Your shower head may be the cause of No Hot Water.
Cold water; it’s never fun. There are several possible causes that would reduce the temperature of your hot water. Let’s begin with your water heater, what type do you have? Tankless, or traditional? Electric water heater, or Gas Water heater? If gas, the pilot light could have gone out, or someone/something could have turned off the gas supply. If electric, the circuit breaker could have tripped. There is also the possibility of a defective lower element or the dip tube* could be missing.
The dip tube of the water heater is the plastic tube that sends the incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank to prevent it from mixing with the hot water going to your faucets. This aids in the tanks heating and energy efficiency.
Low Flow Shower Heads Can Save Hot Water:
Believe it or not, the type of shower head you use can affect the temperature of your water making a huge difference in the amount of hot water you have available. Only two-thirds of the water heater’s capacity is usable hot water (a 50 gallon tank gives approx. 33 gallons.) If you have a shower head that is limited to 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM), you would have approximately 15-20 minutes until the temperature drops, but if you have 5GPM – you would only have 8-10 minutes of hot water.
It is also important to remember that in the winter months, like we experience here in Indiana, the water coming into your pipes will be much colder. The remaining hot water in the tank gets diluted when the new colder water pushes out hot.
Here are a couple of tests that you can do:
- Don’t use any hot water for at least 4 hours.
- In a 5 gallon bucket with a 160 degree minimum temperature thermometer, turn the water on hot and allow it to fill the bucket. The thermometer should be in the stream of the hot water flowing out. Record how many times you fill the 5 gallon bucket before the temperature drops by 20 degrees.
- To determine the GPM (Gallons per minute) rate of your shower head, hold a bucket up to the shower and have someone turn on the shower and fill the bucket for 30 seconds.
- Determine how much water is in the bucket. Double that amount to get you GPM. If the bucket fills one third of the way in 30 seconds, consider switching your shower head to a low-flow shower head. This will not only stretch your hot water usage, but also conserve water.
Need a good, low-flow shower head suggestion? Give Carter’s My Plumber a call at (317) 859-9999 . We’ll gladly point you in the right direction. Our plumbers are fully licensed, and we have been in the plumbing business for the past 3 generations! When it comes to water heaters, we are very knowledgeable and experienced.