The best thing about waking up to a cold morning in Arkansas is taking a hot and steamy shower that relaxes and prepares you for the day ahead. But what if your storage tank water heater isn’t properly heating the water? Or worse yet, the hot water disappears and suddenly you’re being bombarded with cold water. Don’t simply blame the cold weather – there’s always another reason behind your hot water problems.

Here’s how to find out what’s happening with your water heater and how to fix it.

Check the area around your hot water heater. For example, water heaters located in unfinished basements that are drafty and uninsulated might have a harder time heating water. Assess the area for air leaks and caulk any gaps and cracks you find. Don’t forget to check windows and doors for leaks that can be sealed with weatherstripping or caulk.

Locate the pipes that carry your hot water.
Are the pipes that connect your hot water heater to your plumbing exposed to cold air for a long length? Add foam pipe insulation to prevent heat loss.

Inspect your water heater for damage.
Especially check the dip tube, which is a plastic tube that runs between the bottom of the tank and the cold water input. If the dip tube is damaged, cold water can leak into your hot water reservoir. In cases of damage, the dip tube will need to be replaced.

Touch your water heater to feel its temperature.
If it feels warm to the touch, suggesting standby heat loss, consider buying an insulating jacket or blanket for the tank. This will increase the time between water reheating cycles.

Call a professional to do a full examination.
If you’ve already tried all the steps above and you’re still having problems with your hot water, have a trusted professional check your water heater’s heating elements, pilot light and thermostat to diagnose the problem.

For more information on water heaters and other home comfort issues, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We serve northwest Arkansas with skill and reliability.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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