Does your water heater seem to run out of hot water faster in winter, or does it take longer to deliver hot water than in warmer times?
The most obvious reason why it could be happening is that water runs from underground pipes and into your tank. When the ground is colder, so is the water and it takes longer to heat. The other reason could be that your water heater is located in a cold place, say in a garage or basement, and the unit may be struggling to heat the water in that unheated space. Adding an insulated jacket may help the unit retain the heat better. Insulating the exposed pipes that go to and from the unit may also help.
You might also try raising the thermostat 10-15 degrees or so. Sometimes the temperature that’s set for summer months just doesn’t do the job when the mercury plunges.
However, there can be a number of other reasons the water heater may be heating insufficiently in the winter or anytime.
1. Sediment buildup.
Sediment, which is present in the water that is delivered to the tank, can build up in a tank over time and prevent the burner from properly heating the water. This sediment may impede the heating process. Flushing out the sediment may be necessary.
2. Broken dip tube.
The dip tube shoots cold water into the bottom of the tank, where it is heated then rises to the top. When the tube is broken, the cold water may be shooting out at the top of the tank.
Water heaters that are 10 to 15 years are likely to fail in one of three areas: heating element, thermostat or thermal switch. It may be possible to replace these elements, but sometimes it’s just better to replace an aging water heater.
For more on troubleshooting your water heater, or to maintain, replace or service any HVAC equipment, call Beyer Boys. We serve San Antonio and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).