5 Star Plumbing | What to Do if Your Water Heater Runs Out of Hot Water Quickly
4616 Roseville Rd #109, North Highlands, CA 95660
E-mail us: us@5-starplumbing.com
Follow us:
Page Title BG

What to Do if Your Water Heater Runs Out of Hot Water Quickly

5 Star Plumbing > Blog > What to Do if Your Water Heater Runs Out of Hot Water Quickly

Table of Contents

What to Do if Your Water Heater Runs Out of Hot Water Quickly

Everyday life depends on being able to access hot water, and a working water heater is vital to providing a consistent supply. But it can be annoying and disruptive to your daily routine if your tankless water heater frequently runs out of hot water. 

In this piece, we’ll look at some of the typical reasons for this issue and provide workable strategies to fix it. We have you covered whether you have a broken dip tube, a lot of hot water demand, a leaky tank, a faulty heating element, etc. 

You can work on your water heater and resume enjoying a consistent supply of hot water produced with the exact skills and experience.

The structure of A Water Heater

A certain amount of hot water is kept on hand in a tank via a tank-style water heating system, which is found in most households. When a tank system is in use, a big covered cylinder with associated pipes is erected in a utility room or basement.

When a faucet for hot water at a sink, shower, or appliance is opened, heated water from the hot water tank serves as the source and is sent through water pipes to the tap or line.

The hot water tank raises the water’s temperature and maintains it. Between heating cycles, the temperature is maintained at a consistent level by the tank, which includes insulation, a thermostat, and a heating system.

A tube supplies cold water to the bottom of the tank from the top of the water supply line. The water is heated top to bottom by a heating element. The pipes connecting the hot water supply line to the ones connecting to sinks, baths, and showers are situated on the top of the tank.

To meet the projected gallons of hot water necessary at a household’s peak usage, water heater tanks are available in quantities ranging from 20 to 80 gallons. You can exactly determine the size of the heater tank you need by the number of people who would use the water in bathrooms and rooms.

The size and water output of a water heater are what define its rating. For instance, if your hot water heater has a rating of 40, it can give 40 gallons of water in around 60 minutes before needing to be refilled and re-heated.

Gas Water Heaters

5 Star Plumbing | What to Do if Your Water Heater Runs Out of Hot Water Quickly

A gas water heater is made up of a gas vent, an output line for hot water, and a cold water entry line. The water is additionally heated and stored in a storage tank. The water is heated with the help of a burner at the bottom of the tank that burns gas as fuel.

A thermostat regulates the temperature of the water, that is supplied to the house by a hot water supply line. Additionally, a vent for the combustion gases is included in this design, along with a Temperature Pressure Relief Valve. 

The TPR valve can be seen as a safety mechanism for taking pressure off the storage tank when the internal pressure or temperature rises too much.

A dip tube and an anode are further parts of this system. Anodes, which are metal rods, prevent corrosion and get rid of bad smells in the water. When cold water needs to be heated, the dip tube directs it to the tank’s bottom. 

Additionally, the storage tank has a drain valve close to the bottom, that helps to empty the tank.

Electric Water Heaters

5 Star Plumbing | What to Do if Your Water Heater Runs Out of Hot Water Quickly

A gas-powered heater heats water in a manner akin to that of an electric water heater. The best way this method is unique is that the water is heated without the usage of gas. Instead, the water is warmed by electric heating elements inside the tank.

Having gained a better understanding of the fundamental principles underpinning water heater operation, let’s go more specific about what can be wrong if you discover that you are utilizing hot water too quickly.

Why does a Water Heater Runs Out Of Hot Water Quickly?

A number of factors might make a home’s hot water supply deplete more quickly than normal. Here are some of the reasons:

Excessive demand for hot water all at once 

Overusing hot water at once is another common issue. For instance, running the dishwasher or laundry while someone is using the shower, or attempting to take two nice hot showers at once. The opposite problem is also a possibility. While taking a shower, you inadvertently burn yourself.

This can happen when someone flushes the toilet or takes a shower while the cold water is on. The straightforward solution is to avoid using too much hot water all at once. With so many people in the house, coordination can be challenging, but it is still possible. If not, users of the shower should exercise caution. Be prepared to feel cold.

