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Hot Water Shortages
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


Are you experiencing hot water shortages in your home? Perhaps you are having difficulties taking a complete shower because you lose hot water half way through. Many homes are facing the same problem. The first thing you need to do is determine the cause of the hot water shortage.

The cause of hot water shortages can be due to several factors. It may be that you are using a heavy duty supply of water at a brief time. You may also have an insufficient sized water tank, a leaking tank, a problem with your shower valve, or lack of power to your water heater.

Often, when you live with several other people, hot water is used very quickly. You may need to stagger shower times so that everyone can receive enough hot water. Generally, it takes about 20 minutes for the water heater to reheat its supply.

Make sure to check your water heater for the number gallons it holds. To ensure that you have the right size, calculate how many people live in your house and estimate about 15 gallons per person, per day. Keep in mind; the size of your heater depends on the amount of bathrooms in your home, the size of your bathtubs, and the amount of people that will be using water. 30 to 40 gallon heaters will typically supply a one bathroom home.

If you come to realize that your water heater is leaking, you need to replace it immediately. A leak usually indicates that the tank is corroded. However, you may be able to stop the leak by tightening the drain valve or by closing a temperature-pressure relief valve that's open.
Often times you will notice that you aren't getting hot water at all. This could mean one of two things depending on the type of heater you have. If you have a gas-powered heater you may need to check the pilot light or gas line. For electric heaters you may need to reset the thermostat and check to make sure power is running to it.

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