No Hot Water ? Now what?


Today we are going to take a look at the most common water heater problems no hot water to your home. Most people do not think about maintaining their water heaters until they encounter a problem or leak. But all water heaters require ongoing maintenance to insure they last and work efficiently. When the water heater is not producing hot water, one of the first things to check is, if you have a gas or an electric unit? If you are not sure what type of water heater you have read this article for more details no hot water problems.

You will be working with gas or electric and extremely hot water Please be very careful!!

If you know what type of water heater you have, feel free to read some simple diagnostic information below. We have also some great videos on trouble shooting the most common problems all this can be found below.

How to find out if you have a Gas or Electric water heater

If you are unsure on the type of water heater you have there are a few ways to identify this, normally you will have a label that will say Gas or Electric as the photos below indicate. If not you can try looking in the user manual if you do not have a user manual try some of the points below these are some of the most common ways to identify between the both types of water heaters.

  • Gas water heaters typically have pilot flames with on and off switch.
  • Electric water heater electric plugs to power the appliance.
  • Gas water heater usually have a main gas line with shut-off valves and a vent that looks like a chimney on top.

Images Below show how to spot the differences between the types of water heaters

Common problems to no hot water in-house ?

Below is are a few common problems these are overviews and then broken down into Gas and Electric type water heaters.

  • Possible water heater leaking
  • Is the tank big enough?
  • Your pilot light has gone out
  • The breaker has been tripped

No one likes a cold shower yet no hot water in shower is a common problem, so having no hot water in your home can become a big annoyance. There are a few common problems that can cause you to run out of no hot water in apartment or your home, many of which are fixable. So, before you decide to call your local plumber try a few of the tips listed below to see if you can solve the problem yourself as sometimes it can be a more serious problem like no hot water pressure.

#1: Wait for water heater to re-heat the water
You may run out of hot water if you have extra people over and doing multiple water consuming jobs like doing the washing and taking showers back to back. This can consume the hot water heater of the water it has heated and then you need to wait some time for the water to re-heat. So, before doing anything, try waiting a little while to see if your hot water returns. If after waiting you still don’t have any hot water then you may have a more serious problem.

#2: Is the tank big enough?
If you are running out of hot water constantly then you might need to make sure that the hot water tank you have is large enough for your household needs. You can research the size of the water heater that you have and then see how many gallons it holds and go from there to figure if it is right for your home or not. If not you might need to consider getting another hot water heater installed to keep you from having the same problem on a regular basis.

If you think the water heater is too small we have a few reviews on some of the most popular water heaters for your home.

#3: Your pilot light has gone out
If the water heater is gas-powered you might find that your pilot light has gone out. If that is the case you will need to relight it. First, you will need to turn the regulator to “off” for a few minutes. Once you have done this you may then turn it to pilot. If you need to light it with a flame use a long lighter and then place it where the pilot burner is. If it is a self ignite then simply hold down the ignition button. Keep the water heater reset button held down for a minute and then turn the regulator to “on”.

#4: The breaker has been tripped
If you have an electric water heater you should check to see if the breaker has been tripped. To do this you will need to go to the circuit breaker box and see if any of the breakers are not in line. If the breaker has been tripped simply flip the breaker to the right and then back to the left.

Common no hot water with Gas Water Heaters

  • Pilot light has gone Off.
  • No Gas supply to the unit
  • Gas water heater thermostat is set too low

Below is a list of possible issues related to no hot water with gas water heater units.

#1: Re-light The Pilot Light Needs
Once you have established you have a gas water heater and have insured the pilot light is on, if on the other hand your pilot light is off you will need to re-light the pilot you can follow the simple procedures below.

  • Turn pilot off.
  • Turn “pilot” switch, and flame will ignite
  • Once lit, switch knob “on”
  • You will have hot water to your home when the flame remains lit.

#2: No Gas
Unable to turn on the pilot light or it will not remain on then you could have a gas supply issue , gas may not be entering the tank for the pilot to ignite follow a few steps below to help.

