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Plumbing Articles from New Orleans, LA
What to Do When You Have No Hot Water!
You wake up for work in the morning and head to the shower as you would normally. Little did you know this normal routine was about to take a chilly turn. In your half-asleep stupor, you step into the ice-cold mist.
You’re the first one in your house to get a shower so there should be no reason why you have no hot water. The truth is that there could be a lot of reasons depending on the type of hot water heater you have.
So, put on a towel and head over to your water heater. Here are a few troubleshooting steps you can perform when your hot water goes out.
If you’ve had a lot of guests over at your house who have all taken showers back to back then that would be why your hot water is out. When this is the case then all you have to do is sit for a while until the water comes back.
If you’re home by yourself though, your troubleshooting will need to get a little bit deeper than that. You’ll have to actually head to your hot water tank.
2. Gas Water Heater Troubleshooting
There are different things that you can check depending if you have a gas water heater or an electric one. Here is everything that you should look for if you’re using a gas water heater.
There is No Gas Supply to the Water Heater
The first thing that you should check is if your water heater is even getting the gas that it needs to work. There are times when it gets shut off for whatever reason.
Turn your gas control knob to PILOT and then remove the cover that’s near the burner and pilot light. You should see a flame lit inside. If you don’t then it’s not getting gas.
The Pilot Light Has Gone Out
If the flame is out the next thing you’re going to do is check the pilot light. If that’s gone out then you’ll need to relight it. Instructions on how to do this should be on the side of the tank.
If the instructions aren’t there then you can consult the owner’s manual. If the pilot light won’t stay lit up or light up at all then you should call someone out to look at it.
Is the Burner Working?
The first step to checking this is to make sure that your burner is turned off. Once it’s off, set your thermostat to 120 and then let the hot water faucet run.
The burner should ignite but if it doesn’t continue to let the faucet run and bump up your thermostat. If it still doesn’t ignite then that means you need to call a professional to look at it.
Check for a Gas Leak
If you have a gas leak you’ll know it. The entire room where you keep your hot water heater will smell of rotten eggs. If you do smell this then you’ll need to turn off the gas valve control right away and call someone out to look at the water heater.
3. Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting
Electric water heaters have a completely different set of problems that may be causing it not to work. Here are a few of the things you should be looking for.
One common reason why your electric water heater isn’t working is that the breaker was tripped. Check your circuit box. If the one connected to your water heater is slightly out of line then flip it to the off position and then back to on.
This should fix your problem. If the breaker trips soon after you perform this step then you’ll want to call an electrician to see what’s going on.
High-Temp Cutoff Switch
Another reason why it may not be working is that the high-temp cutoff switch was tripped somehow. Open the panel and press the button to reset it. You’ll hear a clicking sound when the switch is reset.
Your water heater should be turned back on. If it’s not then this means your high-temp cut off needs to be replaced.
Water Inside the Compartment
If you check your water heater and notice a bunch of water inside the compartment then this means your tank is leaking. Your tank will need to be replaced if this is the case.
The water may have also caused the thermostat to malfunction if it managed to get to it.
Another common issue is your heating element. One or both of them may need to be replaced depending on how old the water heater is. It’s won’t cost you much money and it’s easy to do but there are a few safety precautions you have to take.
The water heater has to be turned off at the circuit breaker. There can be no electricity running into it at all or you could get hurt.
Keep in mind that if your electric water heater is well over its 10th birthday then it may be a better idea to replace it rather than the heating elements.
4. Reevaluate Your Needs
If you check for all these problems and find that nothing is wrong with your water heater then it may be time to reevaluate your needs. Water heaters come in different shapes and sizes, and then of course then there is the choosing between a tank or tankless water heater.
If you find that you’re out of hot water more often then not, then you might want to spring for a larger hot water heater.
Steps to Take When You’ve Got No Hot Water
It can be easy to start panicking when you first step into that ice-cold shower but take a moment to breathe. There are a few troubleshooting steps you can take when you’ve got no hot water that might solve your problem.
Try out some of the steps in this guide and if they don’t work, then contact us to get a quote on repairs.
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