Water heaters play an important role in modern lifestyles, they heat your water so you can enjoy that hot shower, relaxing bath, or while you are doing your dishes. If you look back throughout history, you will see that regular and easy access to hot water is a luxury and is relatively recent. In fact, in many parts of the world people do not have access to hot water; and if they do, it can be very expensive to install a heating mechanism, not to mention accessing the electricity needed to heat water for a shower or a bath. Generally, most parts of the world still use cold water for bathing. However, in the United States, it is a luxury which many people expect and take for granted.
The reason so many people in the United States have access to hot water is that they have a water heater installed in their home. Water heaters are designed to supply continuous hot water to a home. There are several different ways to heat water, the most common in the United States is the use of a hot water tank. In other parts of the world, where it is difficult to access a tank, people may use pots or cauldrons to boil hot water for use.
A water tank is meant to supply hot water to a home. It does this by keeping a store of water continuously hot. When you use some of its store of hot water, more water is already being heated! The hope with this system is that there will be a continuously available source of hot water; this isn’t always the case however. Many people will be able to think of a time in their lives when the hot water has ‘ran out’. Sometimes this may happen in the middle of a hot shower, or half way through filling up the bath tub. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something wrong with your water heater; more often than not, this simply means that you used up the entire supply of hot water, and your heater is currently in the process of making more.
Many people who have older hot water heaters are very familiar with this. If you have an old hot water heater and a large family, it is not uncommon to set time limits on showers and try to space them out so that the hot water heater has a chance to heat up another batch of hot water for use. This doesn’t usually take long, and leaving 15-20 minutes between showers will generally do the trick.
Sometimes, however, if your hot water heater is continuously getting cold, you may want to look into water heater repair. Sometimes there can be a leak which is causing the hot water to run out quickly, and in some cases, it may be time to replace your hot water tank with a new one. You can increase the life of your hot water heater through regular maintenance, but every decade or so you will need to replace it with a new one.