Nothing is better than a hot shower at the end of a long day. However, if the hot water in your shower only lasts a few minutes, it can take this relaxing time and turn it into a major inconvenience. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help deliver more hot water to your shower so that you can get back to relaxing and thinking through your shower thoughts.
Check the Temperature Gauge
When diagnosing a problem, it’s usually best to start with the simplest solution. If you lack hot water, the easiest place to start is your water heater’s temperature control knob. Make sure that the knob isn’t set to “vacation” or “away” mode and isn’t set too low on the temperature scale. Since these knobs are easy to turn, it’s possible to accidentally adjust the temperature on your water heater if the unit is located near other appliances.
Drain the Tank
Heavy sediment in your water heater can result in a lack of hot water during showers. One way to remove this sediment is to drain your water heater using the drain valve located at the bottom of the unit. You can attach a hose to this valve to direct the water outside or into buckets. If it’s been a while since you drained your water heater, you may need to perform the process a couple of times to achieve the best results.
Check the Pilot Light
If you have a gas-powered water heater, keeping the pilot light on is essential to maintaining hot water. Sometimes, the pilot light can go out due to small fluctuations in the gas supply coming into your home. After re-lighting the pilot light, check to see if you have hot water again. If you notice that the pilot light goes out again after a short time, you will need to call a plumber to schedule a water heater repair. One common cause of a malfunctioning pilot light is a damaged thermocouple. Speak with a professional who can determine what is wrong with your water heater.
Upgrade Your Water Heater
All water heaters have a finite lifespan. If your water heater has served you faithfully for many years, it may be time to replace your current water heater with a new model. As part of replacing your water heater, you may want to consider upgrading the tank size so that you have more hot water available in the future. This will help prevent cold surprises during your shower.
There is always risk involved when working with a water heater. When you mix gas or electricity with water, you can quickly find yourself in a dangerous situation. If you are performing repairs yourself, make sure to have the proper tools on hand, and always be willing to contact a professional if you feel uncertain about a step in the process.