If the water coming out of your faucet is rapidly and suddenly switching between hot and cold water, you have a problem with your water heater. It may not be a serious problem, but it is one that you’ll want a professional to take care of as soon as possible. While you’re waiting for the system to get looked at, let’s examine why this is probably happening.

The Dip Tube

If you’re using a tank water heater, like most of the people in the country, your system makes use of a part called the dip tube. This tube is typically made of PVC, and extends from the water line to the bottom of the tank. All new water that enters the tank flows through this tube, while all water leaving the tank exits through the top.

The reason the system works this way is two-fold. First, being let out near the bottom of the storage tank allows the cold water to warm up more quickly than it otherwise would. Second, it prevents the cold water from mixing with the warm water that is in the process of leaving the tank.

The Problem

The dip tube is one of the less sturdy parts in the average water heater, and will degrade over time. As the tube wears down, it can spring a leak or crack. This causes it to leak cold water from the water line into the warm water in the top of the tank. As a result, when the water reaches your faucet it comes out in alternating temperatures. The best way to fix this is to simply replace the dip tube; they often aren’t worth repairing because of their materials.

Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing offers water heater repair services throughout Gaithersburg, MD. Call today for an appointment.