How To Get More Hot Water From Your Water Heater
Running out of hot water can be maddening, but many people falsely assume there’s nothing that can be done about it. In reality, there are a number of simple ways to make your hot water last longer. Of course, some homes just have small or older water heaters in desperate need of replacement. But before you decide to contact plumbers near you for a water heater upgrade, here are some simple tricks for getting more utility out of your water heater. And remember, when all else fails, call a plumber!
For Modern Water Heaters
1. Reduce the Load
If you have a relatively modern water heater, then the first solution to consider actually has little to do with your plumbing. Avoid running appliances like washing machines and dish washers prior to hopping in the shower, for instance. Naturally, the less demand you put on the hot water heater, the more hot water you will have available.
2. Insulate the Pipes
Another simple step you can take to optimize your water heater performance is to make sure your pipes are insulated properly. If the water has to travel through an unheated area before it reaches a fixture, it’s definitely not going to retain its heat by the time it gets to you. The easiest method is to buy self-stick pipe insulation (usually sold in three-foot-long pieces) and wrap them around any exposed pipes. It’s fast and easy to install, but if you have concerns, don’t hesitate to contact a local plumber or HVAC professional.
3. Check for Leaks
While you’re working on your pipes, you should do a quick check for leaks. For an average household, leaks can account for over 10,000 gallons of water wasted each year — that’s equal to doing 270 loads of laundry.
For Older Water Heaters
1. Flush it Out
The first step you should take to boost your water heater’s performance is to flush it out. In older homes with antique water heaters, sediment builds up over time at the bottom of the tank, which can create a barrier that causes interference with heat transfer from the flame to the water. This is more useful for a gas water heater, but it can help an electric water heater as well.
Another step you can take to get more hot water from your tank is to install insulation directly to your hot water heater. You can just buy fiberglass insulation, but a better option is to shell out the extra money for a water heater insulation kit. Again, they are generally easy to install, but if you need extra help, don’t hesitate to call a plumbing services professional.
Finally, if your home or water heater is more than 30 years old, you might have to start saving for water heater installation costs. Local water heater repair will only get you so far if the appliance itself is obsolete. Fortunately, modern gas or electric water heaters are far more efficient — some can even provide a constant supply of hot water.
If your water heater just isn’t performing like it used to, then hopefully these tips can help you get more hot water when you need it. However, keep in mind that older water heaters don’t last forever; they can only provide a finite amount of hot water at a time. For expert help or a permanent solution to your hot water heater problems, contact the plumbing services professionals at Delpo for a water heater installation and upgrade.