Why Is My Hot Water Running Out So Fast

Why Is My Hot Water Running Out So Fast?

Are you thinking there is no way you could have used all the hot water? Or perhaps you turned the hot water on 30 minutes ago.

Well unless you have been using more than normal or left the hot water tap running then its quite possible there is a hot water problem that needs investigating.

3 Most Common Reason Why Hot Water Runs Out Quickly

Sediment Build Up In Your Tank

As water is heated dissolved minerals such as magnesium and calcium precipitate and are deposited at the bottom of the tank, creating a layer if sediment.

As time progresses sediment can take up a lot of space in your tank limiting the amount of hot water it holds. Hence why the hot water runs out quickly.

If this is happening you may notice visible sediment in the water or unusual sounds coming from your tank as well as hissing or leaking from your TPR valve.

Faulty Lower Heating Element

Most electric water heaters have two heating elements. One on the bottom which does most of the work. Cold water enters the bottom of the tank and the bottom heating element heats the water which then rises to the top.

The top water heating element maintains the water temperature at the top.  Therefore if the lower water heater is faulty then you will notice a considerable drop in the water temperature.

This can be caused by a build up of sediment, a faulty thermostat or an electrical wiring problem.

hot water heater

Damaged or Broken Dip Tube

The job of the dip tube is to push the cold water in the tank to the bottom of the tank. When this tube is not working properly then the cold water stays at the top.

The problem with this is, the hot water rising to the top then mixes with the cold water reducing the over all temperature of the water tank. This means that when you turn on the hot water tap, the water will be cooler.

Does Your Heater Need Replaced

This may be the news that you do not want to hear. It costs money and requires a plumber to come into your home and carry out some maintenance work. However, especially if you live in a older home then it may be the reality.

But how do you know for sure that your heater needs replaced?

The typical life span for a water heater is 10 – 13 years. Some gas heaters may be less where you can get 8 years out of them. If you are unsure we recommend checking the serial number and check if the date of manufacture is printed on the heater. You can also call the manufacturer with the serial number and they can inform you of the year of manufacture of your water heater.

Buying A New Water Heater - What To Consider


Water Heater Providers offer a range of warranties for water heaters. These can range anywhere from 2 years to 10 years. While most people never have to use their warranty, we still recommend getting a longer warranty if you can. Water Heaters are expensive and given that they are used regulary and are so important to your household its definitely worth a longer warranty. Particularly if you own your own home.

Anti-Scale Devices

Mineral build up can cause damage to your water heter. One way to avoid this is to use an anti-scale device. But how does an anti scale device work I hear you say?

The device creates movment of the water at the bottom of the tank and with the water moving mineral build up is less likely. Over time this prevents sediment from building up and causing damage to your tank. An anti-scale device is not the be all and end all.

There are many other reasons why your tank may become faulty over time. Therefore if you have a good water tank and a long warranty then there may be no need for an anti-scale device.

New hot water heater

Ceramic Enamel Lined Tank

Tanks that are lined with ceramic enamel can have there life span greatly extended. This is because the lining slows down the corrosion of the steel tank and extends its lifespan. it is not absolutely necessary, however it is worth weighing this up against the length of the warranty etc.
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Fuel Type

Your choice of fuel type will depend on your property. Many city properties use gas and electric water heaters while more rural properties and older city properties use oil heating. All have many advantages and disadvantages over each other.

Which will offer different levels of efficiency, environmental impact and convenience etc. This is a whole other subject matter which we will not get into here, but definitely worth considering.


Whilst the obvious choice sometimes is to go for the lowest cost or most efficient heater. Many people forget to consider whether the size of your water heater is fit for purpose. If you have a family of 6, have you considered whether the water heater is big enough to offer enough hot water during peak times.

Energy Efficiency

This really boils down to cost. You want a water heater that will do its job efficiently, whilst not burning up too much energy and burning a hole is your pocket at the same time. Each water hheater will give you its energy efficiency and it is worth paying close attention to detail when reviewing this.

Need A Plumber To Fix Your Hot Water?

Call The Leicester Plumber today for a free quote!

Learn More:

Learn how to make a claim using your warranty
What to do when you have a faulty product