Fluctuation of water heater temperature is not only annoying, it is also dangerous. Imagine showering under warm water that unexpectedly changes to cold water. You might expect cold water in your drinking glass but it turns out to be warm water. While showering, if you get scalding hot water instead of warm water, It is both irritating and dangerous.
These unexpected changes are a few of the reasons you need to ensure your hot water heater temperature is consistent. These are some tips for repairing an inconsistent water heater temperature:
Isolate the Problem
The first step to repairing your water heater temperature is isolating the problem. This will allow you to determine the source of your problem. You can turn off other water sources and run only one faucet or shower in the house. Do this with all your appliances to determine the origin of the problem. In addition, check the valves for any issues; you might figure out that faulty valves are the problem.
Inspect the Water Heater
You can visually inspect your water heater to determine the problem. However, it is advisable not to disassemble your water heater if you don’t have any plumbing experience. You can check the manual for instructions on how to inspect it safely.
Causes of Inconsistent Water Heater Temperature and How to Solve Them
Below are some issues that can cause fluctuations in water heater temperature and how you can resolve them:
Faulty Dip Tube: In addition to regular wear and tear, other issues can affect your water heater. One is the dip tube, which can become cracked or broken. The dip tube connects with your water line to supply the water heater tank with cold water. It extends from the water line to the bottom of your water heater tank.
The cold water is heated at the bottom of the tank and rises to the top, where it will be pumped out of the tank. A cracked or broken dip tube will lead the water to the wrong place, causing it to mix with the hot water. In some cases, when hot water is needed, it pumps out cold water instead. You can solve this problem by following the steps below:
- Turn off the supply (electric or gas) to the water heater
- With channel lock pliers, unscrew and remove the vent stack on your water heater.
- Next, remove the dip tube and union fitting.
- Once you have removed the dip tube, cut a new one about 3 inches short to the bottom of your water heater tank.
- Install the New Dip Tube
- Complete the installation by wrapping the top of the tube with plumber’s tape and reattaching the pipes
Tankless Water Heaters: Sometimes, your tankless water heater might be the source of your problem. A tankless water heater works on demand and does not store heated water, so it has more energy efficiency. However, a common problem with these heaters is that water can slip through once the heater is turned off, leading to inconsistent temperatures. You can fix the problem with the following steps:
- Descale the Heater
- Check for any debris build-up in the vent pipes that can affect the heater.
- Take note of the water demand; once hot and cold water are demanded simultaneously, it can lead to inconsistent water temperature. You can either replace your heater or space out water demands to solve this problem.