Water Temperature Questions
How can I prevent my shower water from turning ‘colder’ when someone turns on the kitchen sink?
What you are experiencing is referred to as a water pressure drop. This may be due to the size and condition of your water distribution piping, low static and residual water pressure or the quality or working condition of your shower valve. I suggest that if your domestic water system is fed by a public water service, you should contact the water department and inquire about the water pressure in your area.
Low water pressure can sometimes be solved with a water pressure booster pump. You also may want to consider increasing the size of your water distribution mains and risers which will improve the volume of water available. If your plumbing system is not of historical significance, you might consider replacing old brass and lead piping that may be clogged with build up on the interior of the pipe walls. However, if your shower valve is old, non-balancing or is not functioning properly, it would be far less expensive to replace the shower valve than make any of the modifications above.
The temperature of my hot water seems to be set to hot for me. What is the best way to conserve energy, but still make sure to get an adequate amount of hot water?
Most people are comfortable with their hot water set at 120°F, which is also the new standard that manufacturers use when pre-setting it at the factory. If you have an older model, set the thermostat at medium. On a gas model, there is a dial on the front of the gas valve. On electric models, the thermostats (there may be two) are concealed behind the two panels on the side of the tank. NOTE: Turn off the electricity before removing the panels. There are exposed wires behind the panels containing HIGH VOLTAGE.
Our family of four has recently started experiencing problems with amount of hot water available in the house. Lately, the water the hot water runs out after a 5 minute shower. What has caused this and what can we do to fix it?
There are two possibilities. First, the dip tube has broken off. This is a tube that forces incoming water to the bottom of the tank so that hot water will be drawn off of the top. When the dip tube breaks, cold water entering the tank mixes with the hot water and cools it down. This can occur in both gas and electric models.
Second, if your water heater is electric, the lower element that heats the water may not be operating properly, thus only the upper half of the tank will heat up. The cause of this problem could be a bad element or a thermostat malfunction. If this is the problem, definitely call Mike’s Plumbing to fix it.