With winter on the way, various heating elements in your home are some of the most important components you’re thinking about during the fall. This includes your hot water heater, which is in charge of providing warm water for various appliances throughout the home – a job that gets much more difficult when it’s cold outside, for obvious reasons.

At All Hours Plumbing, we can help with every area of water heater service you might need this fall. This includes everything from basic inspections to repairs or even full-on replacements. We have experience with every water heater form, including newer tankless heater options that are a great choice for many homeowners.

We can also offer our expertise in these areas, and by far the most common question we get here is this: What do I do if I turn on a hot water device and only cold water comes out? As it turns out, the answer comes down to which kind of heater is in your home. Tankless heaters are their own ballgame here, so ask our plumbers for tips on these if you have one, but here are the basics on responding to a lack of hot water from either a gas or electric water heater.

Gas Heater

Here are the steps to take when you find there’s no hot water and your home uses a gas-powered water heater:

  • Check the pilot light: In some cases, your home’s pilot light may have been blown out by a surge of air or a downdraft. This is often the simple cause of hot water being stopped to various appliances in the home. Luckily, fixing this issue is simple – nearly all heaters have attached instructions on how to relight the pilot light, a process that’s usually very easy. In cases where your pilot light stays in an enclosed chamber you don’t have access to, or if you ever smell gas coming from the heater, call our plumbers immediately and do not do anything else.

  • Thermocouple: If the pilot light isn’t the source of the issue, it’s likely the thermocouple. This is a safety device meant to stop gas flow if the pilot light goes out, but its tip can sometimes go out of alignment and cause it to stop working properly. You will have to either line it up with the pilot light frame again or replace it in this case.

  • Gas line: If neither of the above areas is the problem, inspect your gas line to see if it’s open or may have tangling issues taking place. If you still can’t find the issue, call our plumbers to help.

Electric Heater

  • Basic reset: Many electronic devices just need a quick reset if they’re having issues, and an electric water heater is no exception. Turn the heater off, wait a few minutes, and then turn it back on. Be sure to give the system about half an hour to see if you get warm water.

  • Hard reset: If a simple reset doesn’t work, go to your home’s circuit breaker and flip off the water heater power switch. Wait 30 seconds, then flip it back on. If it doesn’t stay fully on, you know you have a circuit-related issue.

  • Age: If a reset doesn’t solve the issue with your electric water heater, it may be time to consider its age and whether a replacement is necessary. Any heater over 10 years old could be nearing this range.

For more on how to respond to a lack of hot water, or to learn about any of our plumbing, water heater or HVAC services, speak to the pros at All Hours Plumbing today.