What to Do When You Have No Hot Water

Posted on: 27 October 2020

Water heaters have one job: deliver hot water to your house. If they fail to do that, that means that there is a significant issue with your tank that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. The problem may be solved by a simple water heater repair, or it could be a sign of a much larger issue that may even necessitate a full replacement. Regardless, below are a few of the most common reasons why water heaters refuse to put out any water. Work through them in order, and if necessary, call a technician to handle the issue.

The Energy Source Is Disconnected

It doesn't matter if you have a gas or electric water heater, if there is no power to your unit, the water heater simply can't function. For gas water heaters, check to see if the pilot light is on or if it's discolored. If it's gone out or is anything besides a simple blue color, then you should have a professional inspect it. For electric heaters, make sure that the connection is secure and that the breaker hasn't been tripped. If it has, simply flip the switch back and it should restore power. If the breaker keeps tripping, contact a professional to have it looked at, as that could be assigned a larger electrical issue.

Your Heating Element Is Broken

Most traditional storage tank heaters have two heating elements: one at the top and one at the bottom. If one of these is broken, then the amount of hot water in your tank will decrease significantly. If both of them are out, then you'll have no hot water whatsoever. Considering the fact that most water heaters have an average life expectancy of about 8-12 years, if your heater is nearing that limit, this might be the main culprit.

You Have a Water Leak Somewhere

Traditional storage tanks operate by filling up the tank and then heating it while it remains stored. If there's a leak, the hot water will pour out onto the floor and the system will have to continually pump in new water to heat up. Although checking for a water leak should be relatively easy, you should also inspect the lines running throughout your house to see if there's a water leak behind the walls as well.

Your Thermostat Is Faulty

All electric heaters use some version of a thermostat to regulate the temperature inside the tank. If that thermostat is broken, then you won't be able to determine how hot your water needs to be and can make it either too hot or too cold. If it doesn't work at all, then your heating elements won't turn on either, so check your thermostat after you look at the heating elements to make sure thermostat isn't the problem.

Contact a water heater repair contractor to learn more.


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After we purchased our very first home, I realized that I was really struggling with paying for the heating and cooling costs. We were spending much, much more money every month than we thought we were going to, and it was really difficult to figure out what we should do. We thought long and hard about how to minimize our expenses, but we didn't really get anywhere until we talked with an HVAC contractor. He mentioned specific, actionable ways to lower our bill, such as programming our thermostat and using more of our ceiling fans. This blog is all about lowering your bill.

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