05:10PM | 12/03/02
Member Since: 12/02/02
7 lifetime posts
I am having problems with my hot water that just don't make sense to me. I have a hot water tank (gas) that is plenty big enough for my house and the two people that live here. In the summer, we never run out of hot water. As soon as it gets cold outside, we run out of hot water after one shower or a load of laundry, etc. This has happened for the six years that we have lived in this house. I don't understand because I would think once the water is in the hot water tank it would stay warm. This is in all areas of the house. I can take a 10 minute shower, then my husband takes a shower and runs out of hot water after about 5 minutes. This is only in the winter when it is cold. What could possibly be causing this? Thanks!


03:33AM | 12/04/02
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
You're right that the heater should keep the water hot year round. If your water heater is in a cold location, like a crawl space, a couple of things you can do: get a "water heater blanket". These are insulating "blankets" that fit over the water heater to help save energy - available at hardware stores.
Put pipe insulation on the hot water pipes.


08:25AM | 12/06/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
It could be a dip tube problem. It gets worse in the winter because the water entering the water heater is colder.


09:03AM | 12/17/02
Member Since: 11/17/02
50 lifetime posts
You have a question that interests me. The loss of heat can be caused by a problem with the control as well, but that problem would be year round. Loosing heat from the inlet water temperature would be a temporary condition, once the water has heated, it should stay hot within a 20 degree temperature range. The only difference is the inlet temperature would affect the outlet temperature if the dip tube was too short. It should be at least 3' long to get the cold water to the bottom of the water heater past the stratified layers of hot water. If however, there is some holes in the tube, then you may get cold water mixing with the hot water and you will get a reduction in hot water available in the winter time.
Good Luck
Plumbing Prof


12:29PM | 12/17/02
Member Since: 10/15/02
359 lifetime posts
Actually I see a problem with that assesment. Water temperature remains fairly constant up until about February in the city supply, since I am on a well, my water temperature stays fairly steady @ 55 degrees year round. At this time of year though the water supply temperaure is not much colder than it is during the summer.

It does make sense about the theory, but to me it would seem like it would do it year round as well. Unless, and this just came to me, the water supply has a long way to go once it enters the building until it enters the heater and gets cold during the transit from the meter to the heater.

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