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No Hot Water? Common Causes & Tips to Fix Yourself

why is there no hot water in my house

You’re reading this article because you took an unexpected cold shower or turned the sink on to find no hot water in the house. Don't panic if this is the situation you are in right now. There is an obvious reason why you suddenly have no hot water in your house. And we’re going to get right to it.

The first place to look is your hot water heater. Whether you have a unit from York, Lennox, or Carrier, the root cause could be found within the system itself, a gas issue, or an electrical issue.

If you’re asking, “Why is my hot water not working?” here are 9 potential reasons no hot water in your house occurs.

1. Gas Leak

A gas line leak can be a serious fire hazard and prevent your water heater from working. Inspect all connections for leaks when gas water heaters do not produce hot water before calling a plumber or repairing them yourself with household tools. This process should include shutting off the main valve, letting the faucets continue to drip, and feeling all pipes for wetness or any unusual odor coming from the gas supply.

If anything suspicious with your gas supply is found, it can be extremely dangerous. If you notice a “rotten egg” gas smell in your home, you might have a line leak. Here’s what you should do:

  • Do not attempt to use your phone until you are a safe distance from the suspected source of the leak.
  • Close off the gas valves at your house.
  • Household electrical appliances, including refrigerators and stoves, should not be switched on or off.
  • Do not smoke or use a lighted match.
  • Call the police and the utility company after you’ve relocated a safe distance away from your house.
  • Call the gas utility company immediately.
  • Do not attempt to repair the line.

2. Leaking Water Heater Tank

Water heater tanks are not designed to leak. The tank must be filled with water in order for a water heater to function. If there is no hot water, and you see water on the ground around the base of the hot water tank, it’s probably because you have a leaking tank.

An empty tank poses a significant hazard and is not at all energy efficient. Examine the appliance’s connections as well as those of its valves, as well as the pipes themselves. If they’re secure, check the compartment of the tank.

There’s a good chance that your machine needs to be replaced if there is water in the compartment

3. Gas Valve Failure

If you have a gas water heater and no hot water, check the gas inlet valve and gas supply tube. If there are no leaks, inspect the gas valve. It must be secure and in the correct position. Then double-check that the gas is turned on.

Investigate the pilot light if the gas valve is working properly. You may have to relight the pilot numerous times. It must be kept burning. If it isn’t, the gas supply might be restricted because the gas line is obstructing it.

If none of these procedures work, it’s time to purchase a more energy-efficient new water heater. To be sure, contact a plumbing specialist.

4. Pilot Light is Out

If your hot water faucet has gone cold, your pilot light on your water heater may be out. When the pilot light goes out, the water heater may not have enough gas pressure to heat up the water until it reaches a certain temperature, which could take hours. When this occurs, there are typically warning signs that the pilot light went out.

Even though it’s true that most modern heaters no longer have pilot lights, you should be aware that they now feature glow plugs or spark ignitors instead. If this is the case for you, you may need to contact a professional or try repairing it by consulting the owner’s manual.

If your water heater has a pilot light, check to see whether there are any marks on the burner. If you can’t discover any, try this easy technique!

  • While waiting for the gas to dissipate, turn off the regulator for 5 minutes or more. Afterward, move your regulator to “pilot” mode.
  • If your water heater has a self-ignition ability, you should hold down the ignition knob for at least 60 seconds. After that, change the setting on your regulator to “on.”
  • If you must relight the pilot with a flame, all you need is a long lighter. While holding the lighter over your gas supply tube, turn it on. Using this technique should be sufficient to relight your pilot light.

However, if the pilot light does not ignite, check to see whether the gas inlet valve is open. If it isn’t, turn the handle on the gas inlet valve until it reaches the same distance as the gas line. Allow for some time so that the gas may enter before attempting to relight your pilot.

5. Electric Water Heater Malfunction

Gas or electric water heaters can keep you from waking up to no hot water in your home. Obviously, the electric version is powered by electricity from its own dedicated circuit. You may have an electrical issue--not a water heater issue.

Another method to verify this concept is to substitute the primary energy source from wall outlets with another electronic device that has its own internal battery backup system. If switching power sources does not turn on any heated taps, there is no electricity flowing to your electric water heater.

The lack of hot water is a common problem that can be resolved by looking for loose connections to the water heater and resetting any fuses in the circuit breaker box that may have tripped, causing a lack of hot water. After about an hour, your home will be supplied with warm water again if the breaker tripped. A bad signal is indicated by a circuit breaker that continues to trip; so push the reset button. If there’s still an issue, contact a qualified electrician.

6. Thermostat Malfunction

In order for a water heater to produce heated water while being energy efficient, the thermostat should be set between 122 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the upper thermostat if there is no hot water or the supply is insufficient or too hot.