Incorrect temperature setting for the water heater

It’s possible that you accidentally set your water heater’s temperature too high. That will be the wrong setting. Your heater’s thermostat should be adjusted between 120 and 140 degrees. If it gets too cold, turn up the heat. 

Be careful not to set it too high, as doing so could seriously burn someone. In order to reduce the risk of burns, choose a comfortable 125 if there are little infants in your home.

Buildup of Sediment

The building up of sediment in the tank is another issue that could prevent hot water from properly running. The moment your heater gets older, this develops over time. This issue can arise if your water heater hasn’t received annual water heater maintenance. 

Minerals that are loose and occur naturally in water are what makeup sediment. Your water tank quickly runs out of hot water as a result of them settling in the bottom.

Sand, silt, rust, and other materials that occupy space in your tank are examples of sediment. Because of this, you have a shortage of hot water. Sediment presents even additional problems in the sense that your heating elements heat the sediment rather than the water, slowing down the heating process. 

Annual system flushes happen to be the only solution for this problem. Although you could attempt to do this yourself, it might be best to leave it to a professional at 5-star plumbing who has the knowledge necessary to drain the water heater without running the risk of getting your home flooded.

Sediment buildup indicators

  • Water coming from your water heater may contain clear sediment.
  • Strange noises emanating from your device, including knocking, and crackling noises
  • Having a TPR valve that hisses or leaks

Bad Lower Heating Element

The majority of electric water heaters possess two heating elements. Due to the way that water heats up naturally, the element below does the majority of the heating.

In other words, the water goes up when it is heated, while the cold water goes below the tank. In order to maintain constant water temperature, the element at the top only operates occasionally. The flow in the volume of hot water supply dwindles when the element below becomes bad.

Typical Reasons for a Damaged Lower Heating Element

There are a few occasions why you may have a bad lower heating element. For example:

  • The element becomes overheated by sediment that accumulates on it.
  • A broken or faulty thermostat
  • A power outage within the wiring section of the element.

A Broken Dip Tube

By using a dip tube, cold water is sent to the bottom of the tank and there, it is heated. When this tube has an issue, the hot water that is being carried to your house interplays with the cold water that is left at the top of the tank. As a result, the water that eventually reaches you is cooler anyway.

What Causes A Dip Tube To Be Damaged

  • The component’s life expectancy has expired.
  • Because of a flaw in your dip tube or a defective dip tube, it may fracture or shatter for whatever reason it may have.

You may begin to have doubts about your water heater due to this. If that’s the case, it makes perfect sense. In most of our daily activities, water heaters perform a significant but largely invisible role. Usually, we don’t think about them until there is an issue, as when we find we aren’t getting adequate hot water.

Symptoms That Your Hot Water Heater Is Fading

Your water heater may not be operating, either because it has to be repaired or because it’s time to think about replacing it, which might be one of the causes of the hot water issue you’ve noticed in your home.

Your device is over ten years old

A household water heater has a lifespan of ten to thirteen. It’s still feasible that your water heater won’t even reach that length. For illustration, a standard gas heater has an eight-year maximum lifespan.

The fact that water heaters have a lifespan is something that many people are unaware of. You can find on the body of some heaters the date of manufacturing. You may not find any of this information on some heaters though.

Loud or Strange Sounds

As already stated above, sediment accumulates inside the storage tank with extended use. It starts at the bottom and builds up in layers. Each time the water heater heats your water, a loud and uncomfortable sound may be heard due to the sediment that has begun to thicken and solidify on the tank’s body.

Lowered effectiveness

In order to heat water in your tank, you may be required to use more energy than normal.

Inefficient acceleration

Your water must be heated for a longer period of time because of the silt, which speeds up the rate at which the tank wears off. The floor and wall of the tank become brittle and susceptible to easy cracking, which might somehow lead to leakages.

Unclean Water

Your water heater may be rusting away if the hot water coming out of your home’s faucets is rusty. If left uncontrolled, the rust could erode and cut through the heater, leading to leakage of water.

Water circling around the heater

Your water heater is almost certainly leaking if water is seen on the wall and floor around the heater tank. A water heater system leak could be caused by a variety of factors. Whatever the origin, water leaks need to be dealt with quickly and professionally since they can seriously harm property.

