General Question

andrew's avatar

What happened to my hot water?

Asked by andrew (16456points) March 3rd, 2007
It seems like there's no hot water left in my apartment anymore. We have our own water heater, but the hot water runs out very quickly. We can run about 3/4 of a bath before the water out of the faucet becomes luke warm. We have enough hot water for about 15 minutes of shower time. I don't remember this happening when I first moved in; I've had the gas people come and turn up the temperature on the water heater, but it still runs out. Could it be going somewhere else? What gives?
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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar
Deep breath. Get out check book.. Call the plumber. Take short showers while you wait the three weeks for him to come. Check size of holding tank in the meantime...Yr plumber (or gas co.) can put more efficient heads on shower to slow the flow; there is usually a gadget on those heads to turn water off while you lather up, if you want to be really efficient. You have a leak someplace, I would guess.
gailcalled's avatar
I always know when I have a leak. There is mold on walls and often small puddles around area where pipe comes into house; also oozing around shut-off valves or spigots..I have a well, but I'd guess that the plumbing is the same w. town water.
kelly's avatar
is hot water going to your washing machine or that of your neighbor (apartment)
andrew's avatar
that I don't know... could that be doing it?
peggylou's avatar
Or, your water heater could just be getting old!
andrew's avatar
I have noticed that unexplicably the water in the shower will trun cold, even though we have no wash going on... but I've verified that the other washing machine isn't running either.
andrew's avatar
My gas bill have been very high, as well.
kelly's avatar
perhaps the coldwater inflow is restricted so that the tank is not fully filling and therefore not all the volume of the heater tank is filled and heated. has anyone messed with the water supply? also, is the heater electric or gas? if electric maybe the heating element is not fully heating. I don't think that you can replace the heating element alone, may need a new unit.
gailcalled's avatar
W. water coming from a well, I have the issue of grit in pipes. The hot water runs much more slowly in washing machine, for example, than cold. Occasionally I have the plumber here to remove grit from flushing mechanisms and areas where pipes enter house. I remove the grit from shower and sink spigots myself from time to time..somtimes I have to use straight pin or toothpick to poke debris from the little screen inside spigots.
andrew's avatar
So, here's what happened: apparently the thermocouple failed and had to be replaced --- eventually the pilot just stopped working altogether. Seems like the hot water is back!
joentina's avatar

No hot water in the entire house. Six hours ago, everything was fine.

Ghost_in_the_system's avatar

Turn the water heater off. Drain all water out. Flush and rinse out tank. Sometimes sediment builds up. When you think it is free of sediment, close the drain refill and reheat. If there isn’t a noticeable improvement, you will need to consider a bigger water heater. If it were a electric heater, I would suggest that you check the heating elements. Even if only one is bad, it will drastically cut down on hot water volume.

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