Mailbag: Hot Water Heater Gets Cold too Fast

Gregory & Kara Miller wrote:

I love the advice on the website, but wonder if you also have any free advice for hot water heaters? Mine suddenly seems to run out of water too quickly.

The pilot light is lit.
The water valve is open.
The pipe leaving the heater is hot.
Hot water comes out of the heater for a while, but…
it starts to turn cold before even filling a bathtub with water
(the heater has MUCH more capacity than the tub!).

Any quick thoughts? This seems to be a recent problem (didn’t notice it before a few weeks ago).


Greg Miller.

At the bottom of your hot water heater, you’ll see a drain valve with a standard garden hose fitting. Connect a garden hose to the valve as shown here and open it all the way to flush all the accumulated scale and crap out of the tank. Leave it open until the water runs clear then close it. Wait one hour and then go take a long, hot shower. Ahhh!


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