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No Hot Water At All

If you are not getting any hot water in your home, this could be that you are experiencing a very severe version of the issues on our FAQ page.  However, there are a few additional issues that could lead to a complete water heater failure. Read below for some common solutions.

Common Solutions to No Hot Water


For electric water heaters, the first place you should check is your circuit breaker.  If the circuit breaker is tripped for any reason, you will not have power going to the water heater.  You can turn the breaker back on and see if the problem is resolved. However, the circuit breaker is often tripped due to an issue with the water heater thermostat or elements also known as a tune-up kit.


Similar to electrical breakers, water heaters actually have their own tripping mechanism, the thermal reset switch, which will turn off the water heater to protect you.  If your thermal reset switch is tripped, you’ll need to call a plumber, to diagnose the problem. 


We hear from home and business owners all the time that their pilot light has gone out and they’re having trouble lighting it again. This usually happens because there is too much debris around the pilot light area, and it needs to be thoroughly cleaned. Call a professional plumber to clean the burner chamber, air intake, and flame arrestor, and relight your pilot. It may be tempting to try this on your own, but mistakes around gas fixtures can be very dangerous and are not worth the risk to you and your family’s safety. 


For many years the IPC (INTERNATIONAL PLUMBING CODE) stated that there be a hot water mixing valve installed on hot water systems to ensure that hot water will not exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This was done as a measure to protect babies by avoiding 2nd and 3rd-degree burns as the mixing action prevents scalding. It also allows the tank to hold water at a higher temperature reducing the threat of bacteria growth and you also increase your available hot water supply since you are mixing both hot and cold water. However, when water mixing valves fail, it will cause you to experience “water not hot enough” or no hot water at all. Since a water mixing valve could be installed by a garden tub or by sinks in a public restroom setting, this could be the first place you will notice the problem. 


For gas water heaters, the first place you should check is your pilot light. If it is not lit, you can relight it. However, it is common that pilot lights won’t stay lit. In this case, the burner chamber, air intake, and flame arrestor probably need a thorough cleaning or your thermocouple needs to be replaced. Since gas is particularly dangerous to work with, you should call Water Heater Pro if you are having issues with your pilot light.


When water smells bad like rotten eggs, most people assume this is a sewer problem. However, this can also be caused by your water heater. This is particularly common if you have been traveling or the home has been vacant. When water heaters aren’t used for several weeks or months, the water inside the tank can breed sulfur bacteria and take on a disgusting smell. This smell can also occur in homes or a business that has a well for a water supply. In either of these cases, a plumber will need to flush your water heater and they may add some chlorine to your tank to be sure that it is thoroughly cleaned. Another cause of gross-smelling water is your water heater's sacrificial anode rod. This is a component of your water heater that protects your tank from corrosion by attracting all of the corroding elements of the water. It is normal for anode rods to wear down over time. If you have a plumber check on your smelly water right away, they may be able to replace the anode rod and save you from needing a water replacement. However, if your water heater operates without an anode rod for too long, it will eventually corrode beyond repair.  


We’ve heard our So. Calif. customers describe noises coming from their water heater in a million ways, but usually it could be said that it is a hum, pop, rumble, crack, or even a sizzle. Most of these sounds are caused by the presence of materials other than water inside your tank. This could be sediment, mineral deposits from hard water, or lime scale. This build-up can create a sediment layer at the bottom of the tank that water must push through as it rises creating popping or rumbling.  Sizzling and hissing noises usually mean debris has covered the components that boil water.  All of these issues can be resolved by having a plumber regularly flush your tank, but if the buildup gets very severe, you may need to replace your water heater.   

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