leaking water heater

This summer in Texas has been one for the books. If you’ve been staying cool inside, we guarantee your HVAC unit is working overtime. While most people know to expect high AC usage during the summer, they don’t really consider the heat’s strain on the hot water heater.


During a stretch of extremely hot weather, hot water heater repairs run rampant. With higher demand for hot water, increased pressure on the system, and already-elevated ambient temperatures, heat waves create the perfect storm of conditions that can push a hot water heater to its limits.


Let’s get into some steps that could prevent leaks, damage, and complete failure when you need that hot shower the most.

The Heat’s Strain on Hot Water Heaters

There are a few key reasons why heat waves are rough on hot water heaters. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest reasons behind premature water heater replacements in the summertime.

Increased Hot Water Usage

It may seem contradictory, but when temps spike outside, demand for hot water rises in most households.


Heat leads to sticky bodies, and the demand for more showers and baths rises.


People trying to beat the heat may cook at home and stay in. This leads to more dish and laundry loads that put a strain on the water heater that makes critical appliances worthwhile.


The heating elements must work extra hard in the heat to keep the tank hot. This added effort under pressure can lead to overheating and breakdowns.

Higher Temperatures in the Home

Your water heater doesn’t exist in a bubble. When the ambient temperature rises in your home due to sweltering outdoor heat, it creates a hotter environment for your heater. This makes it more difficult for the tank to heat the water to the correct temperature.


As your water heater fights the outside heat, increasing the temperature in your home, it may turn on more frequently to keep water hot against the extra heat flowing in from outdoors. The excessive cycling on and off adds more wear and tear, eventually leading to a total breakdown.

Signs of Hot Water Heater Trouble

How do you know if your hot water heater is distressed because of a heat wave? Look out for the warning signs that could lead to an emergency plumbing repair.


  • Decreased hot water pressure
  • Discolored or odd-smelling water
  • Leaking from the tank
  • Rumbling or banging noises
  • Failure to heat water at all


Slow hot water recovery time is another red flag. If it takes longer for hot water to become available after showers or appliance use, this points to an overburdened system.

How to Prevent Heat-Related Water Heater Problems

With annual hot water heater maintenance and the following tips, you can take proactive steps to keep your hot water heater running smoothly through a stretch of extreme temperatures.

Turn Down Your Water Heater Thermostat

Lowering the temperature setting eases the strain on the unit. 120°F is usually an adequate temperature that lets your water heat up at a gradual speed and saves you money during the warmer months.

Insulate Hot Water Pipes

That’s right, pipe insulation isn’t just useful during freezing conditions; it can also save your water heater when summer is at its worst. Insulating hot water pipes helps them retain more heat, so your water heater doesn’t have to work as hard.

Limit Hot Water Use

Sometimes heat is an unavoidable problem for your water heater. If possible, try to take the physical weight off your unit’s shoulders. Take shorter showers, run full laundry and dish loads, and avoid unnecessary use.

Flush the Tank Annually

Working with a local plumber to drain sediment on an annual basis improves efficiency and prevents overheating.


However, if your water heater is over ten years old, even regular maintenance leaves it prone to heat-related failure. It may be time to investigate a standard or tankless water heater replacement to save money in the long term.

Keep Your Water Heater Functional with Plumbing Dynamics

If you notice any of the warning signs mentioned or have an older unit, play it safe and call a plumber to ensure you don’t face a water heater emergency this summer.

Our plumbers in Carrollton, TX can troubleshoot issues and help prevent catastrophic failure or leaks in your plumbing and water heater unit. With us on your side, your water heater can stay cool no matter how hot it gets outside.  Schedule your next appointment today!  Don’t forget to see if you quality for one of our plumbing specials first.