It's bad enough when your hot water runs out in the middle of the shower, but it's much worse when your hot water heater doesn't work at all. There are lots of issues that can cause this problem, and some are so simple that you can easily fix them yourself. Here are three troubleshooting steps that you should take before you call a plumber to service your hot water heater.
Check the thermostat
Hot water heaters have thermostats that allow you to adjust the temperature of your water. If someone has turned the thermostat to "off," the hot water heater won't make any hot water. The thermostat is easily accessible on the outside of the hot water heater, so if you have any kids in the house, they may have been playing with it and accidentally turned it off. This is an easy thing to fix. You just need to turn off the power to the water heater simply switch the thermostat back to the recommended setting of 120°F. Make sure that everyone in the house knows that the thermostat is off-limits and not a toy.
Check that the unit has power
If you have an electric water heater, the cause of your cold water may be as simple as a lack of power to the unit. Electric units work by passing a current through heating elements and therefore heating the water, but without power, this obviously can't happen. First, make sure that the water heater is still plugged into the wall outlet. If it's still plugged in, your next step is to check your circuit breakers and fuses. You may need to reset a breaker or replace a fuse to get power running to your hot water heater again.
Check that the unit is receiving gas
If you have a natural gas powered water heater and don't have any hot water, the unit may not be receiving any gas. Units that are powered by natural gas have a valve that allows you to shut off the gas when doing repairs, but the valve is easy to move. These valves are a simple on-off switch, so it's fairly easy for children to accidentally flip them. If your valve is in the off position, switch it back on, and if that's the only problem, your water will be hot again.
If your hot water heater isn't making any hot water, make sure to take these three simple troubleshooting steps before you call a plumber. It's embarrassing to call a plumber for a problem as simple as an unplugged water heater! If none of these three issues are the problem, call a plumber such as Black Forest Plumbing.
Many people think that a plumber is there to be called to unclog toilets and drain pipes, but they don't understand that there are a number of other tasks that a plumber can do around the home. As the wife of a plumber, I know very well how much my husband does when he is out working. He comes home and tells me his fun stories about the superhero that was flushed down the toilet or the hot water heater that nearly exploded. My blog is filled with all sorts of tips, stories and information that can help you get a better idea of everything that a plumber can do for you.