3 Common Water Heater Problems That Make Your Hot Water Not Hot Enough

We've heard from homeowners in Metro Atlanta who are frustrated by the lukewarm water in their home.

In our experience the most common causes of this problem are:
  • A broken dip tube
  • Sediment buildup in the hot water tank
  • Malfunctioning heating system

Let's look at each of these causes in more detail.

A broken dip tube

The dip tube is the part where the incoming cold water enters the water heater tank. A normally functioning dip tube shoots cold water to the bottom of the tank where it can be quickly and easily heated.

But a broken dip tube leaves water at the top of the tank. The outlet for the hot water heater into your home is also at the top of the tank.



A cutaway of a water heater tank from The Family Handyman

So a broken dip tube can mean cold water goes into your home's hot water pipes before being adequately heated.

Sediment buildup in the tank

Another cause of hot water not being hot enough is sediment buildup in the water heater tank.

Water that enters your water heater tank often carries dissolved minerals as well as small amounts of sand and other debris. While the water sits in and is heated by your water heater, this debris settles to the bottom of the tank.

Many water heater burners are on the bottom of the tank. So this buildup of debris can make your water heater less effective at heating your water, leading to lukewarm water.

Related: Does My Water Heater Tank Really Need to Flushed Regularly?

Faulty heating system

If your water heater is older (usually 10-15 years) or you have ignored the recommended regular maintenance on your water heater (like flushing it annually), it could be that there is a problem with the heating system of the water heater.

A water heater fails most commonly at these points:
  • Thermal switch
  • Thermostat
  • Heating element

Diagnosing and repairing these problems is best left to a professional, licensed plumber.

Live in metro Atlanta?

We serve Atlanta, Dallas, Marietta, Acworth, Carrollton, Douglasville and the Atlanta metro area with professional plumbing service. If you have a problem with your water heater, contact us today.

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