We use hot water for many things in our modern homes. Imagine the time saved in cooking, cleaning, bathing, and heating space because of the invention of the water heater. This quiet staple of our home appliances is no doubt appreciated, but can be overlooked at times… until we’re in the shower and the water goes cold.
Water heaters provide a continual supply of hot water and are fueled most commonly by natural gas or electricity. The electricity needed to heat the water may come from a variety of sources, such as liquefied petroleum gas, oil, or even solid fuels. These produce electricity which, in turn, heats the water. Another electrical source like nuclear power or renewable energy, or even some alternative energy sources like solar, heat pumps, hot water heat recycling, or geothermal heating can ultimately be what makes your 50 gallon water heater work!
A 50 gallon water heater contains two heating elements and two thermostats although only one heating element is used at a time. When the bottom thermostat reaches the set temperature, the heating element shuts off, and then the top one kicks on. The cycle keeps going to maintain the set temperature.
There are a few things that can begin to go awry with your 50 gallon water heater. It might start leaking a pinhole-sized leak from the bottom or your hot water may be running out too quickly. There are a few things to consider when these problems start happening, particularly the latter problem. How old is the water heater? It might be time for a new one, especially if there is a leak. Check the temperature set on the water heater. It should be set at medium high: 130-140 degrees. Does your tank have an insulation blanket on it? Do you have a dishwasher and/or washing machine that may need to be replaced? How old are they? How long do you typically take your showers? Are your pipes insulated? Maybe one of your heating elements has gone bad and needs to be replaced.