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Common Water Heater Issues

No Hot Water – Gas Water Heaters

If you have no hot water whatsoever this would indicate the heating element is probably not working.  A gas water heater will have a pilot flame and a way to set it to “on”, “off”, and “pilot”, electric water heater will have a power cord plugged into an outlet or direct power.

If you have a gas water heater you may need to remove a side panel to see if the pilot light is on, if there is no flame  you will find a knob with the choices “on”, “off”, “Pilot”, you can relight the pilot flame by:

  • Turn the pilot switch or knob to “off” for about 5 – 10 seconds
  • Turn the switch to “pilot” which will light the flame.
  • After the Pilot is lit, turn the knob to “on”.
  • If the flame stays lit, you will have hot water with in a couple of hours
  • If you can not light the pilot or it wont stay lit the problem might be the gas supply
  • Make sure the handle on the gas line is in the open position, normally in line with the pipe
  • Make sure the gas to your home is on and available.
  • Thermostat set to LOW


Check to make sure the thermostat is not to low, you can reset it by turning it all the way down and then raising it back up to about 130 degrees Fahrenheit. You should hear the water heater kick on after a few moments.


Electric Water Heaters

No Hot Water:

An electric water heater has its own circuit breaker or fuse, newer homes would be a circuit breaker and you may simply need to switch the breaker back to on. If it is a fuse box you may find a fuse burned out and you need to replace the fuse.


Thermostat set to low:

Just like the Gas water heater, you may need to adjust the thermostat on the water heater.  The normal range is about 130 degrees Fahrenheit. You can reset it by turning the temperature all the way down and then back up again and in a few moments you would hear it turn on.


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