Help! I Have No Hot Water!
Imagine the scene: you’re ready to start your day and you hop in the shower, and suddenly nothing but ice-cold water is coming out.
It’s an all-too-common problem with homeowners when they discover they have no hot water to do the things they need to.
If you’ve discovered you have no hot water, there’s no need to panic. Check out this helpful guide that explores a few reasons why you’re out of hot water and what you can do about it.
Your Gas Water Heater’s Pilot Light is Out
If you have a gas water heater in your home, there could be a few reasons why you suddenly have no hot water. First, make sure your water heater is getting the gas it needs.
Every once in a while, the gas supply can turn off or it could be interrupted. You’ll need to turn the gas control knob to PILOT and remove the cover where the burner and pilot light are located.
Once you find the location of the pilot light, look for a flame. If you don’t see one, it could be that the pilot light has simply gone out.
To reignite your pilot light, turn the regulator to the off position and then wait around five minutes for all the gas to safely disperse. Next, turn your regulator to pilot mode.
For heaters with the self-ignite feature, just hold down the ignition button for around a minute, then turn the regulator back to on. If you have to use a flame, use a long grill lighter and direct it right at the pilot burner. This should cause the pilot light to reignite.
If you’re still having issues, it may be related to the water heater’s thermocouple unit. This is an inexpensive part, and some gas companies will even come and replace it for free, so it can’t hurt to ask.
Your water heater should have a thermostat that allows you to regulate the water temperature. Ideally, this temperature should be set between 122 and 140 degrees.
If you notice that it’s lower than these numbers, simply turn the temperature up and see if the hot water resumes. Anything operating below the average range can not only be annoying, but it may also put you at risk for the growth of bacteria in your water.
When the water temperature is too low, it can increase the risk of Legionnaire’s disease, so pay close attention to the thermostat readings. Wait around 30 to 40 minutes after you turn it up, and you should have hot water again.
No Hot Water? It Could be Due to Sediment Buildup
As time goes on, your water heater can accumulate a range of sediment and other contaminants. When the water heater deals with sediment buildup, it can harden inside the bottom and reduce the ability to produce hot water.
To fix this problem, you should clean out your water heater on a regular basis. A water softening agent can also help to reduce the amount of buildup inside the unit.
You’ll need to completely drain the water heater before you can remove any sediment. Flush the unit using clean water and some vinegar to help get rid of stubborn limescale and other debris.
A regular flush of your water heater can help to improve not only the amount of hot water you’re getting but also the quality of your water. Pay attention to any unusual noises your water heater makes, as this could be an indication that there’s a lot of sediment inside.
If your water heater appears rusty, it may be time to replace it. Remember that the average lifespan of most water heaters is around 10 years so if it’s older, it could just be time to purchase a new one.
A Tripped Breaker
If you have no hot water but your water heater seems fine, it could be the result of a tripped breaker. If your water heater has a switch that may have been turned off suddenly, check the corresponding circuit breaker.
The switch on your water heater could turn off all by itself if the breaker is tripped. Check your electrical panel and look for the breaker assigned to your water heater.
If the breaker is not in line with the other ones, it was probably tripped. All you need to do is flip the breaker to the off position, and then back to the on position. This simple flip of a switch should reset the breaker.
Once you reset the breaker, your hot water should work again. If the breaker continues to trip, it’s time to seek the help of a professional electrician. Your water heater should be on a dedicated circuit and if it’s not, you’ll need to let the pros fix the problem.
Don’t Panic if You Have No Hot Water
If you discover that you have no hot water, there’s no need to worry. The problem is usually caused by something simple that you can correct on your own.
Remember to check the pilot light on your gas water heater and take a closer look at the circuit breaker. A regularly scheduled flush can remove buildup to help your water heater run more efficiently.
If you need professional help with your hot water situation or you have other plumbing issues, make sure you visit our website and contact us today to schedule an appointment or to request a quote.