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What to Do When You Have No Hot Water


What do you do when your hot water stops flowing? The first thing to do is to consider what kind of water heater you own. Electric water heaters and gas water heaters look similar, but they fail for very different reasons. Determining your source of power will help you determine your next steps.

For electric water heaters:

  • Check your circuit breaker box. The water heater has its own dedicated breaker, and it should be easy to tell if it’s been tripped. You can also check the water heater’s internal breaker, which usually has a red reset button. If flipping the circuit breaker and pressing the button don’t work, call in a professional.
  • It could be a faulty heating element. This is fairly common, but fortunately, the heating element is pretty simple to replace.
  • A faulty thermostat could be your issue. Electric water heaters have upper and lower elements, and the upper thermostat can control them both. If the lower thermostat goes out but the upper one is still working, you’ll have water that doesn’t get hot enough. In that case, the thermostat will need to be replaced.
  • There are a few other issues that could be causing your problem. There could be a shorted-out wire, or the water heater could be leaking. Your circuit breaker could be too weak, or the water heater’s reset button may be tripped.

If you have a gas water heater:

  • Check that gas is still flowing. Make sure your gas is on, the gas valve is not closed, and the pilot light is lit. If the pilot light keeps going out, call in a professional.
  • Most gas water heater repairs require professional assistance. Natural gas can be dangerous, so for the sake of safety, it’s best to not try to fix your hot water heater yourself.
  • There are many things that can be fixed before you have to buy a new water heater. The thermocouple may need to be replaced, or you may have a defective gas control line. There may be a clog in the pilot orifice, or perhaps a clogged, bent or defective supply line. It could also be a dirty or clogged burner or poor ventilation.

At Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating, we are passionate in our pursuit of safety, professionalism, and excellence in caring for our customers, co-workers, and community. That’s why this family-owned business has been around for 30 years, consistently delivering the customer satisfaction that’s earned us our superb reputation. A full-service plumbing company, we provide a wide range of services which include expert repairs to existing plumbing, water, gas, and sewage systems, copper piping, water main replacements, trenchless sewer replacements, and water heater installations. We also provide renovation services for kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms, to update the design or upgrade the energy efficiency. Contact us through our website or call (510) 876-9725 for more information on all we can do for you.

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