3 Reasons Why You May Be Experiencing Intermittent Hot Water

The sole purpose of having a water heater is to be afforded the luxury of hot water on demand. So when, whether or not you will have hot water coming out of the faucet becomes a gamble, it is clear that things are not working as intended. Fortunately, there are some practical reasons why you might experience intermittent hot water. 

1. Sediment Buildup

A common reason homeowners experience steady hot water sometimes and, at best, slightly lukewarm water on other occasions has to do with sediment. Even treated water has some level of minerals in it. When water enters the tank, the mineral deposits tend to settle at the base of the tank, which can partly block the heating element. If the heating element is blocked, the water will not be heated thoroughly, which can lead to varied heating levels.

Flushing the tank is the best way to remove this sediment buildup and ensure the heating element is clear. This service should typically be performed at least once a year, but if you have hard water, more frequent flushing might be needed. 

2. Failed Dip Tube

As you likely understand, the water inside the tank is fed inside from a cold-water source. When the water is fed into the tank, it goes into a dip tube that lowers the water to the tank's base. As such, the warm water at the top of the tank flows out into your home's pipes first. 

If the dip tube is damaged, it might not drop all the cold water to the base of the tank. As a result, a mixture of hot and cold water could surface at the top and flow out of the faucets when you turn the hot water on; replacing this tube should resolve this issue. 

3. Wear and Tear

Sometimes intermittent hot water cannot be blamed on anything other than wear and tear. Water heaters are intended to last for several years with proper upkeep, but like all other appliances, they do have a life span. Consequently, after a period of time, the heater will start to develop issues.

One indication that this problem is to blame is an extended period without hot water. In this case, it may be necessary to replace the unit altogether. 

If the hot water in your home is hit or miss, contact a water heater repair service in your area to learn more.