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Why does my hot water heater run cold so quickly?

DIY Questions and Answer February 11, 2010 Chad



Q. Why does my hot water heater run cold so quickly?

 

A. If you’re running out of hot water too quickly, there may be several factors contributing to the problem. Make sure no faucets or other appliances have recently been used to deplete the hot water supply. Check the output volume of the shower head. Most new shower heads spray about 2-1/2 gallons per minute, but some older models put out nearly 5 gallons per minute, which runs through the hot water at a faster rate. Another possibility is that the dip tube on the cold water inlet is damaged, causing water at the bottom half of the tank to not be used. The tank’s heating elements may be another factor. Electric water heaters usually have two elements that work in sequence, one at the top and one at the bottom of the tank. Both need to be working to properly heat the water. Sometimes pressing the Reset button will restart both elements. Replace the element if necessary.