Why Do I Run Out of Hot Water?


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During cold winter nights and mornings, it’s such a luxury to take a hot shower and to feel rejuvenated and warm.  So it’s always an inconvenience when just a minute or two into your shower, the hot water suddenly turns cold. 

We’ve  all had this experience at some stage and it’s never an enjoyable one. 

So the question begs “ Why do we run out of hot water” especially during the times when we need it the most? 

Here are some things that you need to consider and check if you keep running out of hot water.

Water Heater Unit
Newly installed 315L water heater

1. Check the size of your tank. A family of 3 to 4 people would usually require at least a 250-litre tank to sufficiently provide enough hot water to the family. Less than 250 litres just won’t cut it for over 3 people in the middle of winter . If you have a smaller tank that’s not supplying enough hot water your family, upgrading to a bigger hot water system tank should be a priority. Also, if you have a small tank running on an off-peak tariff, this could lead to insufficient hot water since it only heats once of an evening and not when it really needs to.

2. Check if there have been any changes in your hot water consumption. Cold days usually means an increase in the use of hot water. So the volume of hot water being used during colder days is much higher compared to sunny and dry days. This could lead to a hot water shortage during these times. Water conservation might be one key factor to help minimize the problem of hot water shortage during these times. So if you are in the habit of taking long hot showers, it might be wise to shorten it a bit. Or try to use more cold water when doing the laundry or the dishwasher.

Damaged element cables
Checking damaged element cables

3. Check the integrity of our Hot Water System. Your hot water system has parts and pieces designed to work jointly to deliver hot water to your place. If any part is not working properly, such as a damaged thermostat or element, a leaking pressure valve or damaged pipes, this would impact the amount and quantity of hot water that you would be getting from your hot water system. Regular hot water system repair & maintenance will help ensure that your it’s performing perfectly and no parts are broken or damaged. Having your hot water system checked once every 2 years would lengthen it’s lifespan and help ensure that you are getting enough hot water inside your property.

4. Check how old your hot water system is. Our hot water systems have an average of 10 years lifespan depending on the usage and regular maintenance done on the unit. If your unit is more than 10 years old, upgrading to a new one would be more cost efficient and practical. If you want a cost-saving unit, upgrading to solar hot water would definitely lessen your expenses. If you want an uninterrupted hot water service, going with the new continuous flow hot water system ensures that get hot water when you need it and where you need it without having to have a storage tank.

Hot Water System Age Details
Tank age details will always be attached on any tank units.

Here is another article that you may find interesting in regards to  “Experts tips for the cold season”.

If you need help with your hot water, don’t hesitate to give us a call. At 13 10 91. We serve areas in Canberra, Newcastle, Central Coast and Hunter Valley.

At The Plumbing and Electrical Doctor, we have made these articles downloadable to PDF for our customer’s convenience.

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