Why Is My Water Heater Getting Too Hot?
November 28, 2022
Have you ever wondered: why is my home’s water so hot? If your regular hot water is suddenly scalding, your water heater may be the culprit. Issues that may make your water too hot include:
- Thermostat issue
- Faulty heating element
- Problem with a pressure valve
- Sediment buildup
These problems can affect all of our faucets, from your shower to your bathroom sink. In this blog, we’ll look at these issues and advise on how to turn down the heat on your water heater.
Do you need help with your water heater?
The courteous, knowledgeable plumbers at Red Cap Plumbing can evaluate your water heater and execute an expert repair or replacement that meets your scheduling needs. Get an online estimate or call us at (813) 963-3056 (Tampa) or (727) 474-8287 (Pinellas) or schedule an estimate online.
Electric water heaters come with a thermostat that controls the water temperature. Ideally, you should set your thermostat at around 120F (or 60C) — this is hot enough to prevent bacteria but not so hot that it causes damage. When your thermostat suddenly breaks down, this temperature may increase, making your sink and shower water too hot.
How to Fix:
Anyone who suspects they have a thermostat problem should start by checking the temperature. If it’s at the factory temperature setting (60C), try lowering it to around 50C. Is the temperature already lower than normal? Lower it even further. Then, test your shower or sink to see if the hot water is still scalding. Remember to reset the water heater to the original temperature after your test.
In some cases, decreasing the temperature will make the water cool down and fix the problem. If this doesn’t rectify the issue, however, you may have a deeper problem with your thermostat that requires professional assistance.
Faulty Heating Element
Oftentimes, overly hot water results from a faulty heating element. A standard water heater features an upper and lower heating element. They work together to heat your water, then automatically shut off when it reaches the desired temperature. If the heating element is faulty, this automatic shut-off function may stop working, making your bathroom water too hot.
How to Fix:
If you think you have a faulty heating element, make sure your fuse box isn’t the culprit. Sometimes, power surges can interfere with your water tank and prevent the heating element from regulating water temperature. If resetting the fuse box doesn’t work, you should contact a professional.
Problem With Pressure Valve
In each water heater, there is a temperature and pressure relief valve. If the water pressure or temperature becomes too high, this valve will release a small amount of water to lower it. When the valve malfunctions, it cannot regulate the temperature, causing your water to become too hot. In the worst-case scenario, a faulty valve can lead to flooding.
How to Fix:
To determine if a faulty pressure valve is making your shower and sink water too hot, flip the switch located on the side of the tank. In an ideal situation, the valve should release some pressure, which will cause a gurgling noise. However, if there’s a problem, one of the following things may occur:
- Rattling or screeching noise
- Gushing water
If you experience any of these issues, you must contact an emergency plumber. Our trained, licensed plumbers have years of experience in water heater repairs and are happy to schedule an appointment at a time that works for you.
Did you know water contains small concentrations of dissolved minerals? Because these minerals are heavier than water, they may settle at the bottom of your water tank, leading to sediment buildup. Over time, this can cause the tank to overheat.
How to Fix:
To determine if sediment buildup is the cause behind a faulty water heater, look for the following signs:
- Popping noises
- Rusty water
- Diminished water supply
The easiest way to get rid of sediment buildup is by contacting a plumber to flush the tank. In this procedure, the plumber will drain the tank to get rid of the sediment, then evaluate and refill it. For the best results, we recommend working with professionals with a 100% quality guarantee, like our Red Cap team.
Need a professional to repair your water heater?
If you’re looking for an efficient, speedy team to fix your water heater with a repair or replacement, the pros at Red Cap are here to help. Our convenient scheduling, quality, and on-time guarantees make us stand out. Call (813) 963-3056 (Tampa) or (727) 474-8287 (Pinellas) or schedule an estimate online today.
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