What Should You Do If You Run out of Hot Water?
There are several reasons you might run out of warm water. So the first thing to do is determine the cause. Even if you need a plumber, there may be ways to cut down on time and expense involved in remedying the situation if you know what has caused the lack of hot water.
Let’s start by asking a few questions …
- Did you have warm water for a shower a few minutes ago, but now the next person has none?
This could be a case of using up all the hot water in your hot water cylinder. Read more below.
- Do you have warm water, but it’s not hot enough?
This may be a problem with your tempering valve. You’ll need a plumber to have a look at this for you and possibly repair or replace the valve.
- Do you have no water whatsoever, not even cold water?
This is definitely a plumbing issue. Give us a call, and we’ll get our emergency on-call team to come out and see you.
Running out of warm water with a hot water cylinder
Have you used up all the warm water in the cylinder?
If you’ve run out of warm water, the first thing we want to know is whether you have a hot water cylinder with a limited supply of warm water. An average household hot water cylinder will hold anywhere from 150 to 300 litres. As the supply of warm water is used, more needs to be heated in the cylinder. So the problem of running out of warm water might result from using up all the warm water in your cylinder. If several people in the home have showers in a short period of time, this can happen.
It’s hard to estimate how many litres of warm water the average shower uses. But some estimates calculate we use about 10 to 15 litres per minute. If you have a six-minute shower, as we’re encouraged to do to save water. That’s still about 60 to 90 litres of water in a single shower. Of course, some factors affect this. Such as:
- the age of your shower and showerhead
- the temperature you prefer your water at
- the length of time you keep the water running
Is it possible to use up all the warm water in the cylinder?
However, you can see that it is possible to use up all the warm water in a 200L hot water cylinder with just a few showers. If this is the cause of there being no warm water. The solution is to wait for more warm water to heat up in the hot water cylinder.
How long it takes for water in a hot water cylinder to heat up depends on the size of the cylinder and whether it is gas or electric. A gas hot water cylinder will heat up water quicker than an electric hot water cylinder. You might be waiting 30 minutes to an hour for a 200L gas hot water cylinder to replenish itself. And closer to an hour and a half for an electric one.
Is there a fault with your power source or gas supply?
If you have an electric hot water cylinder. A problem with your power or electricity could cause you to have no warm water. If you’re home when the power goes out on your street. You will still be able to use the warm water in your cylinder. But you won’t be able to replenish it until the power goes back on.
You might also want to check to see if there is a localised issue with the power just at your property. Perhaps your circuit breaker has blown, and a circuit has tripped. Have a look at your switchboard and see if a switch has moved to the down position.
Similarly, if you have a gas hot water cylinder. You could lose warm water if there is a problem with the mains gas supply or if your bottled gas has run out.
Is the hot water cylinder itself not working?
There may be an issue with either the element or the thermostat. Perhaps the element at the bottom of the cylinder no longer heats. You have electricity to your element, but it has blown or is malfunctioning, so it no longer heats the water. Or the thermostat doesn’t work. Normally, the thermostat sends a signal to the element to tell it to turn on and what temperature to heat to. If it’s not working, the water won’t heat up.
There may also be a problem with the tempering valve. If it is malfunctioning or is not working, it will only let the cold water through.
If you have a gas hot water cylinder, you might have a pilot light that has gone out and needs to be reignited. Or your gas safety device may have shut off because it detects an irregularity. (E.g. a pressure drop).
Running out of warm water with a continuous flow hot water system
If you have a continuous flow hot water system and you run out of warm water. The cause of the problem will be different. There isn’t a cylinder or storage tank that holds your warm water. So it’s not a case of using up all the heated water. Water is heated with a continuous flow system as it is used. So essentially, you should never run out of warm water.
A continuous flow hot water system runs on natural gas, LPG or electricity. The first thing to do, then, is check your gas supply and your power source. Has there been a power cut to your property? Do you know if there is an issue with the mains gas supply?
You can check for either of these issues by turning on other appliances in the home. Do the lights go on? If you have a gas hob or stove, is it working? If there is a power or gas supply fault anywhere else in the house. That will most likely be why you have no warm water with a continuous flow hot water system. At Cylinder Direct, we have qualified gasfitters on our team who can look into any problems with your gas supply.
If you’ve run out of warm water or suspect your water isn’t as hot as it should be. Get in touch with us at Cylinder Direct. We’ll diagnose the issue – on the phone or onsite – and get things working again as quickly as possible.
Contact us on 0800 450 987 for immediate help or get in touch for a quote.