Common Causes for No Hot Water and How to Fix Them

We’ve all been there: you jump into the shower looking forward to an invigoratingly hot bath only to discover that the water running from your faucet is ice-cold.

It can be frustrating and inconvenient, especially if it happens regularly. But don’t worry – there are a number of common causes for this issue, and we’ll help you identify what’s wrong and how to fix it.

Why Is Your Hot Water Not Working?

Having no water can be pretty frustrating and confusing – after all, how can it be that your water heater isn’t working?

Here are some factors that you might want to look at:

Which Type Of Water Heater Do You Have?

Broadly, there are three main types of water heater that are most commonly used in Australia. Of course, these three aren’t the only ones that exist; there are several more, however, in a residential setting, it is far more likely that yours will be any one of these three categories. And here they are:

  1. Traditional gas heater with tank
  2. Tankless on-demand heater
  3. Electric heater with tank

When you find yourself with no hot water, the first thing you should do is identify which type of hot water system you have. This will be your first step to understanding why your hot water system isn’t working properly.

No Hot Water

No Hot Water In Your Traditional Tank Gas Heater

If you, like many people, have a traditional tank gas heater, you may have found that when you need hot water there is none coming out of your taps.

Well, the traditional type of water heater uses gas to heat water that is stored in a tank until it is needed. So once you’ve used the water in the tank, it needs to refill and then get heated. So you have to wait it out.

Now, if you still find no hot water even after the tank has been refilled (and the water reheated), then here are three things to check:

Gas Leak: Check the pilot light. If it’s on, you probably have a gas leak. Call a professional to fix it.

  1. Water Leak: Check under the sink and look for signs of water damage, like discoloration or wet spots on the flooring around your heater. If you find any evidence of a leak, call a plumber immediately!

Faulty Heating Elements: If there’s no sign of water damage, but you still can’t get warm water out of your heater, check for signs of corrosion on the heating elements inside the unit—they might need replacing!

No Hot Water In Your Tankless On-Demand Systems

If you have a gas-powered one, you should check the gas supply, the pilot igniter, and other relevant features – although since there is no tank, everything related to that part can be ignored.

If it is electric, check for loose wires or damaged components. If you have a water heater that uses an electric element, it may be too small for the size of your home and will cause problems if it needs to run for long periods of time. You might need to upgrade to a larger element or replace it with an electric tankless one instead.

No Hot Water In Your Electric Tank Heater

This hot water system uses electricity rather than gas to heat the water in the tank. You will find these water heater systems very commonly in smaller models, since using electricity instead of gas can be significantly more expensive.

Now, this category of hot water systems can come with a lot of common issues that we usually find in gas heaters, thus, it needs to be checked the same way.

If you find yourself with no hot water in your electric tank heater, here are a few questions that can help you identify the cause:

Has Someone Used All The Hot Water?

This is one of the most common reasons for this issue. Essentially, when there’s too much demand for hot water, it can lead to the heater running out of fuel and switching off.

Is The Thermostat Set High Enough?

If your thermostat isn’t set high enough, then it won’t be able to switch on again until it reaches its minimum temperature setting. This can cause long periods of time when there isn’t any hot water available.

No Hot Water

Is There A Water Leak?

If there is a leak in your plumbing or piping system, then it will also cause problems with your hot water supply as well as waste energy and money.


Avoiding the Common Mistakes and When to Seek Expert Help

It can be frustrating and stressful when your hot water system breaks or stops working. However, if you aren’t sure what is wrong, it is best to call a professional plumber or electrician to help diagnose the problem. With a little homework, you can avoid many common mistakes that cause systems to break down (such as buildups, leaks, etc) before they occur.

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