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Why Your Water Heater Might be Struggling to Provide Enough Hot Water

tank-water-heaterWater heaters are built to cope with a lot of stress. Most of them don’t even fully turn off, instead staying on to maintain a standing supply of hot water at all times. However, even the sturdiest water heater isn’t invincible. There are going to be times when your system malfunctions, and it’s important that you are able to quickly identify it. One of the first signs that a water heater is having an issue of some kind is a noticeable drop in output. If your water heater is struggling to provide enough hot water, have a look at some of the possible reasons why.

The Burner Assembly is Clogged

If you have a gas-powered water heater, then the system uses a burner assembly. The burner assembly is comprised of a series of jets near the bottom of the tank (or heat exchanger). These jets combust the natural gas to generate heat. Over time, though, carbon particles formed as a combustion byproduct build up on the jets in the assembly. These carbon deposits can eventually become large enough to clog up the burner assembly, preventing it from firing and heating the system. Professional cleaning should resolve the problem.

Sediment Buildup

If your home struggles with hard water in your plumbing system, it’s possible that you have sediment buildup either on the bottom of the storage tank or in the heat exchanger. This sediment can insulate the water inside the system from the heat the system generates, preventing it from reaching the right temperature. During professional maintenance, a technician will often flush out the system to get rid of any sediment buildup. In advanced cases, though, the system might need to be manually scraped out.

Thermostat Issues

It’s also possible that the actual heating portion of the system works just fine, and it’s an electrical issue preventing the water heater from providing hot water. Check your water heater’s thermostat to make sure that it’s set properly, just to make sure. Even if the thermostat is displaying the right temperature, it’s possible that it’s still not working properly. You’ll need a professional to examine it to make sure, though.

The Dip Tube is Cracked or Broken

The dip tube is a plastic tube that runs from the bottom of a water heater’s storage tank to the top, where it connects to the water line. All water that enters the storage tank goes through the dip tube, and comes out near the bottom. This does two things: first, it prevents the cold, fresh water from mixing with the hot water at the top of the tank. Second, it ensures that the cold water will heat up faster by being let out at the bottom of the tank, closer to the burner assembly. If the dip tube cracks or breaks, it can leak cold water into the hot water leaving this system. This can result in sudden blasts of cold water interspersed with the hot water coming out of the faucet.

Douglas Cooling & Heating offers water heater repair services in Mountain Brook, AL. Contact us today for an appointment.

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