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

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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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