Having no hot water can be a nightmare.
You’re expecting a piping hot bath or shower but instead get hit by an icy blast that’s colder than a penguin eating ice cream in a blizzard. It’s unpleasant, inconvenient and frustrating. Hot water on demand is something we take for granted and expect whenever we want it. When it’s not there, it can cause incredible disruption to day-to-day life.
No hot water? Quick actions to take
If you have an electric water heater:
- Look for blown fuses and replace
- Check to see if the thermostat is working properly
- Reset the high-temperature cut off switch if it has tripped
If you have a gas water heater:
- Relight the pilot light if it is off
- Check for gas leaks
- Locate the gas supply switch to see if it’s damaged or been turned off
In this article, we’ll look at the common causes of no hot water; how to troubleshoot them; and what to do if your hot water problem persists.
Why is the hot water system broken?
In most of our homes, water is heated in a water heater, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It takes in cold water, heats it to the proper temperature then stores it ready for use when you turn on a tap. There are two main types of water heaters: gas and electric. Gas water heaters use a flame produced from natural gas, while electric water heaters use a heating element to keep the water toasty. Problems with either system can turn your hot water cold.
No Hot Water In The House: Common Causes and Fixes
Many of the most common issues occur no matter what type of water heater you have installed. Before calling your local Castle Hill Plumber, it’s worth making sure the problem is not just a minor blip that you can quickly remedy.
We’ve created a checklist of the things you can do to fix smaller issues to avoid being left out in the cold.
Electric Water Heaters
Water heating is already the second-largest reason for household energy use in Australia, accounting for about 21 per cent consumption. A faulty water heater could push up energy consumption and result in higher-than-usual electricity bills. Therefore, check for the following:
An interruption in power – there could’ve been a power cut, so see if any switches have tripped and reset them. Replace any fuses that have blown. Remember, never remove anything that exposes bare wires or terminals.
Faulty thermostat or incorrect setting – the thermostat monitors the water temperature and tells the heating elements when to heat up. You can see whether it’s working by comparing the water temperature with the measurement on the gauge.
A tripped high-temperature cut off switch – the switch automatically turns off hot water if temperatures are too high. You can fix the problem by merely pressing a button. Once reset, the water heater may start working again.
Still no hot water in your home? Reboot everything by switching the water heater off at the mains for a few seconds and then turning it back on again.
Gas Water Heaters
The pilot light is out – the pilot light ignites the gas, which heats the heater’s water. If it’s off, follow the instructions for your hot water heater model to make sure you’re relighting it safely. If it does not relight, there could be a problem with the thermocouple. This is the device that controls the gas flow in gas water heaters.
A gas leak – natural gas is colourless and odourless, so a pungent-smelling compound known as mercaptan is added to make gas easier to detect. It smells like rotten eggs or sulphur. Among the other signs of a gas leak is a hissing sound near the water heater or gas supply line caused by a hole or crack somewhere. If you smell gas in the air or suspect a gas leak, turn off the gas at the supply switch and immediately call your local gas plumber at GSM Plumbing. Don’t attempt to reignite the hot water heater.
A problem with the gas supply – something could be preventing the gas from reaching the pilot light and burner. Check the gas supply switch to see if it’s defective or has been turned off.
Water leaks – sometimes the hot water is broken because there is a water leak. Do some investigation to locate the source of the leak and fix it as soon as possible to prevent water damage in the home. Leaks can occur at pipework joints, which are usually visible and easily fixed. If the leak is from the tank, it will have to be replaced. Be mindful not to mistake condensation for a leak.
Low water pressure – your entire home might be experiencing a drop in water pressure. If so, both hot and cold water will flow reluctantly. Make sure your house’s main water shutoff valve is fully open. You can also test your water pressure with these tips from Sydney Water or by attaching a water pressure gauge to the outdoor hose spigot nearest the water main. Note that one of the causes of low water pressure could be a leak.
Problems with your home’s thermostat – if the target temperature is below your home’s heat, the water heater won’t turn on. Try turning up the heat and see what that does. Also, look at the thermostat’s clock. A power cut could have affected the settings, so it might just need to be reset. If you’re not getting any reading from the thermostat panel, it may just need new batteries.
Time to call the professionals if you continue to have no hot water
If you have tried all of the above and there is still no hot water, the underlying problem could be more serious. The heating element might be faulty, there could be a hidden leak you’re unable to detect, or you have an ageing hot water heater that is on its last legs. In these situations, it’s time to call in your local Hills district plumbing experts at GSM Plumbing to identify the cause and fix it.
At GSM Plumbing, we’re the best rated Castle Hill Plumber and can offer priority service to residents of the Hills District to get your hot water working again. Using our expertise and knowledge in all aspects of plumbing, we’ll quickly isolate the issue and get your hot water flowing once more.
Call our emergency hotline on 02 9199 2560, and we’ll get to you quickly, whether it is late at night or early in the morning.