Not Enough Hot Water? Here’s a Simple Troubleshooting Guide

13 / 12 / 2018

A common water heater problem is that the unit doesn’t produce enough hot water (or it doesn’t produce at all especially during those crucial times you badly need it). It’s stressful and often it happens during early mornings or late evenings when it’s very inconvenient to call someone for help.

Thankfully, you can do the simple inspections and troubleshooting on your own without relying on someone else. With this simple guide you can quickly figure out the problem and perhaps solve it on your own. And if you’ve followed every instruction and still the problem persists, you can then call licensed specialists to do the job for you.

Let’s start with what you can do first:

Check the electricity and power supply. Perhaps the water heater is not plugged in (a repair, inspection or maintenance was done and the plug was not put back in). Or maybe the fuse marked “water heater” or “hot water” is turned off. In the case of gas water heaters, check if the pilot light is turned on. If it’s turned off, the gas burner will not ignite. The common reason for that is the malfunctioning thermocouple that needs replacement (you should ask technical assistance about this).

After you check the power supply or the gas, it’s time then to check the water supply and your household usage. If the hot water is not enough on your end, one possible reason is that too much hot water is being used. In other words, the water heater doesn’t have enough time to heat enough water. There might be outlets (especially the showers) that are using more hot water than you realise.

It’s also possible that there’s a leak somewhere which is why enough hot water doesn’t reach the shower. Be careful though because condensation might be mistaken for the leak. In high-efficiency gas water heaters, a wet patch on the surrounding surface is common (it’s not a leak). But for confirmation and peace of mind, it might help to ask for licensed specialists to inspect your water heater.

Another possibility is that the water flow is fluctuating. There might be times when hot water usage is simultaneous in different outlets or there’s low pressure in the water supply. If this is the case, it might be a good idea to better plan your household water usage (only one active shower at a time).

Should you replace your hot water?

There are times when the water heater needs replacement especially if it’s old or it doesn’t just have enough capacity for your household requirements. Perhaps it’s time to upgrade to a higher capacity and bigger tank so that everyone will get enough hot water anytime of the day.

But first, make sure you’re getting the most out of your current unit. You should first check the power supply, the pilot light (in gas water heaters) and the water supply. In most cases the problem can be identified right on the spot without technical assistance.

But for those issues that require technical assistance (there’s a leak, unusual smell, weird noises), it’s important to call a hot water specialist right away. Aside from ensuring perfect functioning of the hot water, this is important in guaranteeing your safety. The leaks might result to costly property damages and make certain areas good for mould growth. The unusual smells might be caused by chemicals and microbes (which can be inhaled or come into contact with your skin). The weird noises might be caused by mechanical failures and some parts and debris might get propelled.

You can contact us here today at NSW Hot Water if you’re worried about any of those issues. We have a team of hot water specialists (licensed gas fitters, plumbers and electricians) who can pinpoint the exact problem and fix it right away. If there’s not enough hot water, we can do a quick inspection and troubleshooting.