The most common reasons for a house or apartment to have no hot water are issues with the boiler or water heater. If you live in an apartment and you have cold water but no hot water, the issue could also be caused by maintenance in the building.
- Look For a Water Leak
- Check Your Thermostat
- Check Your Water Heater
- Water Pressure Issues
- Temporary Maintenance
1. Look For a Water Leak
If you’re familiar with your home’s plumbing, you should start by checking for a water leak. If you live in a house – especially a large one – it can be difficult to inspect every part of your plumbing for leaks. In a smaller house or an apartment, it should be feasible.
Make sure to shut off your main valve if you’re going to be inspecting those pipes closely, especially if you want to remove segments of your plumbing to check for damage. This is generally something you should always leave in the hands of professionals, but if you insist on doing it, at least do your best to stay safe.
Look for puddles of water or wet walls. Those are telltale signs of a possible leak. However, sometimes the leak might be in a hard-to-reach spot. In that case, any repairs might require the services of not only a plumber but possibly an interior contractor as well.
2. Check Your Thermostat
A thermostat malfunction can also lead to you having no hot water. If your home uses a thermostat to control water temperature levels, you should check that it’s working correctly. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to figure out if the thermostat is working as intended, so if you have any doubts, get in touch with professionals who can take a look.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing the current thermostat setting. This could happen if the device was unexpectedly reset or if you changed it to a different setting at some point in the past and then forgot about it. It can sometimes take a while until you start noticing the effects if you’ve accidentally done this, so don’t exclude it as a possibility simply because you don’t remember messing with the thermostat recently.
In some cases, you might not have access to your home’s thermostat, particularly if you’re renting. Talk to your landlord and see if they might know something about your current water problems.
3. Check Your Water Heater
If it’s neither of the above, you might have a broken heater on your hands. That’s where things get more complicated and expensive, so make sure to investigate the situation more thoroughly if you suspect that this might be the problem. Every responsible homeowner should be familiar with where their water heater is located and how it works – at least roughly – so if you’ve never taken the chance to learn that before, now is a good time.
3.1 Electric Heater
Using an electric heater? You might just have blown a fuse. Check your fuse box and see if everything is in order. Sometimes your water heater might be on a separate fuse box, especially if you also use other heavy-duty machines in your home.
Talk to an electrician if that’s the case. A blown fuse may indicate a more serious underlying problem that you need to address with a high priority.
Sometimes your heater just needs a restart. If it utilizes a lot of electronics, that’s especially possible. It can happen that some process gets stuck and prevents the rest of the heater from operating properly. However, if a simple restart doesn’t fix the problem, don’t mess with the heater any further! This is the point where you need to call a professional.
3.2 Gas Heater
On the other hand, if you’re using a gas heater, you should first check for gas leaks. A gas leak is no joke and should always be addressed by a professional. It can be hard to detect a gas leak, though, especially if your gas piping runs through inaccessible areas.
If you don’t detect any smells resembling gas in the vicinity of the heater, that’s probably not the issue. If you have a gas leak, your heater will likely still work, but its output will be reduced. So if you see your heater turning on but not heating properly, that could be a sign that you have a leak.
Check the pilot light as well. It may have gone out. This is another situation that requires professional assistance. Working with electric and gas appliances alike is something you must always take seriously due to the health hazards involved.
4. Water Pressure Issues
Issues with your home’s water pressure could also cause problems with the hot water. If the pressure’s balance gets thrown off enough, hot water might simply be unable to reach its exit points. This is an issue that can be difficult to diagnose and resolve on your own.
It’s usually indicative of a more serious underlying problem. Sometimes it could be a leak in your plumbing, but in other cases, it might be something more pressing, including a broken-down appliance at some point in your plumbing. To be safe, call a professional plumber and have them investigate your house thoroughly. They will know how to locate and address pressure issues safely.
5. Temporary Maintenance
Finally, check to make sure that there isn’t any temporary maintenance going on. It could be planned or spontaneous – if a neighbor has been dealing with issues on their property, repair crews might need to shut off certain parts of the water supply for the entire area. Sometimes this can affect you entirely, leaving you with no water. In other cases, it could lead to partial outages, specifically in your hot water.
If you don’t have any hot water in your home, and the problem persists, you should investigate thoroughly. In some cases, it could be indicative of more serious issues that require your urgent attention.
Some issues that may cause your hot water to stop working are relatively easy to fix on your own. Others require professional assistance. If it involves your electrical installation or plumbing, you should always leave it in the hands of professionals.
It’s also possible that the issue is only temporary and will go away on its own without any extra effort on your part. In any case, it’s always worth investigating the problem briefly to check that it’s not anything serious that requires immediate attention.