Winter is the worst time for your water heater to be on the fritz! If your water heater is only producing lukewarm water, there are several factors that could be causing your problem. Knowing why your appliance Is behaving this way and and how to fix it can be a big help. In this post, we’ll explore the the potential reasons that a hot water heater would produce only lukewarm water, and discuss potential solutions.
If you recently shut off the gas to your home, the pilot light in your gas water heater will have gone out, thus allowing the temperature of the water inside the heater to go down slowly. To fix this problem, you’ll need to ensure that the gas supply to the water heater is turned back on and the pilot light is re-ignited. To re-ignite, many gas water heaters simply require you to turn the gas valve to “pilot,” then push the ignition button. For step-by-step instructions for your particular water heater, consult with your water heater’s owner’s manual.
Your water heater could have a broken dip tube, which is the piece inside the water heater that directs cold water from the top of the tank down to the heating elements at the bottom of the tank. A broken dip tube could fail to redirect water to the heating elements, leading to a disappointing lukewarm-ish water. Most of the time, this part is not worth replacing. Instead, a broken dip tube usually warrants a replacement of the entire water heater.
Safety shutoffs are designed to shut off the water heater in the event that the unit becomes too hot. Unfortunately, safety shutoffs don’t generally have a way of turning back on. When the safety shutoff is tripped, usually the entire part needs to be removed and replaced.
Sometimes the problem has nothing to do with the water heater. Your home’s faucet could be producing lukewarm water because of a clogged pipe that is preventing the majority of the hot water to reach its destination. You’ll be able to tell if this is the problem your home is experiencing by the way that the hot water is available in all faucets of the home except for one.
To fix this problem, you’ll need to have a plumber locate the clog in the pipe and replace that section of pipe, or snake the pipe to remove the clog. Once this is done, the hot water in the heater will be able to come on full-blast and after that, you should have all the hot water you need
If your gas water heater’s thermostat is broken, your water heater’s burner may kick on less or not at all. To test this theory, turn the water heater temperature to a high setting. Next, wait a while for the gas burner to kick on. If the burner doesn’t’ kick on, this is a sign that the thermostat is broken.
If your gas water heater is only producing lukewarm water and you aren’t able to determine why, now is the time to address the problem. Many of the issues that your gas heater could be experiencing should be fixed by a licensed plumber. If you live in the Pittsburgh area, contact Terry’s Plumbing. We’ll be happy to come to your home, diagnose the issue and get it fixed.