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Why Am I Getting No Hot Water?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Don’t Panic If You’re Not Getting Hot Water

When there’s no hot water in the house, you can expect panic as soon as people in the house realize. This is going to be tough, especially for people used to using hot water for pretty much anything. The question is why is there no hot water in the house all of a sudden? What can you do if there is no hot water in the house?

There are numerous possible causes for the lack of hot water in the house. It could be due to damaged components or a leaking tank, which both need immediate attention if you want to have hot water as soon as possible. You can call a local plumber to help with this, but it also helps to know more about why there’s no hot water in your house.

No Hot Water at Home Temperature Setting
Check out the list below for the most common causes you might not have any or too little hot water in your home.

Reasons Why You Have No Hot Water in the House

When there are so many possible reasons for not having any hot water, it makes it a bit difficult to find exactly what is causing the problem. In the next section of this article, we will discuss some of the possible answers to your question, “Why isn’t my water hot?”

You’ve Been Using it Too Much

Do your showers and faucets start with hot water and then run out pretty soon? If this is the case with you, it could be that your hot water simply doesn’t last the day. Do you think you and your family have been using too much water recently? It might be that you have too little hot water for what you and your family use.

Your Water Heater is Too Small

Similar to having increased hot water consumption, your water heater could be too small if there’s not hot water in your showers or sinks. Your water heater isn’t capable of heating enough water for the whole family, which is why you’re left with no water before the day ends. This is often the case if your home has a new bathroom or a new family member.

No Hot Water at Home Repair Pro
Check to make sure your water heater fits the needs of your family’s use.

The Circuit Breaker Was Tripped

This is a simple but often not quickly realized possible reason why there’s no hot water in your house. Something could have just tripped the circuit breaker, which means the water heater isn’t turned on from the beginning. If this is the case with you, there’s only going to be a cold tap, of course. It’s easy enough to fix – just switch on the breaker.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, has provided a list of common reasons why your home may not be getting hot water, along with some suggested solutions and DIY tips.

Damaged Components

If your hot water consumption is still the same, your water heater is just the right size, and your circuit breaker is on, the problem could be the water heater itself. To be exact, it might have damaged components as a result of hard water. One specific component that could have been damaged is the heating element, which is why it’s unable to heat the water properly.

Low Hot Water Pressure

Many homeowners use low-flow showerheads to save on water costs. However, it could also be why you have no water in your house. The pressure simply wasn’t enough to trigger the water heater to do its work. Water heaters work when the water reaches the minimum flow rates or water pressure, which some low-flow showerheads might not be able to satisfy.

No Hot Water at Home Water Heater Maintenance DIY
Your water heater has several important components that need maintenance over time.

Leaking Tank

Hot water tanks often start leaking due to corrosion. Over time, it erodes due to rust or something else, affecting both tank and tankless water heaters. It’s quite obvious but if the tank leaks, it’ll be difficult to produce hot water. In some cases, you might only need to replace a drain valve or get a new hose. But it’s most likely that the entire unit must be replaced.

Incorrect Temperature Setting

One of the common hacks homeowners often do is lowering the water heater’s temperature. It does help save money, but that also means you may get warm water or no hot water at all. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to fix. Just don’t forget to change the temperature back to how it was in the colder season once the hotter season has passed.

How to Fix No Hot Water in the House

Depending on the actual cause of the “no hot water issue,” you can take the DIY approach. If it’s simply because you have been using too much hot water, have a small water heater, set the temperature incorrectly, or your circuit breaker tripped, you can fix it by following the tips we already mentioned.

On the other hand, you will have to call for professional help if the root cause of the problem is damaged water heater components, low water pressure, or a leaking tank. For these issues, you need an experienced plumber to repair or replace the water heater. You can also try some troubleshooting tips, such as:

  • Resetting the water heater by pressing the reset button on the electric water heater.
  • Flushing the water heater as a part of your water heater maintenance, which should be done at least once a year.
  • Cleaning the thermocouple, which looks like a copper wire, using steel wool and a washcloth (detach the burner assembly first).

Hot Water Heater FAQs

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

Water heaters can last between 8 to 20 years depending on the type. Tankless electric and gas water heaters have a life expectancy of 20 years. On the other hand, gas water heaters with a tank can last between 8 to 12 years while tank electric water heaters have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. If your water heater has reached its critical age and isn’t producing hot water, there’s a good chance it needs replacement.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Water Heater?

Replacing a broken water heater can cost around $800 to $1,600 on average. However, this price can increase significantly depending on the type. Tank-based water heaters are the cheaper option, averaging only $1,000 while tankless water heaters can go as much as $3,000. If you want to know more about how much it will cost you, it’s best to call a professional plumber for an estimate.

Should You Hire a Professional to Install a Water Heater?

Installing water heaters is typically dangerous. One wrong move can lead to a disaster that threatens your safety. This makes it crucial that you let a professional handle this job, for your own safety. Professional contractors know how to install a water heater in a way that reduces fire risk, prevents leaks, and follows standard safety precautions. If you don’t want trouble before, during, and after installation, hiring a professional is the way to go.

Hire a Local Plumbing Pro

The methods above are effective DIY tips to investigate, diagnose, and repair why your home might not have enough hot water. But if you still lack sufficient hot water, then don’t hesitate to contact a local plumbing pro using the phone number or form on this page.

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