What to do if Hot Water Heater isn’t Hot

Hot water heaters are designed to provide enough hot water based on their size, the type of energy source, and the demand.

We use hot water for everything from showers to laundry, without a thought. But when your water heater stops working, you have to detect the source of the problem and repair it.  How do we diagnose a water heater problem?

  1. If there’s simply no hot water and you have a gas water heater, it could mean the pilot light’s gone out. Check the pilot light and if it’s out, try relighting it – follow the directions in your owner’s manual. If you can’t do this yourself, a Licensed Plumbing technician can do it for you.
  2. Do you hear strange noises coming from the hot water heater?  You’re probably hearing minerals or hard-water scale that’s accumulated inside your water heater’s tank and broken off.  In this case you’ll need to drain the tank and clean out the sediment.  It sounds easier than done, so you may want to call a professional Licensed Plumber for this job.
  3. If you find water on the floor near the water heater, it means that water is leaking from the tank. The water could be coming from a loose valve, a leaky pipe or a pin size hole in the tank lining. If you don’t see any leaky pipes, you can try tightening the valve, if the valve is loose, water might leak out of the heater. Otherwise, the leak might be caused by a faulty valve, an obstructed vent, a defective heating element or a hole in the water heater lining encasement.  It’s important to have your water heater assessed by a Licensed Plumber to determine the exact cause for the leak, and determine the best long-term option of repair.
  4. If the water isn’t hot enough, the first thing to do is check the water heater thermostat. If the thermostat is set to the correct temperature, determine when you last flushed out the tank. Mineral build up inside the tank can keep the water from heating up sufficiently. If your tank has been flushed recently, then check the water heater dip tube. When the dip tube is broken, the water heater won’t heat water properly. You can check the dip tube by removing the cold water supply line and taking the dip tube out of the tank, or call a Licensed Plumber to perform this procedure properly.

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