Why Do I Have No Hot Water?

If you have no hot water in your house but you have cold water, this is a very common sign that your water heater is not working properly. This may not be a detrimental issue for your home, but it can be an extreme inconvenience to you and your family. If your water heater isn’t giving you any hot water, here are the most common reasons to look out for.

water heater capacity

Check for Leaks

Leaks in your water heater can prevent it from reaching the temperature it is set to. Usually leaks are easy to spot, especially big leaks. If you notice puddles of water laying around your water heater, you most likely have a leak. Even if the leak is small, it will get bigger overtime if not taken care of. It can be difficult to find where the leak is located, so it is beneficial to have a professional assess the situation.

Circuit Breaker

If you have no hot water in your house but you have cold water, the most simple solution is turning on your breaker. If you have an electric powered water heater, the circuit breaker could be tripped. This could have turned off your water heater, and therefore you will have no hot water. Circuit breakers will commonly trip during storms or power outages. If this is the case, turn the breaker back on from your home’s main breaker box. If this is still happening without any power outages or storms happening, there could be a problem with your home’s power supply.

Incorrect Thermostat Settings

Most water heaters will have a default temperature set on the thermostat recommended by the manufacturer. Sometimes the level it is set on, whether set automatically or manually, will not be hot enough for the amount of hot water your family uses. Turn your thermostat up if it is not hot enough, but do not go over the amount recommended by the manufacturer, usually 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Always adjust settings or temperatures within what the manufacturer says for best and a long lasting product.

Pilot Light

If your water heater is gas powered, then there may be a problem with the pilot light. Depending on the age of your water heater, it may need to be lit manually, or sometimes there is a button to press that will light it. 

How To Light Your Water Heater;

  1. Find the knob that controls the pilot light and turn it off. Wait at least 10 or 15 minutes for it to cool down before you proceed.
  2. Next, turn the knob to light it. If your heater is older and requires you to manually light it, you will need a lighter.
  3. Hold the pilot knob down all the way and don’t release. Light the pilot with your lighter, or press the ignitor button. The ignitor button is usually red and next to the pilot knob.
  4. Once you have been holding it for 30-60 seconds, release it and turn it on.

Flush the Tank

After using your water heater for an extended period of time, it will get sediment and mineral buildup. The buildup will lead to you having no hot water coming from your water heater. This will affect the way your water heater works. To prevent this, flush your water heater at least once a year. This is something you can do on your own, but it may be more convenient to have a plumber do it for you. If you choose to do it on your own, be cautious and watch out for hot surfaces. 

water heater maintenance - draining or flushing water from water heater tank

How To Flush Your Water Heater;

Before beginning the process, turn the electric or gas off. For electric water heaters, do this through the breaker box. For gas, turn off the gas supply that is connected directly to the tank.

Now that the power to the heater is off, turn off the water supply. At the top of the water heater, you will see a water shutoff valve. Turn the water supply off using this valve. 

After turning everything off, wait for the water in the tank to cool off to prevent any burns during the process. To be safe, we recommend waiting a few hours to ensure the water is cool.

Use a garden hose and attach one end to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater. Lay the other end of the hose in a floor drain inside, or place it outside.

Now that everything is hooked up, turn the hot water on in a sink in your home. This helps the heater to drain better.

Open the drain valve. This will allow water to come out of the tank through the hose. Depending on how big the water heater is and how full it is, it can take up to 30 minutes to fully drain.

Now that the water heater is fully drained, you can turn the water back on. Leave the drain valve open to allow the new water to continually flush out any leftover sediment or mineral buildup. Let this continue until the water is clear.

Finally, it’s time to refill the tank. To do this, close the drain valve and turn the water on once again. Let this continue until the tank is full. Now you can turn the power supply to the water heater back on to continue using hot water.

You Need A New Water Heater

If none of these things were causing you to have no hot water, you may need a new water heater. The size of your family and how often you use hot water will determine the capacity of water heater you need. If you are constantly running out of hot water, the size of your family or hot water needs are most likely overpowering the size of your water heater.

If this isn’t the problem but your water heater is over 10 years old, it may be time to replace it. The majority of water heaters have a lifespan of around 10-13 years. If it has had hardly any maintenance in its lifespan, that could cause it to fail earlier on.

Final Thoughts

Having no hot water can create many difficulties for you and your household. If you have no hot water in your house but you have cold water, this could be caused by many different issues to your water heater. If none of the solutions listed above fixed your problem, you may need to call your local plumber to assess the situation for you.

Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need professional help with water damage and cleanup. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. 

We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.

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