Hot water in the house is the kind of thing you really appreciate, particularly when it seems there’s never enough of it.  After all, nothing starts the day off like a steamy morning shower  — until it abruptly turns freezing. And what do you do when the washing machine’s set on “Hot” but the water’s barely lukewarm?  

In most homes, issues with water temperature are usually related to the water heater. Here are some possible causes when water’s not hot enough and what needs to be done to correct the issue.  

Temperature Settings

All water heaters have adjustable thermostat settings that maintain water in the tank at a desired temperature. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a 120-degree setting. Temperature settings lower than 120 may not provide sufficiently hot water long enough for standard household needs, especially when a washing machine and/or dishwasher are operating. Temperature settings above 120 degrees, conversely, can be hazardous, particularly for infants, small children, and the elderly.

Water-Heater Issues

If the water’s cold when you need hot water, some possible reasons include:

  • The capacity of the water heater. A water heater must be sized to provide enough water at the right temperature for all the water needs in the house. If you’re frequently running out of water that’s hot enough, upgrade to a water heater with a larger tank. Alternatively, consider a tankless heater that provides unlimited hot water continuously.  
  • The water heater is aging or components are worn out. On average, a typical water-heater tank lasts about 12 years before leakage occurs. In addition, minerals or sediment that are present in the municipal water supply may accumulate over time inside the tank. The burner can no longer adequately heat water to maintain the thermostat’s temperature setting.

In other cases, the thermostat inside the water heater may be defective and no longer properly control water temperature. 

If the hot water is running out too soon inside your home, contact the experts at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing for professional service or installation of a new unit.