Why is my hot water heater delivering less hot water than it used to?


If your hot water heater isn’t delivering as much hot water as it used to this winter, there are a few things that may be causing the problem.

It needs some repairs

Your hot water heater may need some elements replaced or repaired. If you have an electric water heater, a bottom heating element may be to blame or the dip tube may need to be replaced. If you have a gas water heater, it may be the dip tube.

Should I have my hot water heater repaired?

This depends on how old your hot water heater is. Typical life expectancy of a hot water heater is 8 to 12 years. If your tank is 8 years old or older, you may want to have it replaced instead of spending money on repairs.

Check your shower head

If you’ve recently replaced your shower head with a higher flow rate model, that could be the problem. With a 50 gallon tank that delivers 33 gallons of hot water (water heaters only deliver 2/3 of their capacity as hot water), a low flow 2.5 GPM (gallons per minute) shower head will give you a 15-20 minute hot shower before you notice a drop in temperature. However, if you are using a higher flow rate shower head (a 5 GPM shower head for example), you’ll only have 8-10 minutes of hot water.

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