As a homeowner, you’ll want to have plenty of hot water streaming through your home’s taps. Isn’t it frustrating to step into the shower and have heated water for only a few minutes? We’ll explain why your heated water runs out quicker than you expect and how to make hot water last longer in your house.
Why Does Hot Water Run Out Fast?
There are various reasons why your hot water isn’t as readily available as – it’s not necessarily because you take a long shower.
If your hot water doesn’t last as long as it used to, there’s a good chance there’s sediment buildup inside your hot water heater tank. Water leaves behind minerals, which can accumulate in your tank, taking up space where hot water would normally be. They collect at the bottom of the tank, so there’s less water available for heating.
Old Water Heater
The average water heater lifespan is eight to twelve years. If your water heater is more than ten years old and can’t keep up with your hot showers, it’s probably time to consider replacing it. This is particularly true if your water heater leaks or needs other repairs. For example, if it has a broken dip tube or a damaged lower element.
Exceeding the Limit
Your water heater can only heat a certain amount of cold water at a given time. Simultaneously using a dishwasher, washing machine, and a hot shower will drastically reduce the amount of hot water available for all of those tasks.
Increasing the thermostat’s temperature can help you get more hot water. Try resetting or turning up the thermostat. If that fails, it’s a sign that you need to replace the thermostat, or you’ll be faced with a far more significant problem in the future.
Faulty Heating Element
Most electric water heaters have two heating components – one near the tank’s top and one at the bottom. Since water heats up through conventional currents, the bottom element is responsible for heating the water.
Tips for Making Hot Water Last Longer
Here are a few tricks to make hot water last longer:
Limit Water Usage
This may seem obvious, but some households consume more water than others. A regular shower uses 2.5 gallons of water every 60 seconds. That’s 25 gallons every 10 minutes, or 50 gallons for a 20-minute shower. A 70-gallon water heater tank will only deliver 43 gallons efficiently.
Use Appliances Wisely
Use your washing machine and dishwasher’s eco modes (if they have them). This will minimize water temperature and water usage, putting less strain on your water heater.
This technology employs sprayers on both the upper and lower racks and a pre-soaking spray to soften food on plates before applying soap for the wash. Want to simplify the process even more? Run the appliances at different times so that the hot water does not run out all at once.
Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water
Put your garments in a cold-water wash. You can choose any of the several specially formulated detergents available to wash your clothes in cold water. Washing at cooler temperatures keeps colors brighter and extends the garments’ life, so it’s a win-win.
Install a Water Softener
The sediment buildup in water produces lime and scaling in the tank, reducing the water heater’s efficiency. Consider installing a water softener if you want your hot water to last longer.
Regulating the quality of the water entering the tank is one of the best ways to prevent build-up and soften the water before it enters the tank.
Take Short Showers
These appliances have smaller pores for water to escape. This naturally pressurizes the water, causing it to flow out more slowly.
Recognize the Recovery Time
Once your water heater is drained, it’ll take time to recover and start delivering heated water again. It usually takes minutes or sometimes even hours to get hot water back in the tank (depending on your tank size).
To get hot water as soon as possible, avoid using it when the recovery process is not complete. Allowing the unit to fully recover will heat the water more quickly. For example, filling and heating a 70-gallon tank will take roughly 26 minutes.
Insulate the Heater Pipes
Another thing you can do to extend the availability of hot water is to use a water heater blanket. Wrapping or insulating the water heater improves its efficiency by nearly 40% since it loses less heat.
As a result, the water in the tank stays hotter, reducing the stress on the heater. Plus, insulation is something that you only have to do once.
Switch to a Tankless Water Heater
If your water heater runs out of heated water frequently, the chances are that it’s old, the heating element has failed, or the tank isn’t large enough to satisfy your household’s needs – so it’s probably time to replace it.
But instead of simply replacing your old tank, you might want to consider tankless hot water systems, which are energy savers and save you a few extra bucks on water bills.
Your water heater’s hot water supply can be disrupted for a variety of reasons. We hope that our tips mentioned above have help give you ideas on how to make hot water last longer in your house.
That said, always check with your local home inspection team before making any plumbing renovations or repairs! Be sure to check our water heater reviews if your in the market for a new model.