Repairing A Faulty Water Heater

5 Star Plumbing | What to Do if Your Water Heater Runs Out of Hot Water Quickly

Have you ever encountered one of the problems we’ve already listed and wondered how to resolve it? We will take you through a few ways to troubleshoot a broken water heater.

Examine the power source

Problems with the water heater could be an indication of issues with the electricity supply.
As a result, you should check the circuit breaker, the thermostat, and whether power is connected before using an electric heater.
A gas water heater has to have the gas connected, the pilot light turned on, the burner cleaned, and the thermocouple replaced.

Check the water

The condition of the hot water coming out of your home’s faucet may be a great indicator of the water heater’s health. When examining the water, check out for the following:

  • If the water seems rusty, your home’s piping or water heater may be rusted. To establish if you need to replace the plumbing, the water heater, or both, you need contact an expert.
  • If the water appears sandy or murky, a significant amount of sediment may have accumulated in the tank. To get rid of the sediment, you’ll need to flush the tank. It is advisable to leave flushing to a trained expert.
  • If the water tastes or smells metallic, your water heater is malfunctioning and has to be replaced immediately.

Take Note Of The sound from the Water Heater

A water heater typically produces a sound when it is heating water. Strange noises, though, might be a sign of underlying issues.

When the heating components come into contact with scale, silt, and other deposits that may have amassed in the heater, loud crackling and strange popping sounds may result. You should probably cleanse your water heater if you hear any of these bizarre or odd noises.

Check for leakages

The soon you become aware of any water leaking from the water heater, action needs to be taken right away. Keep in mind that leaking water may also point to a problem with the water heater’s internal components. Hiring a qualified plumber is always a good idea to handle leaks in water heaters.

Is Your Hot Water Heater Affected by the Weather?

Although your water heater may not be significantly affected by the cold and warm temperatures in your area, they can nevertheless have an impact on your system as a whole and its efficiency, particularly if your system needs repair.
The following tips can help your systems stay safe during different weathers.

  • Insulate your pipes: A reputable company like 5 star plumbing can assist you in determining the appropriate insulation to use in order to prevent frozen pipes if you live in a climate where pipes can freeze, particularly if the pipes are situated outside or in a part of your home that isn’t frequently heated.
  • Inspect and insulate your water heater: Although many water heaters already have an insulation layer, you might increase the effectiveness of your device by adding one on the outside. There are DIY kit options, but it’s important to see an expert to see if this is a viable choice.
  • Get ready for power outages: When a winter storm or snowfall causes a power outage, you must find alternate sources of heat and warm water for your home. If you don’t have a generator or another form of backup power, your solar or electric water heater will stop functioning.

How to Prevent Running Out of Hot Water always

It is possible to find solutions to your running out of hot water. Here, we will provide you with some solutions we know to be best for you. Read on.

Reduce Water Use

Some homes definitely use more water than others. Attempt to use less water by looking for solutions to do so. 

Reduce your overall water usage by even a small amount to help keep your hot water supply, whether it is by using your dishwasher less frequently or performing bigger but more occasional loads of laundry. Consider replacing the old aerators on your faucets with low-flow ones.

Shorten your showers

Encourage everyone in your home to take shorter showers, which is similar to using less water. Put a waterproof timer in your shower. 

To prevent wasting hot water, limit the length of all separate showers in your house to under five minutes. Installing shower heads with reduced flow rates is another way to cut back on water use in the shower.

Plan when to take showers

Since most people have similar morning routines, if your house has a large number of occupants, it’s possible that several people will all take showers within an hour each morning. 

You might need to assign certain workers to take their showers earlier or the night before. You can alternate every day or every week who gets to shower first. Create a plan that suits your family’s demands, and keep in mind that doing so will spare everyone from taking a chilly shower.

Use the eco-mode

Nowadays, most dishwashers offer an eco-mode that uses less water and operates more effectively. The machine technology makes use of sprayers on both the upper and lower racks, and it uses a pre-soaking spray to soften food on the plates before using soap to wash them. 

Put your dishwasher in eco-mode if you know you’ll have other appliances or showers running simultaneously to avoid running out of hot water.

Use Cold Water to Wash Clothes

Other things can be cleaned in cold water in addition to delicate clothhes, which is advised for some types. Give a cold-water wash a try with your clothing. Today, you may purchase detergents that have been particularly made to clean in cold water as effectively as in warm water wash.

