Burrr! My Hot Water Heater Isn't Working!

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Burrr! My Hot Water Heater Isn't Working!

Picture it: Winter. 2023.

You step into your shower, eagerly anticipating the soothing warmth of the water, but, instead, you are tragically greeted by a sudden icy blast. Your hot water heater isn’t working! 

In this blog, the experts at Billy the Sunshine Plumber in Tampa Bay explore some common reasons why your hot water heater may not be working and offer some troubleshooting tips to help you get that comforting hot water back.

  1. Pilot Light Problems. One of the most common reasons for a lack of hot water is a pilot light that has gone out. Gas water heaters rely on a pilot light to ignite the burner and heat the water. If the pilot light is out, you won’t get any hot water. Here’s how you can troubleshoot this issue:
    • Locate the pilot light access panel on your water heater.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for relighting the pilot light. This typically involves turning the gas valve to “Pilot,” pressing the igniter button, and holding it while lighting the pilot with a long lighter.
    • Once the pilot light is lit, turn the gas valve back to “On.”
  1. Sediment Build-Up. Over time, minerals and sediment can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater tank. This can insulate the heating element, reducing its efficiency and leading to a lack of hot water. To address this issue:
    • Turn off the power or gas supply to the water heater.
    • Connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank.
    • Open the drain valve and allow the water to flush out along with the sediment.
    • Close the valve, disconnect the hose, and refill the tank before turning the power or gas back on.
  1. Thermostat Problems. If the thermostat on your water heater is malfunctioning, it may not signal the heating element to turn on, resulting in no hot water. To check for thermostat issues:
    • Set the thermostat to a higher temperature and wait a few hours to see if the water heats up.
    • If there is still no hot water, it may be necessary to replace the thermostat. Billy the Sunshine Plumber has experts that can help.
  1. Electric Heating Element Failure. In electric water heaters, the heating elements are responsible for warming the water. If one or both elements fail, you’ll experience a lack of hot water. Here’s what you can do:
    • Turn off the power to the water heater at the circuit breaker.
    • Test the heating elements for continuity using a multimeter.
    • If either element is faulty, replace it. Billy the Sunshine Plumber can help, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
  1. Anode Rod Degradation. An anode rod is a sacrificial component inside your water heater that helps prevent corrosion of the tank. Over time, these rods can become depleted, causing your water heater to rust and ultimately malfunction. If the anode rod is severely degraded, it may need to be replaced.
  1. Pressure Relief Valve Issues. The pressure relief valve, sometimes known as the T&P valve, is designed to release excess pressure from the water heater to prevent dangerous buildups. If this valve is leaking or not functioning properly, it can lead to inadequate hot water production. Be cautious when dealing with this valve and consult the professional at Billy the Sunshine Plumber if it’s causing issues.

By understanding the potential causes of your water heater issues, you can take the necessary steps to restore your hot water supply and enjoy those relaxing, warm showers once again. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the troubleshooting process, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Billy the Sunshine Plumber to diagnose and fix the problem effectively and safely. Billy the Sunshine Plumber has been the Tampa Bay 24-hour plumber of choice since 1924 when he first opened for business. Billy the Sunshine Plumber is open 24/7/365 in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Days, nights, weekends, or holidays, Billy the Sunshine Plumber is always here for you.

If a new water heater is in your future, check out Energy.gov website for tips on Selecting a New Water Heater.

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