There are a number of reasons why your hot water does not work or is limited. Your pilot light could be out, the pipes could be corroded, or the water heater could be too small. Knowing more about what could be wrong with your water heater is the key to getting it fixed quickly.
Reason #1: Extinguished Pilot Light
One of the more common reasons a water heater stops working is because the pilot light has been extinguished. The pilot light is the source of power that allows your water heater to continue to function. Naturally, the easy solution to this problem is to light the pilot light.
There are a few simple steps to follow to ensure you light the pilot light properly. Sniff the air to make sure it does not have a gas smell. You should never light a pilot light if there is a gas smell as it is extremely dangerous. The pilot light and gas could cause an explosion. Furthermore gas is not safe for you to be inhaling either. In fact, it is a good idea to call a gas company if you smell a gas smell.
If there is not a gas smell, open the water heater door panel and look for the label with the instructions regarding where your pilot light is located. Turn the temperature on the water heater down and use the regulator valve to turn off the flow of gas to the water heater. Then, you are safe to light the pilot light.
Reason #2: The Pipes Have Corroded
If you live in an older property, there is a possibility the pipes are corroded. If your pipes are corroded, this can stop water from flowing freely throughout your house, which makes it difficult to use hot water (or any water for that matter). If you have an older water heater, the heater itself could be corroded and need to be replaced as well. Corroded pipes and water heaters prevent the water from flowing freely because they cause water leaks.
Unless you have experience in replacing pipes and installing a water heater, it is best to leave it to someone with plumbing experience, such as Art Stover Plumbing. You can limit the risk of your new pipes corroding by encouraging the use of plastic pipe nipples instead of steel. Then, you just need to have your pipes flushed on a routine basis and inspected by a professional to keep them from corroding again.
Reason #3: The Water Heater is Too Small
It is possible that your water heater is working just fine, it is just too small to accommodate the house it has been installed in. This happens fairly commonly when a water heater is installed by someone who lacks plumbing experience and knowledge. An easy way to tell if your water heater is too small is whether or not you can use hot water, but it is limited. For example, you take a hot shower first in the morning and then your husband does not have any hot water to take his with. The easy solution to this problem is to purchase a larger water heater and have it installed in your home.
These are just a few of the many reasons your hot water has suddenly run cold. As a responsible homeowner, this information can help you fix your water heater on your own or know when to call a professional for help.