#3: Too Low (Gas) Thermostat
Thermostat on the water heater needs to be checked and should be set to “normal” (117°- 140°F or 40 too 50°C). This could be your issue so ensure your temperature is set high enough to activate the unit. You can also reset this but turning it to the lowest setting and then back up to the maximum and you will then hear the heater start to activate.

Common no hot water with electric water heaters

  • The circuit breaker needs to be reset
  • Electric water heater thermostat is set too low

Lets take a quick look at troubleshooting electric hot water heater issues.

#1: Reset Circuit Breaker
The circuit breaker also known as a water heater thermostat is an essential part of your unit and this is one of the first parts to check when you have issues. The first procedure to do is reset the circuit breaker by pressing on the small round button. I would also advise to check your fuse box for any burned out fuses. For more detailed information on the circuit break and  its replacement you can read more here.

#2: Low Electric Water Heater Thermostat

Check the main thermostat control a round dial with temperature markings. A typical setting temperature for this would be around (117°- 140°F or 40 too 50°C)
For more help you can refer to the video below that covers the topics we have covered this is for electric water heaters.

No hot water in shower

  • Check the water heater as the source of the problem
  • No hot water in shower but plenty everywhere else, No hot water from faucet
  • Shower valves

Hot water in your shower not functioning? bear in mind that the warm water coming from a shower is originating from your tank. This issue can be resolved by checking all the steps above if it continues you will probably have a pressure problem refer to the video below.

Check Water Heater as the source of the problem
Make sure the water heater temperature level is adjusted appropriately, if the water in the shower never warms, the trouble may be with the temperature command. This can lead to no hot water pressure in shower. If you have an electrical water heater, among the components might have burned out as well as the water either gets hot for only a brief length of time, or it never heats.
On older water heating systems, the cold water supply dip tube could have degraded due to old age. As opposed to the inbound cold water going straight to the heating element for home heating, a damaged dip tube can be your issue. With a damaged dip tube you won’t get any hot water. A quick look for that condition is to analyze tap water and look for any type of plastic items. Plastic particles are a sure sign your dip tube has actually weakened and is starting to break apart.

No hot water in shower but plenty everywhere else check other taps in the house.
There are a few issues that can cause this but you will need to understand that this is a problem with the shower and not the water heater unit. your main issue is the shower mixing valve please refer to the video above on how to resolve this issue. Another issue can be when you install a new shower valve the regulator is usually set to the factory default and will need to be re-adjusted to a higher temperature setting.

Shower Valves
Shower valves blends cold and hot water to offer you the ideal temperature this could be worn or miss aligned similar to O-rings or washers they get worn down, and therefore the valve does not correctly blend the warm and cold water. This normally is a do-it-yourself repair work, and therefore home supply shops carry the needed components like washers or shower valves. Below image illustrates a distinctive difference from a worn out washer.

O-rings or washers have worn out

O-rings or washers have worn out

No hot water pressure, the reasons for no hot water

No hot water pressure in the house or apartment usually is due to sediment and rust build up within the pipes or taps. This is usual after some major repairs or maintenance if you follow-up a usual yearly maintenance be sure to drain your water tank of any sediment and rust build top. If you have recently had galvanized pipes you will usually have decreased water pressure follow our yearly maintenance guide.

Low pressure in the bath taps and shower
If you have low hot water pressure in your shower and not in the bath taps remove the shower head . Look inside the shower head and remove any dirt or rust with any tool you like. On the other hand if you have low water pressure on your bath taps then you will need to turn off your water supply and disassemble as much as you can and see if there is any blockage inside. If you have a hot and cold tap then you will only need to remove both. Once all has been removed from inside the tap you can then turn on your main water supply and flush out any extra debris from the inside.

Do you need a professional?
There are a few serious problems you can have if you have any of the following issues below it means you probably need a full replacement water heater tank otherwise you will have no hot water in your house until resolved.

some of the major issues are smelly or rusty water need to be taken a look at by a professional. Any serious cracks or rust on the tank is in urgent repair.  If you have funny noises from the tank or pipes need these too need to be taken seriously.

I strongly advise against installing a new water heater yourself unless you are fully confident with the whole process.

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