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Always Running Out of Hot Water?

Imagine the feeling of getting a warm shower to start your day. Steam, soap, a sense of peace. Breathe deep—you’re ready to take on the world. If you live in a full house though, how often does that happen? You probably don’t remember the last warm, uninterrupted shower.  After all, your spouse and your kids all need their share of hot water in the morning—there just isn’t enough for everybody. But every house comes with a hot water heater, so why doesn’t it do its job? Why don’t you get the hot water you want, whenever you want it?

Read on to learn about the three most common reasons people run out of hot water during a shower, and figure out which one is YOUR, specific, cold water culprit.

Three Big Reasons

These cold water culprits are for traditional tank water heaters. With a tank ranging from 20 gallons to 100 gallons, tank water heaters were the only home option for a long time and are still the standard.

These problems don’t apply to Tankless Water Heaters, which provide an endless supply of hot water. In fact, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing specializes in installing tankless water heaters. If after reading the blog, you’re interested, give us a call at (609) 604-8364.

But for now, let’s diagnose your current water heater and get you those hot showers back.

Reason One: Sediment

Over time, the minerals in your water form deposits in your water heater, limiting the capacity. The sediment builds up like stalactites and stalagmites in a cave. For example, a once robust 60 gallon heater can be reduced to a 40 gallon capacity heater.

Clues sediment might be your cold water culprit:

  • You once had enough hot water, but now you don’t.
  • You know you have hard water, and often see the mineral buildup on faucets and around drains.
  • Your hear a gurgling or banging sound from your hot water heater, caused by the buildup of sediment.
  • You have never had a plumber inspect your hot water heater.

Sound like your situation?

Reason Two: Size

If this is the case, your heater isn’t damaged. It just isn’t big enough. Sure, a small heater works great for a family of three but definitely not for a family of six.

United States Geological Survey Estimates show that an average 10 minute shower uses 20 gallons of hot water. If you have four people who need showers in the morning, a 40 gallon tank will leave at least two people suffering through cold showers.

Clues a small heater might be your cold water culprit:

  • You have a big family.
  • You’ve never had enough hot water.
  • Your water heater is new and in good condition, but still not performing well.

Sound familiar?

Reason Three: Old Age

Do you reminisce about the glory days of your hot water heater?

On average, hot water heaters have a shelf life of 8-12 years. Anything past that mark, the components are going to degrade and performance will suffer.

Clues Old Age might be your cold water culprit:

  • You once had enough hot water, but now you don’t.
  • You’ve had the sediment in your tank flushed.
  • You know your water heater is more than 8 years old.

Could this be your reason?

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Pleasantville On the Case

Have a prime suspect for why you run out of hot water during your showers?


Want to know with 100% certainty?

Bring out an expert who has seen more water heaters in every condition. Our plumbers can diagnose your issue and offer a solution on the spot.



If sediment is the cause, our plumbers can flush your tank of troublesome minerals. As a bonus, you can enroll for an Annual Maintenance Program and have our plumbers keep your water heater sediment-free from now on.


A Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Pleasantville Plumber will quickly be able to determine if your heater is too small to meet your needs. They’ll be able to recommend the right size heater and present you with options.

Also, if your small heater is in solid condition, you might be able to sell it privately. It might be the perfect size for someone else.

Old Age

One of our experts will be able to inspect your heater and determine which components are failing due to age.

When you’re planning to purchase a new water heater, consulting with a knowledgeable Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Pleasantville plumber is a smart play.


Everyone in your family enjoying a hot shower in the morning isn’t out of the question.

The right water heater in good condition makes it a reality.

If you know —or want to know— your cold water culprit, bring out a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Pleasantville to find and rectify the problem. Whether you need a sediment flush or a new heater, we’ve got you covered.

Contact us at (609) 604-8364 to get your hot water back for good!