Home Improvement

Hot Water Systems: Common Issues and How to Fix Them


Having hot water in the tap is essential to several households, particularly those that are located in locations that experience below-freezing temperatures. However, there are instances wherein your hot water system may fail to deliver hot water which can be attributed to one of the reasons listed below. Rest assured that after reading this article, you will have a good idea of how to fix some of these common issues.

Gas Water Heater

  • No Gas Supply

One of the most common issues when it comes to gas water heaters is an insufficient level of gas supply. In this case, you may find your hot water system not working because there is no hot water produced even if the heater is on. If you happen to experience this, make sure that your gas supply is on because there is a great chance that you have accidentally turned it off. Otherwise, check whether the switch off button of your hot water system may have damage. To do so, just switch your gas to “pilot” and remove the cover around the pilot light.

  • No Pilot Light

You may notice that there is no longer a flame in your pilot light, which is an indication that it is turned off. Some water heaters have a glow plug or a spark ignitor instead of a pilot light. If your hot water system bears a pilot light, all you need to do is to relight it by switching the regulator off and wait for the gas to dissipate. From there, you need to switch your regulator to “pilot”. However, if it comes with a glow plug or a spark ignitor, you need to refer to the manual of your system or get in touch with a professional to have your hot water system problem resolved.

Electric Water Heater

  • Tripped Breaker

When it comes to electric water heaters, one of the most common issues is a tripped breaker. Even if the tripped breaker is not in the opposite direction compared to the others, it will still be out of line. If this is the case, all you need to do is to reset it by turning it off and switching it back on after a while. Hopefully, this should address your issue, but in case your hot water system fails to work even after the reset, it is time for you to call a licensed electrician to do the job.

  • Faulty Heating Elements

Another common issue why an electric water heater is not working is because of faulty heating elements, particularly if your heater has been installed for several years already. Keep in mind that most water heaters are designed to last for only ten years and if you suspect that there are already faulty heating elements with your heater because of its age, it may be a sensible idea to get a new one instead of attempting to replace these parts.

  • Possible Water Leaks

There are instances wherein the cause of your hot water supply problems can be attributed to water leaks. Thus, make sure to scrutinise each part of your system to find water leaks if any. If not mitigated, a water leak may even flood your compartment because water has already found a way through it, causing your thermostat to malfunction.

The Bottomline

The hot water system issues listed above are some of the most common reasons why hot water systems sometimes fail to produce hot water as they are designed to do. Try to inspect whether the problem with your hot water system is related to any of the above and execute the possible fixes with caution. Otherwise, it is still best to get in touch with professional plumbers to make sure that your problem is resolved for good.

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