5 Reasons You May Be Running Out of Hot Water

Smiling technician repairing an hot-water heater

Have you been running out of hot water lately? It’s hard to notice if this happens to a load of laundry, but when the water goes cold during a shower you feel it in your bones. Then you’re left wondering why your hot water heater let you down. Here are five possible explanations.


As with your HVAC unit, your water heater has a thermostat, set to maintain a desired temperature. If your water is too cold, you can try raising the setting, but don’t’ raise it over 140 degrees, which can be dangerous. Some thermostats are not numeric, but have settings like “warm,” “hot,” and “very hot.” If adjusting the temperature doesn’t fix the problem, the thermostat may need to be repaired or replaced, or the problem may lie elsewhere.

The Dip Tube

Another component of your water heater that may need attention is the dip tube. As you’d guess, it is a tube that dips into your water heater tank. It brings in cold water, which is then heated and rises to the hot water outlet. If the dip tube is cracked or broken near the top, then cold water may be entering the hot water outlet.

Sediment or Rust

If you have hard water, sediment can settle on the bottom of your water heater tank. If enough sediment accumulates, it prevents your heater from adequately heating up the water. A water softening can prevent this problem by filtering out some of this sediment before it reaches your water heater. You can also drain your tank once a year to remove sediment buildup. If you discover rust in your tank, it probably needs to be replaced.

Supply and Demand

Another possible cause of lack of hot water is that demand in your house simply exceeds supply. Maybe you recently installed a new water heater and it’s not big enough to meet your needs, or you’ve added a new resident to your household and your existing water heater can’t handle the increase in use. In both of these cases you can try one of the following options:

  • Space out your activities that require hot water. Run your washer or dishwasher when you go to bed.
  • Buy a larger water heater.
  • Buy a tankless water heater, which heats water as you need it. These are more expensive to buy than tank water heaters but use less energy and take up less space.

For all your plumbing needs, call Hoover. Established in 1980, Hoover Electric, Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling has been serving customers in Southeast Michigan ever since, offering courteous, professional service. Because we offer all the services you need for residential maintenance under one roof, we’re able to offer extremely competitive pricing while maintaining great customer service and guaranteed satisfaction. When you’re looking for top-quality electrical, plumbing, heating, or cooling services in Clinton Township and Troy, MI, contact Hoover through our website or call 586-232-9204 today.

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