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Out of hot water? This might be why your water heater isn't working!

Help! What Do I Do When I Don’t Have Hot Water?


There are some wonderful ways to start your day, but getting shocked by a rude blast of cold water in the shower isn’t one of them. Hot water is something that we tend to take for granted in our modern world, but once it’s gone, you’ll quickly realize how much you rely on it. Not only can you not take a comfortable bath or shower, but your dishes and laundry won’t get done either. 


If you’re dealing with a lack of hot water right now, you’re sure to want to get it fixed immediately! Here’s a list of troubleshooting questions that you can run through to figure out what the problem is and decide whether or not you need to call a plumber like Schuler Service.

Was the Hot Water Used Up?

The first place your mind goes when you realize you have no hot water should be towards the hot water usage in your home over the past day or so. Think back and see if anyone has been doing something that would use up your water supply. Were you or a family member doing a load of laundry, running the dishwasher, or washing dishes by hand? Did someone just take a long, hot shower before you? The problem might be as simple as waiting for your water tank to refill, and maybe having a chat with someone about hogging the hot water!


You should also check out the hot water tank itself and look for leaks or puddles on the floor. It might be that no one used up the water, but it’s gone anyway because of a leak.

Is the Pilot Light Out?

If you have a gas water heater, the next thing you should do as you try to diagnose the problem should be to check the pilot light. This small flame being out is a common thing to find when you’re mysteriously out of hot water. The pilot light runs continuously so that when the burner needs to be lit, it can be lit from this flame. If the pilot light is out, the burner won’t light, and then the water won’t heat!


If you notice the pilot light isn’t burning, you can easily relight it yourself– there should be instructions right on your hot water tank. However, if you smell gas, do not light the pilot light! Leave the area and call the experts immediately. You may have a gas leak.

Is the Thermostat Turned Down?

Your water heater has a thermostat on it that indicates what temperature the water is heated to. A misbehaving heater could be the result of your thermostat malfunctioning or being accidentally turned down. Take a look and see what temperature it’s set at. The average temperature for a water heater is somewhere between 122 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s lower than this, turning it up could solve the problem! If it’s at the right temperature but you still have no hot water, move on to the next possibility.

Is There No Power/Fuel Supply?

Water heaters run on either gas or electricity. Therefore, if there’s no gas or electricity, there’s no hot water! Check to see if your gas heater is being powered by making sure your gas valve is turned on and that there are no kinks on your line. If you don’t see or smell any sign of a problem with your gas line, check your gas company’s website, call their number, or check in with your neighbors, as there may be a planned or unplanned outage happening.


If your water heater is electric and the power in your home is still up, check the circuit breaker to see if it was tripped, as this could cause the heater not to function. Flipping the switch back on should fix the problem.

Call in the Professionals

If you’ve run through all of these potential causes for your water heater not working and still haven’t found the source of the problem, it’s time to call a professional plumber to diagnose the issue. There are lots of different reasons that your heater might be malfunctioning, and a plumber like the ones on our team at Schuler Service can help figure out what’s wrong and get your heater back up and running again, or replace it if needed. If you need water heater services today, make sure to contact Schuler and we’ll help you get hot water back in your home again!

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