8 Reasons Why Is My Electric Tankless Water Heater Not Getting Hot Enough?

Hot water is the most important element in American homes. Its comforting presence is never fully appreciated until the moment it unexpectedly turns tepid and eventually runs cold. If your electric tankless water heater isn’t making hot water like it should, it can cause problems with your daily routines, like taking showers, washing dishes, and doing laundry.

In this handy guide, we’re going to dive into the top five reasons why your electric tankless water heater isn’t giving you the hot water you need. We’ll also chat about some practical fixes to tackle these problems. Once you’ve got the lowdown on these issues and how to sort them out, you’ll be all set for a steady and dependable supply of hot water in your home.

8 reasons Why is my electric tankless water heater not getting hot enough?

Electric tankless water heaters are renowned for their low maintenance requirements, good durability, and high energy efficiency.However, like any appliance, they are not entirely free from potential problems.Let us explore common problems associated with electric tankless water heaters not getting hot enough, with troubleshooting steps!

1. A Broken Dip Tube in Your Electric Tankless Water Heater

Repairing a broken dip tube in your electric tankless water heater is essential. The dip tube is a plastic pipe inside the heater that guides cold water to the bottom, where it gets heated and rises as hot water. If this tube is damaged, it can cause problems.

When the dip tube is broken, cold water mixes with hot water at the top, leading to lower hot water temperatures at your faucets and showerheads.

How to resolve this issue? 

To resolve these issues, you typically need to replace the broken dip tube with a new one. It’s essential to consult a professional or follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific water heater model to ensure proper installation and repair.

Also read: Why Is My Electric Heater Blowing Cold Air in House?

2. Sediment Buildup in Your Electric Water Heater

Sediment buildup in an electric water heater is primarily caused by the presence of minerals and debris in the water supply. Calcium and magnesium are among the minerals found in most water sources. When ingested, these minerals are safe because they are naturally present in the water. This means you may run out of hot water more quickly, especially during high-demand periods. However, these minerals may separate from the water and settle at the bottom of the tank when the water is heated in an electric water heater. 

How to resolve this issue? 

You should frequently clean the tank of your electric water heater to eliminate the accumulated sediment to address sediment buildup. To eliminate the silt, a portion of the water in the tank must be drained. For guidance on how to safely and properly carry out this maintenance task, consult the owner’s manual for your electric water heater or think about calling a qualified plumber.

3. “No Ignition” Error in Your Electric Water Heater 

A “No Ignition” error in an electric water heater typically indicates a problem with the ignition system, which is responsible for lighting the heating element (often electric coils) to heat the water. However, electric water heaters typically do not have a traditional ignition system like gas water heaters. Instead, they use electric heating elements that are either on or off.

Possible reasons for “no ignition” error – 

  • Tripped Circuit Breaker: If the circuit breaker that supplies power to your water heater trips, it will cut off electricity to the heating elements, causing a loss of hot water.
  • Faulty Thermostat: A malfunctioning thermostat may not accurately control the temperature of the water, leading to inadequate heating.
  • Age and Wear: Over time, the heating elements in an electric water heater can degrade or accumulate sediment, reducing their efficiency.
  • The gas supply to your electric heater is low. 

Also read: The Best Micathermic Heaters For Your Room or Office

How to resolve this issue? 

To figure out and fix a “No Ignition” problem in your electric water heater, it’s a good idea to look at the manual that came with it. The manual will have instructions on how to solve the issue. But if you’re not confident about dealing with electrical stuff or if the problem doesn’t go away, it’s safest to get in touch with a trained electrician or plumber. 

4. A Blocked Exhaust

A tankless water heater works by heating water and sending out the extra air and gasses through a pipe to the outside. If your tankless water heater isn’t working, it might be because the pipe where the air goes out is blocked.

Here’s what you can do to check for a blockage:

  • Make sure the pipe is open: First, see if the pipe where the air goes out is clear. It should be open and not blocked by anything.
  • Check the vents: Look at the vents that go both inside and outside your home. Make sure they don’t have things blocking them, like objects or debris.
  • Look for holes: Examine the pipes carefully. If you see any holes or damage, that could be a problem.
  • Check the installation: See if the water heater was put in the right way. Sometimes, if it’s too close to other things, it can cause a blockage.
  • By doing these checks, you can figure out if a blocked exhaust is causing your tankless water heater to not work properly. 

