If you wake up and find there is no hot water available for your morning shower, there is no need to panic. Simply work your way through this list of possibilities to find out why your hot water system is not working as expected.
1. Check the Thermostat Settings
Before you assume your hot water system is broken, take the time to check the settings on your thermostat. If your water is warm but not hot, the problem could be that the thermostat is simply not set to a high enough temperature. Try setting it a bit higher to see whether this improves the temperature of your water.
2. Relight the Pilot Light
One of the most common reasons for there being no hot water is that the pilot light on the water heater has gone out. This is a simple enough fix. First, turn the switch that controls the pilot to "Off." Wait a few minutes to allow the gas to dissipate and then turn the switch back on. Use a long lighter or a match to relight the pilot.
3. Check for Gas Leaks
Gas leaks are easy to detect. Simply sniff around the water heater. If you can smell rotten eggs, turn the heater off and call a hot water plumber right away. Gas leaks are dangerous and should never be ignored.
4. Clean Out Sediment Buildup
Mains water contains tiny amounts of contaminants, which can settle on the bottom of your water heater and form a layer of sediment. This layer prevents the water heater from working properly.
Cleaning the water heater is a good way to get rid of sediment and help your water heater work properly again. You might also want to consider installing a water softener to remove minerals from your water and therefore reduce the rate at which sediment builds up.
5. Replace the Heating Element
If none of the other suggestions help to improve your hot water situation, you might need to replace the heating element in your water heater. This is much less expensive than replacing the whole water heater, although if there is rust or excessive wear on the tank, you might want to consider replacing the whole heater with a newer and more efficient model.
The first step in repairing or replacing your water heater is to contact a hot water plumber. They can advise you on which option is most suitable and carry out the repair or replacement.