You turn on the hot water, expecting it to warm up quickly. All you get is a stream of ice-cold water. These troubleshooting tips help you determine what might be going wrong, and when you may need water heater repair to fix it.
In order for your water heater to heat your water, it must have power. Most water heaters burn natural gas or oil to generate heat, but they rely on an electrical connection as well. If the circuit breaker to your water heater has been tripped, it will not work at all. Check the circuit breaker and confirm that it is turned on. Look to see if the water heater is plugged in. A gas water heater will also have a pilot light to demonstrate that the water heater has electric power and a solid fuel connection.
Inspect Fuel Supply and Connection
Water heaters that run exclusively on electricity will not have a fuel supply, but others do. The fuel supply and connection is quite important to the function of the water heater. These water heaters have valves that can be turned on and off, providing access to the fuel. If your pilot will not light, you may have an issue with the gas valve. Make sure that it is set to the “on” position. A pilot that will easily light but burns out quickly may require service. If at any point you smell a strong natural gas odor around your water heater, turn off the gas valve, turn off the power and contact your plumber.
Test Water Pressure
A lack of hot water may also translate into a lack of water pressure in general, particularly during the winter. In freezing or even near-freezing temperatures, the water in your pipes can freeze. Ice expands greater than water, which prevents water from passing from one side to another. Turn on the taps and see if any of them have limited water pressure or nothing coming out. This is a common sign that you have a frozen pipe. You need to thaw the pipe before it bursts, which can be an expensive repair scenario.
When to Request Service
For a lot of people, a tripped circuit breaker is the cause of a malfunctioning water heater, and all they have to do is to turn it back on and re-light the pilot to get the system running again. If you attempt these tasks and they do not solve the problem, you may be better off asking a plumber to come out and inspect your water heater. For example, if your water heater is manually shutting off due to high pressures, you need a plumber to resolve the issue and protect your home from significant damage.
Turning on the faucet for a nice, hot bath should not result in freezing cold water for you. Try these simple solutions to fix your water heater problems. If you notice other symptoms of a plumbing concern, contact Day & Nite Plumbing and Heating for water heater repair in Edmond, Everett, Seattle and Lynwood.