Practically every homeowner has dealt with the frustrating reality of turning on a hot water tap only to be met with a cold disappointment. Your morning routine is thwarted, household chores are hindered, and let’s not even mention the unpleasantly icy shower you’re obliged to suffer through. Fortunately, this inconvenience may not always necessitate an urgent call to a plumber. Some fundamental knowledge and DIY spirit can often help you fix your hot water taps. Let’s take a closer look at what could be causing your hot water taps to stop working and how you can fix them.
Reasons For Hot Water Taps Not Working
First, let’s explore some of the more common culprits when your hot water taps refuse to oblige. It could be as simple as your water heater thermostat being set to a lower temperature. Alternately, there may be a deeper under-the-hood issue like a defective heating element or a broken dip tube. Lack of use can also be a major factor, causing the water in your heater to cool down.
Steps Towards a Solution
When confronted with this issue, here is a step-by-step guide to diagnosing and fixing your hot water taps:
Check the Thermostat: The first port of call should always be your water heater’s thermostat. Ensure it’s set to at least 120°F (49°C). If it is set lower, you may not get the hot water you’re expecting from your taps.
Check and Replace the Heating Elements: If the thermostat set correctly and you’re still facing issues, your heating elements may be at fault. Most water heaters have two heating elements. If either of these is defective, it can affect the hot water supply. Replacing faulty heating elements is something you can do yourself, though you should ensure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Check the Dip Tube: The dip tube directs cold water to the bottom of the tank where it can be heated. A broken dip tube may result in a limited supply of hot water. If you suspect this is the cause, you may need to call a professional.
Flush the Tank: Sediment buildup in the tank can cause heating inefficiency. Regularly flushing your tank can keep this issue at bay.
The Role of Regular Maintenance
A key factor often overlooked in maintaining hot water taps functionality is regular maintenance. Your water heater, like any other appliance, needs routine checks and servicing to maintain its optimal functionality. Scheduling regular maintenance with a professional can help you avoid surprise cold showers and ensure your system stays in top shape.
When to Call a Professional Plumber
Firm advocates of the DIY approach as we are, we must still acknowledge that there are times when professional help is necessary. If you’ve exhausted the aforementioned steps and your hot water taps are still not working, you may be dealing with a more serious issue. This could range from corroded pipes to a faulty circuit breaker. Whatever the case, professional plumbers have the expertise to quickly and accurately diagnose the problem.
To ensure even distribution of hot water, experts recommend the installation of multiple hot water taps in your home. Surprisingly, even this can contribute to keeping your system functioning properly. Wrapping up, we can say that owning a water heater is not a fire-and-forget affair. It requires attention and maintenance, a little know-how, and yes, sometimes the expert hand of a professional.
So, the next time your hot water tap simply gives you the cold shoulder, remember: a little knowledge can go a long way!