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Hot water too cold? Too hot? Running out?

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 Hot water too cold? Too hot? Running out?

Getting your hot water system working just right can be a challenge sometimes. Usually, everything runs smoothly and the system rushes hot water at the perfect temperature to the tap as soon as you turn it on. However, occasionally you can run into issues such as the water that is too hot or only just warm, the water heater takes ages to heat up, or problems with hot water running out much faster than usual.

Hot Water Issues

Inconsistent hot water can be incredibly frustrating. Jumping in the shower for a good scrub after a long day only to have a dribble of lukewarm water coming from the showerhead can make even the most mild-mannered, tolerant person curse like a sailor.

These issues can be extremely annoying but they don't have to be something you get used to. Most are easily repaired by your plumber with the minimum of fuss.

Hot water is too hot

Storage hot water heaters must keep the water in the tank above 60°C to stop the growth of dangerous bacteria like Legionella bacteria which can cause severe health problems. Problems occur when the water is delivered to the tap at this temperature as it can present a risk of scalds and burns for small children, the elderly, and the unwary.

How to fix it? Your plumber can install a device called a tempering valve between the storage hot water heater and the taps in your home which mixes the hot water with enough cold to adjust the temperature to a much safer 50°C. This small device also ensures the water is always that temperature.

Water is too cold

No hot water or lukewarm water coming from the tap that clearly says 'Hot' is like getting a chicken pie when you ordered steak, you feel ripped off.

Temperature fluctuations can be linked back to several possible issues including thermostat faults, heating element faults, and gas supply or burner issues. Your plumber will need to check the hot water system to identify the specific issue which is leading to the lack of hot water in your home. The good news is usually this problem is easily fixed.

Hot water running out faster than usual

This problem can be a huge pain, especially if you're the one who usually has the last shower of the night.

One of the first things to consider is has the hot water usage of your home changed recently?

Lots of small increases in the use of hot water throughout the day can affect the amount left when it comes time for showers or even how long the system takes to heat up again. Little changes like running the dishwasher on a different cycle (for non-self-heating models) or using a hot wash for a load when you usually use cold in the washing machine can have an impact on how much hot water is left at the end of the day.

Has your household outgrown your tank size or the limitations of your instant unit?

It's a fact of life that teenagers tend to spend longer in the bathroom than small children. This can lead to a gradual increase in the amount of hot water a family uses in just a few years. Increasing the size of the storage tank or adding another instant system can solve these issues and keep up with the hot water demands of your growing household.

If you've ruled out the above possibilities some other causes may include:

  • Sediment build-up in the storage tank - this can have an impact on the effectiveness of the heating element and reduce the speed at which the water is reheated.
  • Faulty parts, such as heating element damage, or blockages in the system.

Your plumber can provide specific advice for the needs of your household to reduce the frequency of hot water shortages in your home as well as fault check for problems within the unit itself.

Inconsistent hot water doesn't have to be an ongoing problem that you just put up with, in most cases, your plumber can provide a simple hot water system repair solution which will fix the issue for the long term.

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