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Don’t Have Hot Water? Some Things to Try Before Contacting a Plumber

January 13, 2016 | Blog

Simply put, your home needs hot water. Going without hot water does much more than creating an inconvenience, it can alter your work career (being late, looking disheveled), damage your clothes, and cause health risks when preparing your food. You’ve likely gone a few hours without hot water before but much longer than that slowly becomes an emergency situation.

Of course, the best way to restore hot water immediately is with a call to your trusted local plumber, Air Tech. While we always respond quickly, we also look out for your best interest and offer you these simple tips to try before giving us a call:

1. Check the Pilot Light

Over half the time (and likely 75% or more) the issue of no hot water has to do with your pilot light being out. The pilot light fires up the burners which heat the water before it is delivered through your plumbing. Obviously, if that light is out, the water won’t get warm so check this through the front of the tank. If it’s out, follows the instructions on the control panel to relight.

2. Flip the Circuit Breaker

You’ll definitely notice when the power is out in the whole house but a tripped breaker to the utility room might fly under the radar. If you aren’t receiving hot water in your fixtures quick troubleshooting of the breaker box will determine if a flipped circuit is the problem.

3. Set the Thermostat

In some instances, your water heater could be running perfectly except for the fact that the thermostat has accidentally been turned down. This could happen if it is bumped in a utility room or if it was set lower for the warmer months. Make sure that the thermostat is set somewhere between 120° and 140°. If so and the water is still not hot we may have to install a replacement for the malfunctioned thermostat.

4. Check for Tank Leaks

Water and metal aren’t the best friends in the world so leaks in a water heater are very common. Check the fittings on the top of the tank where water enters and leaves and also inspect the side of the tank for noticeable drips from the pressure relief valves. Sometimes the leaks can be fixed by tightening the fixtures with a pipe wrench but other times they are a sign that a replacement tank is needed or there are internal issues. It never hurts to call us for an inspection just to provide sound peace of mind.

5. Test the Elements

If the water heater produces no hot water at all it could be an issue with the upper heating element whereas if there is some warmth the lower element could have gone bad. These can be tested by turning off the power to the water heater, removing the panels and insulation covering the elements, and testing the units with a multimeter. Depending on the wattage of the element it should register between 11 and 16 ohms whereas no reading means a replacement is needed.

6. Wait

Sometimes the easiest fix is simply to wait. As the hot water reserves are used up, the unit needs time to heat up a new supply so if you are doing excessive laundry, dishwashing, and taking multiple showers the resources may just be below.

If none of these quick fixes work, the best bet is to give us a call. Unfortunately, water heaters do have a definitive life span (8-15 years) and sometimes they just simply die out.

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If the compressor in your air conditioner fails twice in the first 5 years, we will install a complete and new condensing unit. If the heat exchanger in your furnace fails in the first 10 years, we will install a new furnace.
If your system breaks down during the first year and leaves you without heating or cooling, we will be there within 24 hours or we will pay you $500 for your inconvenience.
You will save a minimum of 30% on your heating and cooling costs or we will refund double-the-difference of your savings not realized during the first year.
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This is the 2nd time we’ve used Elite and I can honestly say they will continue to be my go to company when it comes to heating and AC repairs. They are extremely professional, quick service times, and affordable, even for this single momma! Thank you again for saving us during this chilly winter.

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My technician Michael Ford was very knowledgeable and he made sure everything was working effectively. Michael was very professional and customer friendly. From the first day I started service the customer service has always been great. I would definitely recommend Elite because they are definitely going to give Elite service and great pricing!

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Very honest and thorough. From the first contact with the scheduler to updated communication for appointments, very professional. Michael provided us different options to address system issues and charges were reasonable. 5 of 5 stars in service, highly recommend

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