If you have recently moved into a new home and have noticed an inconsistent water temperature when taking a bath or shower, then you may be extremely frustrated by this, especially if you like a hot shower. Inconsistent water temperature may be a sign that you need a new water heater. However, there are a few things you may want to try first.
Set The Temperature
The thermostat on most water heaters is automatically set to a lower temperature. This is a way to save energy and the previous homeowners may have kept this setting. You can check the water heater directly to see if this is the case, and you can find the thermostat in the control panel. You will likely need to remove several screws to release the outer cover from the control panel. Afterward, look for one or two small dials, and find the one dial that is set to the highest temperature.
The high thermostat dial may be set to 100 or 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a typical energy saver temperature. Move the dial five to ten degrees higher and test this out. You also want to move the low temperature setting so it is about 10 to 20 degrees below that of the high setting. This way, the water will stay warm in the tank and you will not experience as much fluctuation and inconsistency issues.
If you still feel that the water heater is not providing water that is hot enough, then you can increase the temperature a bit more. You do not want the temperature above 140 degrees though or you may scald yourself while taking a shower.
Keep in mind that if you increase the temperature on the thermostat and the water does not seem any hotter than it was, then the thermostat may need to be replaced.
One of the simplest reasons for your inconsistencies may be the fact that your water tank is simply too small. If there were only two previous residents but there are now four, your water heater simply may not be large enough to handle the demands of your family.
Take a look at the gallon capacity of the tank you have. A four-person family should have a water heater with a capacity that is between 45 or 55 gallons. In many cases, a 50-gallon tank is standard, but some smaller houses will have 35 or 50-gallon tanks. While this is on the smaller side, you can keep the tank you have and make sure to use only one device that uses hot water at a time.
Consider a Replacement
If none of these solutions fixes the issues with your water heater, it may be time to replace the system. A plumbing contractor can inform you of the right-sized water heater for your specific situation. Contact a plumber in your area today to learn more about water heater replacement services.