Is there anything worse than coming home after a long day with hopes of a hot shower, only to discover you have no hot water? What happens then? Obviously, there’s no magic cure to solve the issue. You need an experienced plumber. You need a professional who understands the inner workings of a modern water heater system. A lot can go wrong with a water heater. But first, you need to understand what type of water heater you have. Issues can vary depending on its power source (gas or electric), and whether it’s a traditional water heater or a tankless model.
Troubleshooting Electric Water Heaters
With an electric water heater, there are two primary steps to determine what went wrong. We do recommend allowing a professional to handle inspections, maintenance, and repairs, though. Here’s what you can try at home:
- Circuit Breaker – First, check the circuit panel box. The breaker for the water heater is typically large. If you’re lucky, it may be labeled. In any case, be sure the breaker switch is in the “ON” position. Resetting may restore power and hot water to your home.
- Control Unit – If the circuit breaker is not the issue, then look to the trip switch on the water heater itself. Check the temperature control unit. You’ll notice a button labeled “Reset.” Press the button. If it trips, the heating element may need replacement.
Troubleshooting Gas Water Heaters
Unlike an electric water heater, a gas water heater has three potential issues you can safely address yourself:
- Gas Supply – If the gas supply has been turned off, follow the line to the shut-off valve. If the lever is in the “ON” position, then something else has gone wrong. Otherwise, turn the gas supply back on to restore hot water.
- Utilities – It’s rare, but your gas utility company may have turned off the supply without notice. For instance, if there’s any road work in your neighborhood, they have likely turned off the gas to avoid an accident.
- Pilot Light – Finally, check the pilot light. If the pilot light is off, then the burner will not ignite, and that equals no hot water! Reset the pilot light based on the instructions on the side of your hot water heater tank.
Troubleshooting Tankless Water Heaters
Typically, a tankless water heater is powered by gas. If you have a gas unit, check the troubleshooting methods above. Otherwise, call an expert for service.
A tankless water heater is known to produce plenty of heat within a short period. It is entirely possible that the air intake and exhaust venting have an issue. Check for obstructions at the vent on the outside of your home.
If you’re uncomfortable handling any of the above-mentioned troubleshooting tasks, that’s no problem – let us handle it safely for you. We recommend calling bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Little Rock promptly. Our experienced technicians are trained and well-equipped to handle any type of water heater. We’ll assess the situation thoroughly and determine the correct solution to provide your home with hot water once more.
Schedule hot water heater services with bluefrog Plumbing + Drain. Call 501-207-0818!
Adam Priest is the owner of the Little Rock branch of bluefrog Plumbing + Drain. Reach out to him via Facebook or Twitter.