Nothing wakes you up as the cold adrenaline rushes you get when you shower and discover … no hot water! Any number of problems can cause a lack of hot water. There are a few things you can do to help your plumbing professional diagnose your hot water problem.
If water leaks from the bottom of the water heater, the unit may have an internal crack. This means that you will need a new water heater. Other problems are less catastrophic and can typically be repaired by a plumbing professional.
On the other hand, if your water heater leaks from the top of the unit, the culprit is most likely a malfunctioning fitting or other part. In most cases, it's a simple repair.
Five Reasons You May Not Have Hot Water In The House
Spotting a Water Leak
Water leaks in your heater can be disastrous, as, without water, the appliance cannot perform its heating function. Check around your water heater for signs of dampness or moisture. If you find any, the unit may be leaking and potentially needs replacing. However, before making a decision, we recommend consulting a professional for a second opinion. Some leaks could be from the fixtures of the water heater, which could be easily resolved by a simple replacement.
A gas leak can not only disrupt your hot water supply but also pose a serious hazard. If your water heater runs on natural gas and you suspect a leak, it's crucial to act swiftly. In case you smell gas, immediately call your gas utility provider and report an emergency. It's also advisable to vacate your premises until help arrives. To get your heater back up and running, you may need to relight the pilot light and ensure it functions as intended. A professional plumber or water heater expert can assist in this process.
Pilot Light Problems
Two main issues could arise with gas water heaters leading to a lack of hot water. The first is an extinguished pilot light, which provides a constant flame inside your heater. If your pilot light is out, follow the manufacturer's instructions to reignite it. Make sure your pilot light burns bright blue, as any drafts or a yellow flame might indicate a problem, possibly the presence of carbon monoxide, requiring immediate technical attention.
The second issue could be a malfunctioning thermocouple, a small probe designed to halt the gas flow if the pilot light goes out. If your thermocouple is misplaced or dirty, try cleaning it or repositioning it directly in the flame. If these steps don't help, and the pilot light still doesn't stay lit, it's possible the thermocouple is faulty and needs replacement. In such cases, contact a technician.
Breaker Issues Unlike their gas counterparts, electric water heaters do not have pilot lights. They heat water using electricity, but problems can still occur. If your electric water heater is malfunctioning, it could be due to a tripped breaker. If a breaker flips back off after being reset, you likely have a fault within your heater that needs a professional inspection.
Some problems leading to a lack of hot water are because of the unit itself. If your hot water heater runs on natural gas and you don't have hot water, it may be that your pilot light is out. This may be something you can fix yourself, but natural gas is nothing to play around with. Be safe and contact a professional to get your pilot relit and ensure there's no bigger underlying problem.
Check on electric units to ensure that a circuit breaker has not tripped. If all breakers are intact and you still have no hot water, your unit's thermostat may have failed. Again, this is a repairable situation that a plumbing professional can fix quickly.
Sometimes a water heater cannot keep up with a household's demand. This can be caused by wear and tear, sediment buildup, or increased demand. Whatever the cause, if you are experiencing a lack of hot water, don't hesitate to call a plumbing professional immediately.