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Why Isn’t My Hot Water Hot?

If your hot water isn’t hot, something is wrong with your hot water heater. If you’ve recently moved into the home, check to ensure that all settings are properly adjusted. Some homeowners choose to turn their hot water heaters down to protect young children from burns, or before leaving the home for a prolonged period to save on energy costs. If the temperature is set correctly, a broken or malfunctioning component is likely to blame, necessitating hot water tank repair services. An experienced plumber can diagnose the issue and repair it quickly.

As hot water tanks age, the heating mechanism can fail. If the recommended annual maintenance schedule isn’t followed, this type of failure can happen more quickly. Whether it’s the thermostat, switch, or the heating element itself, a hot water heater failure can cause lukewarm or cold water to pass through to homeowners in showers and sinks.

The dip tube, which directs unheated water to the bottom of the tank, can also weaken and break over time. A cracked dip tube can cause cold water to leak into the area where water is being drawn from when hot water is called for elsewhere in the house. This means that the heated water doesn’t have a chance to leave the tank, lowering the temperature of the usable water.

cracked hot water tank can lead to leaking as well as a reduced overall water temperature. This is a serious problem that should be addressed immediately. A timely hot water tank repair avoid water damage and mold growth.

In areas where there’s a higher mineral content in water, sediment build up in the bottom of the unit can thwart heating efforts. Hard water and hot water tanks don't mix. Dissolved minerals, dirt, sand, and other muck can collect at the bottom of the unit, taking up space and making it harder for the tank to heat water effectively. This can cause water to be cooler than homeowners want. Over time, it can also put strain on the unit as it tries to keep up with water heating demands.

licensed plumber can advise on whether the unit can be repaired or needs to be replaced. If the hot water heater is broken and needs to be repaired, plumbers typically stock common hot water tank parts to get the job done quickly.

Additional resources:
My hot water tank is leaking
Should I call an emergency plumber?