If you are Canadian, you understand having hot water in your house during the winter months is a must. You know your fall plans have to include getting your heating system serviced, making sure a test run is performed, and programming your thermostat. It’s now time to get out the extra blankets and switch over your air conditioner to heating.
Taking a hot shower is essential for staying warm, and by running your water, you prevent your pipes from freezing. However, even performing all these preparations can still run out of hot water when you need it. Calling for water heater repair will become an emergency call.
Why You May Run Out of Hot Water in Canada
Most homes in Alberta have installed a hot water tank, and some have alternate water heating systems. However, there are four common reasons you may not have hot water.
What type of water heater do you have?
The first question in answering why you run out of hot water is knowing how your home is heating your water. Tank water heaters are a vessel that heats water internally. Typically, these units are installed in the basement and run-on natural gas. Tank water heaters are designed to keep a supply of hot water continuously.
A tankless water heater will instantly heat water as it is being used. The tankless water heater will run water through a heated coil and then comes out of your faucet or showerhead.
These are two common forms of hot water systems, and depending on how old the system is, there are different reasons you may struggle with getting hot water when needed.
1. You and Your Family are Using Too Much Water
A traditional tank heater could be the problem you are running out of hot water. You may be using so much water that the tank drains before it has a chance to replenish itself. There are a lot of places hot water is used in a home:
If you have a larger family, you could simply be using too much water for your tank to replenish.
2. You May Have an Old Heating System
Sometimes the reason you are running out of hot water is as simple as your heating system has outlived its efficiency. An average water heating system lasts approximately eight to twelve years. If your unit is older than this, it is time to consider a replacement.
3. Your Water Supply Could Contain Too Much Sediment
Water supplies carry natural mineral sediments. The sediment will settle in your hot water tank as it heats your water. Calgary lies at the bottom of the Rocky Mountains, which are full of magnesium and calcium. Hard water can affect plumbing and water tanks. To avoid this problem, you have to flush your water system regularly.
4. Your System May Have a Broken Dip Tube
Hot water tanks have an internal dip tube. The tube is designed to transfer cool water from your external water supply to the bottom of the tank, where it will heat. Once the water is hot, it rises to the top of the tank, and cooler water will enter, and the cycle repeats.
If the dip tube fails, it will not carry water to the bottom of the tank. When this happens, you will experience lukewarm water instead of hot. After years of use, the dip tube will become brittle and require replacement.
Stay Ahead of Hot Water Issues
You need hot water in your home to fight the cold winters of Alberta. While problems with any household appliance can occur unexpectedly, the problem is typically fixed by a professional plumber. Many issues, such as water heater repair, can be avoided by having regular maintenance of your system. In addition, expert plumbers can identify potential problems before you run out of hot water in the dead of winter.
Where to Find Expert Plumbing Services
Westhills Plumbing & Heating provides expert plumbing services in Calgary. Call us today if you need high-quality plumbing and heating services. Schedule an appointment to inspect your system today and avoid needing water heater repair when the cold hits.