If the thermostat is damaged, it should be replaced. Even if the thermostat is set correctly, lack of regular maintenance can lead to problems because of sediment accumulation. To eliminate this, drain and clean your water heater.

A tripped high-temperature cutoff switch, for example, is one of the most common reasons why no more hot water enters your house. You can repair it by flipping the switch and pushing a button.

If you press the reset button, you should hear a clicking sound and then power will return to the water heater. If the high-temperature cutoff is incorrect and requires replacement, it’s probably because the electricity hasn’t been restored.

7. Faulty Heating Element

The heating elements might be the cause of your problem if no hot water runs in your house. Water heaters only last 10 years, and replacing one is preferable to repairing an old one. Nonetheless, if you must replace your heating elements, make sure you completely turn off your water heater.

8. Water Heater Tank Size

If your tank is too small, it will not be able to store enough hot water for your household needs. If this is the case, you’ll need a bigger water heater tank. A tank should provide enough hot water for your family, so that should be the basis of your decision as to the size. When your family expanded, however, so did the need for hot water and a lot more hot baths. This implies that it’s time to upgrade the size of your hot water tank.

It's true that an electric water heater takes longer to heat up than a gas water heater. If this is the case, you’ll need a bigger no-heated storage unit; it should solve the problem of no hot showers when no one is at home.

9. Local Weather Forecast

The colder the outside temperature, the longer it takes for the water heater to heat up the water. In the winter, even in relatively hot regions like the Southwest, water heater tank energy efficiency and performance might be reduced. If you reside in a place where temperatures drop severely, your system may be affected, causing water issues. You may need to endure the cold before insulating the tank.

How Long Does It Take for a Water Heater to Recover?

The time it takes a water heater to recover depends on whether it’s a gas or electric model. A gas water heater recovers in half the time of an electrical one. It takes approximately two hours for a 40-gallon electric water heater to recover. The process of recovering an electric water heater with 40 gallons is roughly twice as long as that of a comparable gas device (about four hours).

The quickest way to have hot water again is not to use any hot water during the recovery process. You’re allowing your heater to fill and heat the water uninterrupted if you don’t draw hot water while the tank is recovering.

You’ll be adding cold water to your tank if you draw water during the recovery process. This will merely extend the time it takes for your water heater to fully recover and deliver hot water once more. If you draw water early, it may be merely warm or you could only have a few minutes of hot water before it cools down once again.

How Do You Reset Your Hot Water Heater?

If your gas hot water heater needs to be relit, you may need to do it. If there is a reset button on an electric hot water heater, press it; if not, unplug the device for a few minutes and then reconnect it. If that doesn’t work, reset the circuit breaker for the hot water heater.

What is the Most Reliable Type of Water Heater?

Tankless water heaters are popular among customers. These water heaters have a smaller number of moving components that can wear down with time, and their parts are only utilized when needed to provide hot water on demand, rather than constantly as in the case of storage tank water heaters.

Still No Hot Water? Call ARS/Rescue Rooter

If your home is still lacking hot water, call the national plumbing experts at ARS/Rescue Rooter. From gas line services to water heater repair and installation, our local plumbers have the skills and expertise to diagnose the root cause to your hot water problem.

Call our plumbers at 866-399-2885 or find your nearest ARS/Rescue Rooter location to schedule service today!

Schedule Service Today

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my water heater not working?

Your home can lose hot water for a number of reasons. The first thing you should do is check to see if your water heater is working. If it isn’t, there could be a problem inside the system. If you have no hot water in your house but have cold water, gas or electrical problems could be the culprit. Some of the most common causes of hot water issues include gas leaks, water tank leaks, gas valve failures, pilot light problems, electric heater malfunctions, thermostat issues, faulty heating elements, an undersized tank, and even the weather conditions.

Why is my hot water tank not heating up, and what should I check?

If you have no hot water in your house, electric or gas issues could be at fault. Take a close look at your water heater to make sure it’s working. It’s also a good idea to check out your unit’s thermostat and ensure it’s set to heating mode and set at the right temperature. Calling an experienced water heater company to provide a professional inspection means you can be sure any issues with your unit will be discovered and dealt with in the swiftest and most effective manner. Trained technicians also provide expert water heater installation if your current unit needs replacement.

How do I reset my water heater?

Depending on the issue, you may want to try resetting your water heater:

  • For a gas heater, look for a pilot light. If it’s out, you can try relighting it based on the manufacturer’s instructions. If your unit doesn’t have a pilot light, call a professional.
  • If you have an electric water heater, press the reset button if it has one. If it doesn’t, try unplugging the unit and waiting a few minutes before plugging it back in again. If this doesn’t work, reset your circuit breaker.
  • Always follow the recommended safety guidelines that come with your water heater, and consult a professional if needed.

Call our plumbers at 866-399-2885 or find your nearest ARS/Rescue Rooter location to schedule service today!

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