out after a few seconds, is that there may be an issue with the gas line itself. There could be low gas line pressure or no gas coming through the line at all. Gas lines can develop leaks and cause serious property damage. Tankless water heaters do not typically have standing pilots, so if it’s not igniting, there could be internal problems. You could check the controller for error codes to give an idea what has gone wrong. If you think this could be the case call us and we can discuss your options on how to fix this. Dealing with gas lines is not a do-it-yourself project!
THERMOSTAT SETTING – You can also check your water heater’s thermostat settings. It might be set too low. Check to make sure it is set to between 120° and 125° Fahrenheit. If the temperature setting legend is not labeled on the front of the water heater, check temp at a faucet with a meat thermometer. Lower temperatures can become a bacterial breeding ground, and higher temps can cause scalding.
NOT THE PILOT LIGHT OR THERMOSTAT? This usually points to a problem with the water heater itself. (Provided you’ve paid your gas bill!) The first thing we ask is how old is your water heater? We expect water heaters to last between 7-10 years max. There are replaceable components to a water heater, but many times it’s more cost-effective to replace the heater rather than repair it. Over time the tanks in water heaters build up sediment and fail, so if you see any water collecting underneath the heater that could be another sign that it’s time for a new water heater. Call us at 404-370-0999 with your water heater’s model and serial number and we can tell you exactly how old your heater is. We’re here to help.
THE DIP TUBE COULD BE THE CULPRIT! The dip tube is a tube that sends the cold water to the bottom of the water heater’s tank, pushing the hot water up and out to your faucets. Over time this component can disintegrate, allowing cold water to mix with the hot water at the top of the tank; effectively lowering your delivery temperature. Also, if your pressure has dropped at your faucet(s) and you clean out the aerator at the end of the spout to find small white or blue plastic particles or shards, that’s a good indicator of dip-tube failure. If this is the case then contact us for a service call so we can properly diagnose the problem.
As you read through the above you might think about a ‘tankless water heater’ if you don’t already have one. We are seeing more homeowners opt for tankless water heaters because they last longer, are much more efficient, and free up precious storage space in older homes where storage is at a premium! We often laugh that we’re single-handedly trying to turn Decatur ‘Tankless’. We install these heaters frequently so call us and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. The tankless water heater uses a variable gas input to heat water based on your demand. It will heat water continuously as long as a faucet is running; in fact, your teenager can stay in the shower all day and NEVER run out of hot water!
Call Decatur plumber M. Cary & Daughters Plumbing at 404-370-0999 for any of your water heater needs. We’ll get you back in hot water in no time!