Can A Water Heater Cause Low Water Pressure in Your Home?

Experiencing low water pressure in your home can be frustrating. And when your hot water pressure is lower than it is typically, the first thing that’s likely to be on your mind is whether your water heater can cause low water pressure. Let’s find out whether this essential household appliance can be the cause of your problems.

Will a Bad Water Heater Cause Low Water Pressure?

Low pressure in your water lines is one of the most annoyingly frustrating plumbing issues you can ever experience. Most people don’t think about their water heaters until they experience issues such as insufficient amounts of water or leakages on the tank.

However, can a ‘bad’ water heater be the cause of loss of water pressure in your home?
Before we get into the topic, we first need to understand that water pressure and water flow aren’t the same things. Here’s what you need to know:

Water flow: water flow is the amount of water coming through a pipe at a time. It’s measured in liters per second. For example, you can describe it as the amount of water you get when you do specific tasks like washing dishes or taking a shower. These tasks require your plumbing system to give you a sufficient amount of water.

Water pressure: this refers to the energy or force applied to water flow to enable it to travel through the water lines. Most times, the amount of water pressure you have resulted from gravity. It is measured in kPa or kilopascals.

What Causes a Water Heater to “Go Bad”?

You might think that your water heater has gone ‘bad’ if it isn’t regularly maintained or if it’s nearing the end of its lifespan. There are many problems that your water heater can have but it might just be time for an inspection or service. You can help your water heater work efficiently at the required pressure by flushing out buildup and sediments from the tank.

Doing this will also help to improve the quality of water you get in your home. Sediments that have to travel through the pipes from the heater may increase friction inside the pipes and increase the risk of clogs and blockages in other parts of your plumbing system. Here’s what you need to do to flush your water heater:

  • Turn off the power or gas supply to the heater.
  • Keep the cold water feed to the tank on since it will help you get rid of the sediments while you empty the tank.
  • Get a long hose and connect it to the hose bib (drain faucet). Place the other end of the hose in an area where it can drain safely and open the hose bib.
  • Keep flushing until you see clean water coming from the end in the drain area. Make sure you complete this process at least once each year.

Keep in mind that while flushing can seem like an easy DIY project, it’s always best to get in touch with an experienced and licensed plumber to conduct annual water heater maintenance.

A professional plumber will perform the flush and inspect your entire plumbing system. They will also evaluate the condition of your water heater, check the thermostat and the pressure relief valve.

What Causes a Hot Water Heater to Lose Pressure?

Heated hot water leaving the water heater should have the same pressure and energy as cold water. If this isn’t happening, the pipes from the water heater running to the rest of the house or the water heater itself could have a problem. There are many common water heater issues that could be the source of the problem.

Knowing where the problem lies is vital. Replacing your water heater only to find that the issue still exists due to water line clogs or corrosion doesn’t make sense. Below are some issues that could be making your water heater lose pressure.

  • Buildup of hard water in the pipes can prevent water flow in and out of the tank and result in low water pressure.
  • If there’s an accumulation of sediments in your hot water tank, it can lower your water pressure.
  • The presence of kinks in the flexible water pipes used in water heaters can result in low water pressure.
  • If the shut-off valve isn’t fully open, water pressure can drop.
  • Small water distribution pipes will prevent adequate water pressure from getting to the water lines in your house.
  • Maintaining optimal water pressure from the hot water heater to the faucet can be difficult if there are too many sharp bends within that distance.
  • If pressure from the city to your house is too low, both the hot and cold water will lose pressure.

Can a Water Heater Cause Low Pressure in Both Hot and Cold Water?

Your water heater can cause low pressure in both the hot and cold water fixtures in your home. One example we’ve previously given of this is when the water coming to your house from the city is too low. Here are other reasons to explain low water pressure in both your cold and hot water faucets.

  • Hard water buildup: your water heater and connecting pipes are susceptible to mineral and sediment buildup over time. Mineral and sediment buildup can take up too much space and restrict water flow. The flow of water in and out of your water heater is compromised depending on the location of buildup.
  • Water heater valve: your water heater comes connected to a shut-off valve. If this valve is opened fully or is closed, you will experience low water pressure. Turning the water heater valve to open fully can remedy the situation and return your water pressure to normal.

Keep in mind that water heaters can be dangerous, especially since they generate a lot of pressure. If yours must be repaired, let a plumbing expert do it. They are knowledgeable about water heaters and how to prevent accidents from such repairs.

Will a Hot Water Heater Lose Pressure Suddenly?

Usually, the hot water pressure will lose pressure over time if there’s mineral or sediment clogging in your plumbing system. If this is the issue, the hot water pressure will be much lower than the cold water pressure. Nevertheless, there’s a reason why you experience a sudden loss of hot water pressure.

There could be a valve problem or blockage in your water piping. If cold water flows as it should, but the hot water stops suddenly, a valve may have a broken stem part. When this happens, the valve looks open externally but has an issue internally. Another issue is that the control valve may be closed. Lastly, sudden hot water pressure loss may be caused by a blocked pipe elbow or valve. The blockage could be a result of mineral scale or other debris in your tank or plumbing system.

Hot Water Heater Repair at White’s Plumbing

If you are having issues with your hot water heater, it may be time to call the professionals. If you are experiencing any of the issues mentioned above, be sure to reach out to White’s Plumbing for plumbing repair and maintenance.

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Why is the Kitchen Sink Not Getting Hot Water?

