Water heaters Water heater

Published on February 7th, 2018 | by Henri

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Water heater losing effectiveness

Q.  I’ve recently noticed my hot water is not as hot as it used to be. I haven’t adjusted the temperature setting.

I wondered if this could mean the hot water heater is nearing the end of its life? It’s about 9 years old. Thanks.

A.  It is possible that the dip tube, which delivers cold water to the bottom of the tank, is cracked or broken, in which case cold water is delivered at the top of the tank, mixing with the hot water drawn when faucets are opened.

The heating elements may also have accumulated some calcium deposits, in which case one or both will need to be replaced. The lower element is the one used the most and if it fails, the top element takes over, but only heats up a small amount of water.

There may also be heavy deposits on the bottom of the tank. You can draw a gallon or more of water from the heater by attaching a hose to the drain faucet at its base as long as there is a drain nearby; see if that helps.

Depending on the heater’s warranty, it may be worth considering its replacement with a more efficient model rather than spending money on a plumber to check all the possibilities and fix the problem.

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