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6 Reasons Why You Might Not Have Hot Water

Have you ever had a long day and all you wanted to do was take a long, hot shower or bath only to find out once you step in that the hot water lasted mere seconds? Many of us have been there and can definitively say that it’s awful and only seems to happen when you really want a super hot shower. It makes us ask, “where did my hot water go?” and “what now?” If you find yourself without hot water unexpectedly, there are a few things you can look for and possibly fix yourself, or you can go ahead and call your 24 plumber at Plumb One in Birmingham, AL. Let’s take a look at some of the potential causes of no hot water. We look forward to helping you get your hot water back so you can unwind with a nice, hot bath. 

1. Tank Size

If your tank is too small, your household is going to run out of hot water faster. If you ran the dishwasher, had a load of clothes in the washing machine, and someone else took a shower before you, there may not have been enough hot water left for your shower. Maybe your water heater did its job when it was just you and your spouse, but as your family grows, the demand for hot water will too. This means it may be time for a larger hot water tank. When upgrading, keep in mind that electric water heaters take longer than gas water heaters to heat. It’s also time to consider switching to a tankless water heating system so that you’ll essentially never run out of hot water. 

If no other appliances have run recently and you’re the only one taking a shower, there is likely another issue going on, so let’s keep digging. 

2. Gas Issues

Those who have a gas water heater should check the gas supply line. If there are no leaks, take a look at the gas valve. It must be secure, then double-check that the gas is on. If the gas valve seems to be fine, check out the pilot light. If you don’t see a flame (or multiple flames depending on your unit), you may need to relight the pilot. If it doesn’t stay lit, the gas line could be impeding the gas supply.

If you think you solved a gas supply line, valve, or pilot light situation, but still don’t have hot water in an hour, it’s time to call Plumb One. 

3. Leaking Tank

In order for a water heater to do its job, there has to be water in the tank. If there is no hot water, it could mean that the tank is leaking. Check on the connections between the tank and its valves, as well as the pipes. If you see any signs of water leaking out, call us as soon as you can. 

4. Gas Leak

A natural gas leak coming from your water heater is not only inconvenient, but dangerous. A rotten eggs type smell is added to natural gas to make leaks detectable, so if you detect that telltale smell near your water heater, it could be a gas leak. If the smell is permeating your whole house, leave your house and call 9-1-1 immediately. If you suspect that gas is leaking, but it’s not overwhelming, call your gas company ASAP. 

While we can and will gladly work on your water heater, the gas part of it has to be handled by the gas company. If you have Spire as your gas company, you can reach them here. They will resolve any gas leak issue, or let you know if there isn’t one. If there’s no gas leak, our troubleshooting journey continues…

5. Electric Malfunction

Electric water heaters obviously rely on electricity, and can have electric-related issues that can cause a loss of hot water. If you have no hot water, turn off the heater first, then, reset the circuit breaker. If the breaker tripped, your home will receive hot water again after about an hour. A circuit breaker that continues to trip is a bad sign, and you will need to speak with a qualified electrician.

6. Malfunctioning Thermostat

In order for a water heater to produce hot water, the thermostat must be set between 122ºF and 140ºF. If the water is too cold or even too hot, check the thermostat. If the thermostat is busted, it should be replaced. Lack of regular maintenance can cause sediment buildup issues even if the thermostat is working. If this is the case, you may need your water heater maintenanced by the professionals at Plumb One. 

A pilot light is something you can check for yourself, but anything beyond that, we recommend calling Plumb One, your 24 hour plumber in Birmingham, AL. If you’re unsure of the components of a water heater, it’s unsafe to work on it yourself. We will gladly take a look and diagnose the problem. If it involves a natural gas leak, we advise you to call your gas company. Most other issues we can handle and resolve ourselves. When your hot water goes out, give us a call!