Water Heater: Water not hot enough
Carefully adjust the thermostat setting if it's set below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust the temperature setting in small increments to avoid producing scalding hot water. You shouldn't need to adjust the temperature above 130 degrees. Setting the thermostat above 130 degrees can produce water that's too hot.
Sometimes, you'll use up the hot water in the tank and you'll need to wait for the tank to recover before the water is fully heated. Consider replacing your water heater with a larger capacity model if your current model doesn't supply enough hot water to meet your needs. A 40-gallon water heater typically supplies enough hot water for a family of four with normal water use.
A failed heating element or bad thermostat can cause heating problems in an electric water heater. Follow the tips in our how to troubleshoot no hot water in an electric water heater video to fix the problem.
In a gas water heater, a damaged burner could result in water not heating properly. Check the burner assembly and replace it if damaged.
Excessive tank sediment also inhibits water heating. Shut off the electricity and water supply to the water heater and drain the tank to flush out sediment. Refill the tank before restoring electrical power the water heater to avoid damaging the heating elements.
Replace the water heater heating element
The heating element is the heat source inside an electric water heater. It extends directly into the tank, where it radiates heat energy to the water around it. If the heating element is not heating when activated, replace the heating element.
Replace the water heater thermostat
The thermostat constantly monitors water temperature in the tank. When the water temperature drops beneath the desired setting, the thermostat sends power to the electric heating element or gas burner to begin heating. If the thermostat isn't sending power to the heating element, replace the thermostat. In a gas water heater, replace the gas control assembly that contains the thermostat.
Drain water heater tank sediment
Maintain your water heater by regularly draining the tank to flush out sediment. Every year, empty all the water from your water heater to prevents mineral sediment in the bottom of your tank that could reduce the water heater's effectiveness and possibly damage the heating elements. For instructions, see How to Drain the Tank on an Electric Water Heater Video.
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