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Johansen & Anderson Inc Blog

Why Is My Water Heater Not Heating Up?


A lack of hot water coming from your plumbing fixture is a thoroughly unpleasant problem to have, especially if you were trying to take a shower. But what could be causing it? Is your water heater broken? Do you need to call a plumber?

There are a couple of things you can check when your water won’t get hot, before you decide that your water heater actually needs repair. We’ll also give you some idea of the things that might be wrong if the water heater is the root of the problem.

The Thermostat

Your hot water heater has a thermostat that regulates the temperature of the water in the tank. Perhaps it was accidentally changed and adjusting it back to the proper temperature is an easy fix for a professional. Although you might be tempted to try and adjust it yourself, you don’t want anyone in your home to risk a potential scalding hazard.

Other Faucets

If you’ve only tried to get hot water from one plumbing fixture, try others. For example, if you can get hot water from the kitchen sink but not the bathroom sink, it’s a sign that the water heater is not the problem. Instead, the mixing valve at that fixture is what might need to be repaired. This will require a plumber.

The Dip Tube

Once you’ve checked those other possibilities, it’s time for water heater repair in Joliet, IL. One of the things that may have occurred is a broken dip tube. This conducts cold water into your water heater’s tank and down to the bottom, where the heating element is located. The hot water that’s directed to your faucets is supplied from the top of your tank. If the dip tube breaks, cold water is released too high up in the tank, so when the faucets call for hot water, they get cool water instead.

Gas Vs Electric

Some of the problems that can cause insufficient hot water are caused by components specific to the type of water heater you have. In a gas heater, if there’s a problem with the gas valve, the water heater won’t get enough fuel to heat the water. In an electric heater, the heating element may be to blame. Although electric water heaters do generally have two heating elements, a failure in just one can mean a major drop in water temperature. 

Problems Requiring Replacement

If you have a new water heater, or just moved into a new home and have not had sufficient hot water at all, it could be that the water heater is just too small to do its job effectively. A plumber can help you assess your home and the needs of your family to make sure your system has what it takes to keep you supplied with plentiful hot water.

On the other hand, if you have a very old water heater, it may not be worth continuing to invest in repairs to postpone replacement. You may be pleasantly surprised at how energy-efficient and reliable newer models are. 

Call J&A today, Sleep-tight tonight!

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