Water Heater Not Performing? Some Things To Check Out

Nothing’s quite as frustrating as running out of hot water in your shower, leaving you to shiver as your rinse the soap from your hair. The first defense against a broken or inefficient water heater is annual preventive maintenance by a qualified HVAC professional. He or she probably will test the safety controls, inspect and possibly replace the anode rod that prevents your water tank from rusting, and remove sediment from the tank, which makes your heater work harder to keep water hot. If the water heater in your Kansas City area home isn’t performing up to your standards between maintenance visits, one of these common problems may be the culprit:

  • The location of the water heater is too cold or drafty. Make sure the area around your water heater is as warm as possible. Seal air leaks and stop drafts, which can prevent your unit from optimally heating your water.
  • Your tank and pipes aren’t insulated. Insulation will help keep your water hot, and will reduce the amount of time it takes for hot water to reach your taps. Precut foam pipe insulation is available at your local home improvement store, and it’s easy to install. Insulate both the cold and hot water pipes as far up the pipes as possible. An insulating blanket for your tank, also widely available, can be installed easily and can save you up to 9 percent on your water heating bill.
  • Your dip tube is cracked or broken. If pieces of plastic start showing up in your aerators, you may have a broken dip tube. The dip tube runs from the cold water pipe to the bottom of your water heater tank. If the tube is broken, cold water may be leaking into the top of the tank, cooling off the hot water.

If none of these issues seems to be the problem, call your HVAC professional for service. Your pilot light, heating elements or thermostat may need attention.

For more expert advice about how to keep your water hot, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc., serving the Kansas City area with highly trained professionals since 1983.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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