How to resolve this issue? 

There is no DIY solution for this one, it can only be fixed by a professional, so it’s better to contact a professional.

5. If The Water is “Too Hot” it’s A Problem! 

There are two possible reasons for this issue, one is that you manually set the temperature too high, and the other one is a malfunctioning thermostat. Now you need to recheck the settings of your electric heater for this, the recommended temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit anything above that is problematic.

If it’s not the case then,you need to replace your thermostat with a new one. 

Also read: What Color Should I Paint My Brick Fireplace

6. A Low Water Pressure In Your Electric Tankless Water Heater. 

We all, at least once in our lifetime, have experienced this, because this issue is so common! Sitting in the bathtub for hours only because it’s taking too long to fill in the tub. Apart from being extremely late for your daily routine, it also reduces the unit’s lifespan and invites more frequent visits for maintenance or repairs. A low water pressure in the heater may not “turn on” and heat the water. This kind of pressure also makes the temperature fluctuate a lot, so if you are experiencing hot-cold variations during showers, it means that you need to check the water pressure. 

How to resolve this issue? 

  • Clean the water filter

To clean the filter, start by shutting off the water supply to the unit. Take out the filter and rinse it with running water. Use a gentle brush to remove any debris or sediment. After it’s clean, put the filter back in its place and turn the water supply back on.

The water pressure regulator serves as a valve responsible for managing the water pressure that comes into your residence. When this regulator is set too low, it can lead to reduced water pressure not only in your tankless water heater but also throughout your entire home. If required, seek the assistance of a professional to make the necessary adjustments to the regulator.

If this does not work, getting help from a professional when you need it makes sure the issue gets fixed safely and in the right way.

7. Incorrect Sized Water Heater

Another reason for insufficient hot water could be that your water heater might not be big enough for your household. If you’ve recently moved into a new home or installed a new water heater yourself, this could be the issue. It’s a good idea to consult with a professional contractor who can help you determine the correct size for a new water heater and install it correctly.

8. Huge Physical Distance

If your water heater is located far away from the faucets, showers, or appliances that require hot water, it can result in delays in receiving hot water when you turn on the tap.

Example – Imagine you have an electric tankless water heater installed in your basement, but you want hot water in your upstairs bathroom. If the distance between the water heater and the bathroom is significant, it can take some time for the hot water to travel from the heater to the faucet or showerhead.

The delay occurs because tankless water heaters heat water on-demand as it passes through the unit, unlike the traditional tank water heaters that store and constantly heat a large amount of water. 

How to resolve this issue? 

Opt to install point-of-use tankless water heaters closer to specific fixtures, like showers or sinks, to ensure quicker access to hot water. And if you can find such a point in your house then you need to consult a plumber or a professional to explore potential solutions. 


When Is the Right Time to Change Your Electric Water Heater?

If all you get is just 5-7 minutes of hot water or let me put it in this way – hot water that’s not enough to fill the bathtub, then the dip tube of your electric water tank needs a change! Now changing the dip tube is not that heavy on your pocket, and can be done easily. 

However, if your electric water heater tank is older than 8 years,it’s time to say goodbye and get a new one! 

Wrap it up! 

A reliable supply of hot water is crucial for the smooth functioning of daily routines in our homes. When an electric tankless water heater fails to provide hot water as expected, it can disrupt various activities, from showering to dishwashing. We’ve looked into the main causes of this problem and offered solutions for each one.Whether it’s a broken dip tube, sediment buildup, an ignition error, gas supply issues, a blocked exhaust, incorrect thermostat settings, or a substantial physical distance between the heater and the point of use, there are solutions available. 

It’s essential to approach these problems systematically, following manufacturer instructions or seeking professional assistance when necessary. If you fix these problems properly, you can make sure you always have hot water at home, which will make your daily life more comfortable and convenient.