An impressive 10 years — that’s the average service life of standard water heaters. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, can live twice as long as the tanked ones!
However, improper installation and lack of maintenance can cause premature heater failure. They’re also bound to use more energy than necessary even before they fail.
A common sign that you have a faulty heater is a lack of hot water. This may either be an intermittent or a sudden problem.
If you’ve experienced this issue, you’re likely wondering “why is the water in my house not getting hot?” That’s exactly what we’ll answer in this post, so be sure to read on!
Why Is the Water in My House Not Getting Hot?
Running out of gas or fuel, a power outage, or a tripped circuit breaker are common culprits. The gas grid that supplies your heater’s energy source may also be nearing its capacity. However, these are only the usual causes of sudden hot water loss.
If your hot water is not getting hot several times a day, the problem is likely within your heater itself. Below we’ll explore these potential causes in more detail.
Interruptions in Gas or Petrol Supply
Half of all homes in Oklahoma use natural gas as their primary source of heating. One in every 100 households, on the other hand, use petrol. If your home is one of these, then a likely reason that your water heater doesn’t work is that it ran out of gas or oil.
That said, check the gauge or meter attached to your gas or petrol tank to determine how much gas or fuel you have left. If it’s low or empty, it’s time for a refill.
If you have a gas-on-demand subscription, the gas grid in your area may be fluctuating. Check with your utility company.
If there’s still enough gas or oil, then the problem may be with your pilot light. You’ll find this inside a small removable panel or cover near the bottom of the tank. The flames should be small and blue or almost completely blue with just a small yellow tip.
Blue flames indicate that your heater is burning the gas or fuel completely. That means you have a healthy and energy-efficient burner.
Yellow or orange flames, on the other hand, signal incomplete combustion. They don’t burn as hot, which may be the answer to your question, “why is my water not getting hot?” Moreover, these flames mean that your heater is wasting gas or oil.
More than that, incomplete combustion means an increased production of carbon monoxide (CO). CO is an invisible, odorless, tasteless, and toxic gas. Accidental exposure to CO lands 50,000 people in US emergency departments each year.
Faulty or filthy burners may be causing this improper combustion. They may have developed cracks or significant rusting and corrosion. In this case, turn the heater off and call a professional water heater repair technician.
No Flame At All
Someone may have turned off the heater or you may have a bad thermocouple. Try relighting the pilot light with the ignition knob or button. If you don’t see these controls on the tank, check your heater’s manual for instructions on reignition.
If you have a damaged thermocouple, however, you’re unlikely to get the pilot light relit. Contact your gas or oil company for a replacement.
Let’s say there’s no issue with the thermocouple, but you can’t find a pilot light. A lot of modern heaters don’t have this, as they have a glow plug or a spark igniter instead. In this case, it’s best to contact a professional plumber for help.
If your electric water heater doesn’t heat but you do have power, the heater’s breaker may have tripped. Simply check the breaker box to ensure that switch for your water heater is set to “ON”. If it is, then you may be dealing with a blown fuse or a bad thermostat.
Depending on the size of your water heater tank, you may have one or two thermostats. These are the devices that regulate the water temperature. They control the heating elements of the heater to ensure that you always get hot water.
Even if only one of the thermostats fails, your heater will stop heating the water.
A more dangerous problem, however, is a thermostat that reads the temperature wrong. This can cause the device to make the heater heat the water to scalding temperatures. Scald burns from excessively hot water make up 35% of all burn injuries in the US every year.
If you suspect your thermostat has failed, contact a licensed plumber ASAP. The last thing you want is for a busted thermostat to cause injuries to you or your loved ones.
Low Water Pressure
If your no hot water problems are intermittent, it may be low water pressure you’re dealing with. Constantly running out of hot water may mean that your water tank is too small to meet your demands. In this case, consider getting a bigger water heater tank or a tankless water heater.
Clogged Supply Lines
Low water pressure or reduced water flow can also be due to clogs in your water supply line. These blockages can result from hard water mineral deposits. Moderately hard water has a rating of 3.5 to 7.0 grains per gallon, while hard water has a 7.0 to 10.5 gpg rating.
Unfortunately, Tulsa, OK residents get supplied with moderately hard to hard water. Water hardness rating in the city runs from 5.2 to 8.2 gpg.
If you believe that hard water is to blame for these clogged supply lines, an expert plumber can help. They can clear the lines before the mineral deposits completely block the flow of water.
Get Your Water Heater Fixed ASAP
There you have it, all the possible answers to your burning question, “why is the water in my house not getting hot?” As you can see, there’s a lot of them, so it’s best that you try out our tips to troubleshooting your hot water heater first. This way, you can potentially isolate the cause and determine if it’s an expert plumber you need to call.
If you do discover that you have a faulty water heater, know that we here at Big C’s can help. Give us a shout now so we can come to your rescue and make your hot water heater work efficiently again!
One thought on “Why Is the Water in My House Not Getting Hot?”
It’s been a week now since my heater has not been producing much hot water. You said that this may be caused by a defective thermostat. I never knew that the purpose of thermostats in the water heater is to control its heating elements. With that said, I’ll take your advice to hire a licensed plumber right away to fix this issue.