Hot water provided by a hot water heater is one of the main sources of all homes or building, it doesn’t matter which type of system you have, either gas water heater or electric hot water heater there are certain principles that need to be checked and tested if you feel the hot water in your house is not hot enough or you have slow pressure or its taking to long until you get some hot water, or the hot water lasts only for a short time, less than a reasonable time to take a shower, and you know exactly what a reasonable time to take a shower is, right?

1. Hot Water Heater Tanks

  • Your hot water heater contains enough water and that water needs to be kept at a certain temperature.  Take a visual test to see that the body parts are whole and covered with no holes or falling parts as these can cause the heat can escape to the outside air.
  • There is a thermo-coupling or a thermostat on every water heater to adjust the temperature. Usually you don’t need to touch it but make sure the setting is on the hot mode and you can always increase it a bit.
  • Pipes that are connected to the hot water heater transfer the water and the heat, a pipe without proper insulation may release the heat to the air and reduce the water temperature so by the end of the water line, when it gets to you the water temperature will be much lower.
  • Water valves need to be in the full open position, there are two valves on the top, usually on the top of the water heater, cold and hot, make sure the valves are fully open.
  • The gas pipeline provides the gas to warm up the water, broken gas valves that are rusted or not fully open will lead to a smaller flame that may not be enough to create enough heat to heat the water to the set temperature, and the water will be mostly warm or cold.

2. Hot water problems in shared buildings like condominiums and commercial buildings.

  • Unlike your private home, where a hot water heater is not shared with other tenants, when you live in a building with tenants such as a condominium or a commercial apartment building where many tenants share the same hot water heater, the issues might be between the usage of the water heater by tenants.
  • Differentiate between a new problem of no hot water or repeated issues.  A one time problem may reflect a technical problem.  If you have a chronic problem of insufficient hot water it may be that the tank is too small to serve the hot water needs of that home and in a commercial property the number of tenants sharing resources.
  • If your apartment condo or unit has its own hot water heater, do not look for any problem within the building’s hot water heater system.

3. Before You Call A Plumber for No Hot Water

  • Make sure there is gas available in the house or in the building and no one disconnected it or didn’t pay the bill.
  • Make sure the gas valve that belongs to the water heater is fully open.
  • Make sure there is water with pressure in the house and the cold water valve on top of the water heater is fully open.
  • Look at the hot water heater window and see if the pilot is on.
  • If the pilot is on increase the temperature in the thermostat or thermo-coupling to see if the flame increases, its an external button and if you don’t know or you’ve never done it before then do not touch it and call a plumber.

4.  Tankless Hot Water Heater Problem

  • There is a new/old wonderful technology of heating up water in an instant mode, its called Instant Hot Water Heater.  The cold water goes in and goes out already hot.  Another name for this is a Tankless Water Heater.  It does not have a tank that contains and stores the water, the water just runs through and heats up within the tankless water heater in an instant.
  • All the advice we gave above also applies to the tankless water heater.  Make sure the water valves are fully open in the intake cold side and the outtake hot side, teh unit is on and connected to electricity and of course that there is power in the outlet.
  • There are different kinds of tankless water heaters, we highly recommend that you call us and we would be happy to investigate and troubleshoot any hot water problems.  Most of the time they are an easy fix.  Sometimes hot water heater replacement is needed and a new installation is required, especially if your unit is old. Call us to get advice and we would be happy to help.

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