Nothing ruins the moment while taking a nice relaxing shower like a sudden burst of cold water. If you’ve experienced cold bursts or running out of hot water while showering or washing dishes, you know how annoying it is. But imagine if that sudden burst of cold was scalding hot? Hot water above 120 degrees Fahrenheit can burn human skin, and if there’s a malfunctioning appliance in your home water could rise to this temperature. If you notice inconsistent water temperature you should follow these steps to identify the culprit right away; it could be a simple fix, or it could be the result of a bigger problem.
You may be living with your water temperature problems and thinking it’s no big deal. You know not to flush the toilet if someone’s in the shower and to wear gloves while washing dishes to protect your hands. In the comfort of your own home, it’s easy to learn it’s quirks and build habits that let you work around them. Those habits can become second nature to you. But your guests and small children will not be aware and could be at risk if you don’t take action.
Isolate the Problem
The first step in figuring out a solution for your inconsistent water temperature is to isolate the problem. Try running one shower or one faucet in the house, with all other water sources and appliances turned off. Do this with all your faucets and appliances to determine if there’s one source of the problem. If you find just one water source is the only place experiencing the issue then your problems are most likely smaller then you imagined. Inspect the valves around the source for any obvious problems, if you can’t find anything, contact your local plumber to come and take a look.
If you can’t isolate one appliance that’s causing the water inconsistencies, try testing running two at once. If the temperature starts to fluctuate with two water sources running, then your hot water tank is too small. If your hot water tank is too small it can’t heat up water fast enough to meet the demands of your home. If this is the case in your home and you want to fix your inconsistent water temperature problem then you’ll need to upgrade to a larger hot water tank.
Hot Water Tanks
If your first thought is to check your hot water tank, you’re right. Hot water tanks come in a variety of sizes and models to suit your homes needs. To determine whether your hot water tank is to blame, do a quick visual inspection. If you’re not familiar with your homes hot water tank, take a quick look at the owner’s manual first and familiarize yourself with all the parts. If it’s a gas powered tank, check to make sure the pilot light didn’t go out, and if it did, find the instructions on how to relight it in your manual. If you’re finding the pilot light on your hot water tank goes out frequently you should check your basement for moisture.
Take a look around for excessive rust or water leaking from your hot water tank as well. These are both the most obvious signs of deterioration in hot water tanks. If your hot water tank is leaking it’ll need replacing as soon as possible to avoid causing any water damage to your home.
Apart from obvious signs like these your hot water tank may not be functioning properly and display no external red flags. In that case, call your local plumber to come and take a look. The average hot water tank only lasts around 10 years. If your hot water tank is getting up there in age it might be time to replace it due to normal wear and tear.
For more information on how to tell if your hot water tank needs replacing check out this article: How to Tell If Your Hot Water Tank is on It’s Way Out
Cracked or Broken Dip Tube
Aside from normal wear and tear there are other problems that could also go wrong with your hot water tank. A common water heater problem is a cracked or broken dip tube. The dip tube is responsible for filling the hot water tank with cold water from your water line. It runs from the water line down to the bottom of the hot water tank. Cold water enters at the bottom of the water tank where it is heated and it rises to the top. Hot water is pumped out of the tank from the top to ensure the water exiting the tank is always the hottest water in the tank. If the dip tube is broken or cracked cold water will leak into the tank where it shouldn’t, causing it to mix with the hot water and cool it, or be expelled from the tank causing cold blasts.
Tankless Water Heaters
If your home has a tankless water heater it could be the source of your temperature problems. Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, instead of storing heated water. These systems are more energy efficient because instead of heating a large amount of water all the time, it only heats as much as you need. A common problem with these systems is that cold water can slip through if the heater burners turn off, causing temperature fluctuations. There are modifications you can make to your tankless water heater if you are unhappy with the fluctuations. Call an experienced plumber and they can help walk you through what your options are.
A1 Choice Plumbing & Drain – Your Okanagan Plumbing Experts
If you’re experiencing inconsistent water temperature or any other plumbing issues, call A1 Choice today and have our experts take a look.
For all your Plumbing & Drain needs, A1 Choice offers a full range of services:
Contact A1 Choice Plumbing & Drain Today