When you turn the hot water knob on in your sink or shower, you expect there to be hot water. Getting hit by a wash of cold water can be startling, frustrating, and unpleasant. Once you get over the shock of getting doused by cold water, you are probably starting to wonder if there is something wrong with your water heater or if you have a natural gas leak.
Before allowing your imagination to run wild about what could go wrong, know that there are many reasons why you might not be getting hot water in your home. Some of these reasons are simple and can be quickly addressed by you. Others are more complicated and will require the assistance of a professional.
Your Water Tank Might Be Leaking
Water heaters are designed to last for a long time. However, even the most efficient water heater can leak. Just because your water heater is leaking, it doesn’t mean that you need to replace it. However, you will want to fix it. The leak is likely what is behind not having hot water.
First, identify the source of the leak. You might see a small amount of water underneath your water heater. Clean it up, and inspect the area. Look at the fittings on your water heater. Are they wet or leaking?
If you can’t determine if your water heater is actually the source of the leak, dry up the wet area. Put down some dry towels. Return after a few minutes to see if the towels are wet. If so, you know the water heater is the issue.
Once you have determined that the water heater is the culprit, turn off the water supply to the tank. Your tank should have a dedicated shut-off valve. Call the HB Home service team to inspect the water heater.
If you have an electric water heater, it is recommended that you shut off the power supply at the breaker before inspecting the water heater. If you have a gas water heater, shut off the gas supply before thoroughly inspecting the tank.
Check the inlet and outlet of your water heater. These are the pipes that connect your water heater to an external source of water. Are any of the fittings loose? If so, they might need to be tightened. Also, check the pressure release valve to see if it is the source of the leak.
Natural Gas Leak
A gas leak is hazardous when it happens from the water heater in your house. Multiple signs indicate that there is a gas leak. The main sign is the smell of gas in your home. Natural gas has no smell, so they add a compound to it that smells like sulfur. This compound makes it possible for you to know that there is a natural gas leak.
In addition to the smell of gas, if you hear a hissing sound coming from the water heater, this could indicate a gas leak. Gas escaping from the water heater makes a hissing sound because it is escaping at high pressure. A hissing sound could also be indicative of another problem with your water heater.
When your plants are exposed to natural gas, they shrivel up and die. Dead houseplants, although rare, are a sign that you may have a gas leak in your water heater. If you have any plants around your water heater that have died and you have a lack of hot water, then you may want to check for a gas leak.
You might experience physical symptoms if there is a gas leak in your home. The severity of the symptoms will vary based on the amount of exposure you have. Symptoms could include:
- Eye and throat irritation
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Flu-like symptoms
- Mood changes
- Nausea and reduced appetite
- Ringing in your ears
- Trouble breathing
Electric Water Heater Malfunction
Electric water heaters are an energy-efficient way to heat the water in your home. However, if your home has no hot water and you are using an electric water heater, the water heater may be malfunctioning. First, turn off the water heater. Flip the circuit breaker switch. If your breaker tripped, your water heater should start heating the water within about an hour. If the circuit breaker continues to trip, this indicates a serious issue. You need to speak with a water heater professional.
A Failing Gas Valve
Check your appliance’s supply line if you have a gas water heater and you are getting no hot water. If there are no leaks, then you want to check the gas valve.
Check that the gas valve is connected correctly and that it is secure. Double-check that you have the gas switched on. If the gas valve seems like it is connected well, check out the pilot light.
You may need to relight the pilot multiple times. If you can get it lit, but it doesn’t stay lit, then it could be the gas line that is the culprit. Something is impeding gas flow.
If you have tried these simple troubleshooting steps and you don’t get the desired results, you may want to consider investing in a new water heater. However, before you spend the money, be sure to have the professionals at HB Home check things out.
Your Tank Is Too Small
If your tank is too small, your house is going to run out of hot water faster than your tank can produce it. You don’t necessarily want to think about your tank’s size in relation to the size of your home. You want to think about it with regard to the number of people who you have in your home. A tiny house with five or six people living in it will go through hot water quickly. This means that it may be time for a larger tank.
When it is time to make the upgrade, don’t forget that electric water heaters take longer than gas water heaters to heat up. You will need to evaluate several factors before deciding the size of the water tank that is right for your home and if you want to use a gas tank, an electric tank, or a tankless water heater. Our team is experienced in this field. You can count on us to provide you with unbiased guidance that can help you make the right decision to get the most significant return on your investment.
HB Home is an employee-owned business. This means that when we help you, we are taking care of our families as well. This is how you know that we are committed to getting the job done right. We, as employees and owners, have skin in the game.
We are proud to be leaders in the field of plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and fire protection services. We know that you want to keep your home and family safe and comfortable. You can trust our team to help you accomplish that task. Contact us today to learn more.