Upgrade to a Better-Performing Model

Older equipment gradually loses efficiency. If your hot water heater is nearing the end of its useful life, check the sticker on the tank. To avoid running out of hot water, it’s conceivable that you’ll need to replace your appliance. Inefficient usage of your household’s energy will result in savings in the money spent.

Purchasing a larger model

If you frequently have guests or a large family, one way to avoid running out of hot water is to upgrade to a larger hot water unit. There will always be more hot water accessible to you if your water heater is bigger since it can hold more hot water. By doing this, you can guarantee that there is always enough hot water available to meet your demands, even during peak demand.

The energy efficiency of the unit should be taken into account in addition to its size and capacity when selecting a larger unit. A larger unit’s operational costs over time and the cost of installation should also be considered.

To find the ideal solution for your hot water demands, it is always advised to speak with a certified heating, ventilation, and air conditioning professional.

Call a professional plumber

Contact a specialist if the issue persists and you believe your water heater may be compromised. In order to stop running out of hot water, a plumbing specialist can evaluate the issue and choose the best course of action. 

In this case, 5 star plumbing is the best plumbing company to handle all your plumbing and water heater issues. 

Maintenance Guidelines for Hot Water Heaters

Every year, drain the hot water tap to get rid of any silt that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank. Over time, the tank’s effectiveness may be decreased by the silt, which can also harm the tank. 

A hose should be connected to the drain valve, and the valve should be opened to let water flow out of the tank until it runs clear. To drain the tank, turn off the power and water supply.

  • In order to prevent corrosive elements, the anode rod, a metal rod inside the hot water tank, needs to be replaced. To keep the tank in good shape, it is suggested that the anode rod be replaced every 3 to 5 years.
  • Check your thermostat frequently: As part of routine maintenance, make sure to frequently check the hot water heater’s thermostat. Your water may become chilly because it may be set too low or it can be broken.
  • Your hot water heater might need to operate more vigorously to maintain the stored water’s heat during colder months and in colder climates. A tank-type device can be wrapped to keep the water from evaporating and to avoid turning on the heating element and consuming more energy than necessary.


In conclusion, keeping up with your hot water heater is crucial to ensure its durability and effectiveness. 

You can help keep your hot water heater in good working order and save expensive repairs or replacements by routinely draining the tank, regulating the temperature, insulating the tank, inspecting the pressure relief valve, checking for leaks, and cleansing the tank. Y

our hot water heater’s efficiency can be increased with regular maintenance, which can help you save energy and money on your utility costs.

For your water heater repair in Sacramento, call 5-star plumbing.


Why is the hot water only available for ten minutes?

There is a multitude of reasons why you only get ten minutes of hot water. Among the problems include insufficient insulation, leakage, defective heating systems, a lack of hot water, excessive water use, etc.

Why is the duration of my hot water shorter than it used to be?

One of the most prevalent plumbing issues in architectural design is improperly managed hot water tanks. Within the tank, sediment accumulation and corrosion occur. Water quality is affected by the heating element’s not-too-fast operation.

In a 40-gallon tank, how long should the hot water last?

A 40-gallon water heater needs to be able to maintain heat for between 45 and 60 minutes in order to work properly. The quantity will vary depending on a number of elements, such as the insulation of your tank and whether it uses gas or electricity.

In a 40-gallon tank, how long should the hot water last?

A 40-gallon water heater needs to be able to maintain heat for between 45 and 60 minutes in order to work properly. The quantity will vary depending on a number of elements, such as the insulation of your tank and whether it uses gas or electricity.

Mike Joshua

Mike Joshua, a 33-year-old plumber based in California. With a passion for solving complex problems and a commitment to his trade, Mike has dedicated the past 8 years of his life to honing his skills as a professional plumber. After completing technical college Mike quickly secured a job in a plumbing company and has been working steadily ever since. Mike's experience includes not only households but industrial gas and plumbing systems and installation, repair the equipment for different types of business He is known for his attention to detail, strong work ethic, and ability to complete projects on time and within budget. He is always striving to improve his skills and stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments and advancements. In conclusion, Mike enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. He also has a passion for DIY projects around the home and is always looking for new challenges to tackle.

Leave a Comment