We have plenty of hot water in the shower during the summer months, but when cold weather sets in within a matter of a couple minutes it slowly gets cool. As the years go on it gets worse and this year I don't even have time to wash my hair. When summer comes we have hot water during the full shower, including the hair wash. It seems to be only the shower that this happens to, other faucets are normal, including the tub.
Bonnie from Zion, IL
Try turning up the thermostat on the hotwater heater.
Try a hot water heater insulation blanket. It will help insulate from the cold to keep your water warmer. It will also save money on your energy costs.
Have you looked into getting a small tankless water heater? It heats water on demand. Ask your plumber about one to see if it would work for you.
Do the water pipes to the shower come up through an outside wall? If so you might have to insulate the pipes so that the water does not cool off before it gets to you.
Too many things to consider. Is the water heater old? Electric coils get a build-up of minerals. When is the last time you drained the water heater to remove sediments(that' why there is a 'hose bib' at the bottom of the tank)? You could insulate the piping, but I doubt that is the problem; once hot water is running through the pipes, it will take a very unusually cold atmosphere to chill it within minutes.
I'm placing money on the water heater needing to be replaced (without seeing the whole picture).
A new well insulated water heater will save you big bucks annually. 10-15yrs is usually a max life of a water heater. There are some that last longer, but their efficiency drops and your utility bill reflects it's efficiency. Water heaters cycle 24/7/365 and are the biggest, single energy consumer you have. If replacing, get one that has MORE than 1" of insulation. I replaced mine with a 2" insulation model (Sears: maybe not the best, but only one I could find with 2" insulation)
HOT WATER BASEBOARD & DOMESTIC HOT WATER: the heating pipe (can't think of the name) that is inside the boiler for the domestic hot water gets filled with calcium etc. In the old days they used to 'boil' it out, today they can't do it (chemicals) so you have to replace it. As far as I know there is NO way that you as a normal household owner can clean out the pipes. (*well maybe if you want to try to unhook everything and be without water for a few days)
I am in this posistion in 2 households, flipping up the thermostat for showers helps (remember to turn down)
HOT WATER HEATER:
If its hot water heater, clean out the bottom (make sure you have hose, rags, bucket). Find the shut off for water before doing anything - also locate the next shut off down the line in case the one closest to the water heater is non functioning (I have had this happen before). Google the instructions for cleaning the tank on line - its not a hard job, rough on back a little
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