Kitchen Sink Water Running

Home maintenance issues aren’t always straightforward. Some may require significant repairs, and some only need a simple, DIY fix. The lack of hot water in your kitchen sink is the same. This issue could be caused by complications such as a blocked faucet or a water heater that needs servicing. 

On the other hand, it could need a simple solution such as turning the water valve under the sink back on and figuring out which of these solutions your kitchen sink needs isn’t difficult. Let’s troubleshoot the reasons why your kitchen sink isn’t getting hot water.

Reasons Kitchen Sink is not Getting Hot Water

As we mentioned earlier, there could be various reasons why you aren’t getting hot water in your kitchen sink. You could be having a blockage in the faucet, an issue with the water heater, or a faulty faucet cartridge. You should examine each part until you find the exact cause of the issue with your kitchen sink. Let’s look at some of them.

Line Blockages

Blockages in the water lines could be preventing hot water from getting to your kitchen sink. To check whether or not you have line blockages, get under the sink and turn off the cold water supply. Next, you should loosen the cartridge and turn the hot water on. If you still don’t get hot water after this, there could be a blockage in your kitchen faucet. 

To fix this:

  • Get under the sink and turn off the hot water supply.
  • Take out the hot water supply line and place an empty bucket under the connection.
  • Turn on the cold water.
  • Block the faucet spigot with your finger and turn on the cold water.

This action will force the water to pass through the hot water inlet and force anything causing the blockage to get out of the faucet. Hot water should flow again once you remove the blockage and reassemble your sink.

Water Heater Issues

Some common water issues preventing water from getting to your hot water faucet include:

  • Failing heating elements and 
  • Leakages caused by rust and corrosion

Failing Heating elements

If there are failing elements inside your water heater, this could be the reason why you don’t have hot water in your kitchen sink. To check whether this is the problem:

  • Shut off the electrical and water supply to your water heater. Remove heating elements by following the instructions on your unit.
  • Check if any elements are corroded or have rust and other damage that may hinder them from working. Order new ones if they’re damaged.

Leakages Caused by Rust and Corrosion

Rust and corrosion can cause leaks. If there are signs of leakages caused by these two aspects, you will have to buy a new heater. Check where the leak is coming from so you can determine its cause. Other than corrosion and rust, other problems causing leakages include:

  • Loose pipe connections
  • A leaking inlet valve or gasket
  • Excessive pressure in the pressure and temperature valves

These issues can be fixed, and once they are, you should get your hot water with no problem.

Cartridge Issues

There is a cartridge installed inside your single-action kitchen faucet if that’s what you have. The cartridge controls the amount of cold and hot water that comes on depending on how you turn the faucet. 

The cartridge tends to collect debris that causes blockages over time. The blockage prevents hot water from getting to the faucet. To repair this issue, the cartridge must be removed from the faucet and cleaned. How to clean the cartridge will depend on the type you have.

Kitchen Sink Takes a Long Time to Get Hot

Here are some reasons why your kitchen sink takes a long time to get hot.

  • There’s already water in the pipes: when you turn your faucet on, water will start to come out. However, this is water that is already in your pipes. You won’t get water directly from the heater since there was already water in your pipes.
  • Distance from the faucet to the water heater: hot water has to travel from your water heater to your faucet. The water has to get through multiple pipework before it can get to your fixture. But, as it does this, the cold water will flow first.
  • Volume restrictors: some fixtures have a volume/flow restrictor installed. These allow you to save on costs and conserve water. However, since the water comes through slowly, hot water will take longer to get to you.
  • Malfunctioning water heater: your water heater could have a malfunction if it’s taking too long to heat water or the hot water gets finished too fast. Call a professional to have a look at it if you think it’s nearing the end of its lifespan.
  • Sediment buildup: water flowing through your home usually has minerals such as magnesium and calcium in it. If you have hard water, you are more susceptible to mineral buildup, which reduces the amount of water your tank can hold. If the tank has reduced capacity, it will run out of hot water fast.
  • Outside temperature: if it’s cold outside with freezing temperatures, your heater will work harder to deliver hot water since the pipes outside that are in cold ground will cool the water.
  • Thickness and size of the pipes: if your pipes have a larger diameter, they’ll take longer to deliver water since they hold much more. The opposite will happen if they’re smaller.

Can You Speed Up Time it Takes to Get Hot Water?

Yes, you can. But, there are several things you must do to achieve a faster rate of hot water. Here’s how:

  • Pipe insulation: adding insulation to your pipes can solve the problem, especially if they’re a wider diameter or temperatures are freezing. Insulation will keep the heat in for much longer.
  • Hot water recirculation pump: this system will allow unused water to circulate back to the heater. This reduces your wait time and ensures there’s hot water in other areas of your home.
  • Install higher flow rate fixtures: if your kitchen faucet has a low flow rate, replace it with one with a higher flow rate.
  • Upgrade to tankless water heater: such heaters don’t have a tank to store water. They heat water through the system as it flows. 
  • Routine maintenance: regular maintenance of your water system can help you prevent hot water issues. 

How Long Should it Take to Get Hot Water to Kitchen Sink?

The correct answer for this question is that it’s dependable. The amount of time hot water should take to get to your kitchen sink depends on:

  • The distance of the faucet from the water heater.
  • The diameter of your pipes
  • External temperatures.
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Call White’s Plumbing Today!

If you are having issues with your kitchen sink and are not sure how to fix it, you should contact a plumber. White’s Plumbing located near Wake Forest, NC has the personnel available to fix any plumbing issue you may have. If you are not getting hot water to your kitchen sink, contact us today and we will get back to you in no time!