Inadequate Hot WaterDots

Possible Causes
  • Unit is undersized for water heating demands
  • Broken or damaged dip tube allowing cold and hot water to mix in tank
  • Faulty plumbing installation has crossed cold and hot water connections
  • Gas supply or control problems
  • Faulty electric lower or upper heating element or high or low heating element thermostat.
  • A constant supply of lukewarm water during a shower is indicative of a defective upper heating element. Short duration hot water supply during a shower is indicative of a defective lower heating element.


Possible Repairs

  • Make sure water heater is not being overtaxed by hot water supply demands. The water heater should have 75% of its capacity as hot water (e.g., a 40 gallon WH should be used for a demand of 30 gallons).
  • Undo cold water inlet and pipe nipple and remove dip tube. Check condition and replace if required.
  • Check for crossed connection by turning off water supply to water heater. Open hot water tap at a faucet. If there is water flow, then the a cross connection exists somewhere. Check for a hot water line connected to a cold water connection on the water heater or appliances such as washer, dishwasher, faucet or shower valves.
  • Check for proper flame from burner. A natural gas flame should be a bright blue with the tip of the flame having just a tinge of yellow. A propane flame should have a bluish green flame with a tinge of yellow at the tip.
  • Check for power and electrical continuity at the lower and upper heating elements. Replace water heating element if necessary. Clear tank of any sediment first.
  • If elements test OK, check for power at upper electrical upper thermostat. If OK check lower thermostat. Replace if necessary.