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Water Heater Giving You the Shivers? Troubleshoot the Cause

Posted on April 23, 2013

If your water heater doesn’t seem to be warming up your water as well as you’d like, there’s no need to panic. It’s simply time to troubleshoot the problem and determine whether you can fix it, or if you’ll need the help of a Plumbing professional. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can troubleshoot issues with your water heater.

It’s common for storage tank water heaters to experience standby heat loss. You can tell if this is happening by touching the side of the tank. If it feels warm, then it’s losing heat energy to the atmosphere in the room. You can purchase insulating blankets or jackets specially made for tank water heaters at your home improvement store, and they’re usually easy to install. However, if you have a gas water heater, you may want to get expert help, since it’s important to avoid covering or moving any vents, gas lines or other sensitive parts.

Longer pipes may need insulation

If your water must travel through a sizable length of piping, it has longer to cool off before reaching its destination. Insulating the pipe will help keep the water warm until it gets where it’s going.

Evaluate your water heater’s location

Your water heater has a challenging enough job providing hot water for your family without having to deal with the elements. If your water heater is located in a cold or drafty area, it has to work all the harder to heat your water. Seal cracks or gaps in the walls near your water heater with caulk or spray foam. Make sure the room is properly insulated as well.

Replace the dip tube, if needed

If your unit’s dip tube has become cracked or broken, cold water that’s supposed to empty into the bottom of the tank may be diluting the hot water at the top. Many models will allow you to replace this part quite easily.

Call a professional

If you’ve checked all these problems, and none of them seems to address your lack of hot water, your water heater probably has a more serious problem. If that’s the case, the best course of action is to contact a Plumbing professional to evaluate the unit.

For expert advice about your home’s water heater, or for questions relating to home comfort, please contact us at Comfort Systems. We have been serving the HVAC & Plumbing needs of Wichita and the surrounding area since 1995.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about Water Heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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