Simply put, your home needs hot water. Going without hot water does much more than create an inconvenience, it can alter your work career (being late, looking disheveled), damage your clothes, and cause health risks when preparing your food. You’ve likely gone a few hours without hot water before but much longer than that slowly becomes an emergency situation.
Of course the best way to restore hot water immediately is with a call to your trusted local plumber, Elite Comfort. While we always respond quickly, we also look out for your best interest and offer you these simple tips to try before giving us a call:
1. Check the Pilot Light
Over half the time (and likely 75% or more) the issue of no hot water has to do with your pilot light being out. The pilot light fires up the burners which heat the water before it is delivered through your plumbing. Obviously if that light is out, the water won’t get warm so check this through the front of the tank. If it’s out, follow the instructions on the control panel to relight.
2. Flip the Circuit Breaker
You’ll definitely notice when the power is out in the whole house but a tripped breaker to the utility room might fly under the radar. If you aren’t receiving hot water in your fixtures a quick troubleshooting of the breaker box will determine if a flipped circuit is the problem.
3. Set the Thermostat
In some instances your water heater could be running perfectly except for the fact that the thermostat has accidentally been turned down. This could happen if it is bumped in a utility room or if it was set lower for the warmer months. Make sure that the thermostat is set somewhere between 120° and 140°. If so and the water is still not hot we may have to install a replacement for the malfunctioned thermostat.
4. Check for Tank Leaks
Water and metal aren’t the best friends in the world so leaks in a water heater are very common. Check the fittings on the top of the tank where water enters and leaves and also inspect the side of the tank for noticeable drips from the pressure relief valves. Sometimes the leaks can be fixed by tightening the fixtures with a pipe wrench but other times they are a sign that a replacement tank is needed or there are internal issues. It never hurts to call us for an inspection just to provide sound peace of mind.
5. Test the Elements
If the water heater produces no hot water at all it could be an issue with the upper heating element whereas if there is some warmth the lower element could have gone bad. These can be tested by turning off the power to the water heater, removing the panels and insulation covering the elements, and testing the units with a multimeter. Depending on the wattage of the element it should register between 11 and 16 ohms whereas no reading means a replacement is needed.
Sometimes the easiest fix is simply to wait. As the hot water reserves are used up, the unit needs time to heat up a new supply so if you are doing excessive laundry, dishwashing, and taking multiple showers the resources may just be low.
If none of these quick fixes work, the best bet is to give us a call. Unfortunately water heaters do have a definitive life span (8-15 years) and sometimes they just simply die out.