6 Common Reasons Your Water Heater Isn’t Getting Hot

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It’s frustrating when all you need after a long day of work is a warm bath. But when you get into the shower, you’re bombarded with ice-cold water that does not heat up at all. Although this could be the case when you’re sharing hot water with a big family, this could also happen even when you’re alone at home–and it could signify something is wrong with your water heater.

But, what exactly is wrong with your water heater? This guide shows some of the most common reasons behind this issue and when you should call a hot water plumber.

What Water Heater Do You Have?

Before anything else, let’s understand what type of water heater you first have.

There are two types of water heater: a gas-type and an electric type. Gas heaters use a tank and also use natural gas such as propane to heat water. Meanwhile, an electric or tankless water heater provides on-demand hot water wherever you need it without the need for natural gas or a tank that preheats water and provides it to locations in the house where it is needed.

With that said, there are certain reasons why your water heater is not getting hot based on what type of heater you have.

Reasons Why There is No Hot Water: Gas Water Heater

If you have a gas water heater, below are the most common reasons behind this issue:

  1. There might be no water in the tank, and this could be a bad sign since it could mean that there is a leak in the tank that is draining all the water out. Leaking could happen if the tank has been punctured or has corroded due to age. Age can also create formations in the tank that could further cause damages to the tank, thus the leaking. The only remedy for this is to replace the tank with a new one, so be sure to call a hot water plumber to help you.
  2. Check the water tank’s gas valve. It should be in place and secured, then check if the gas is indeed on, and then check the pilot light. You may have to relight the pilot light, but if it’s not, you might have issues with the gas line.
  3. If there is water in the tank and there are no leaks, then you might be facing a gas leak. This could be extremely dangerous. Check for any whistling sound near your water heater, a cloud of some sort, or foul odour. If you suspect a gas leak, go out of the house and call a gas fitter immediately.
  4. Another reason is your tank might be too small to meet the demand in your home. This is especially the case if you have a big family or require hot water a lot.

Reasons Why There is No Hot Water: Electric Water Heater

When it comes to electric water heaters, here are a few reasons why you don’t have hot water:

  1. Your water heater’s heating element might already be worn out or is faulty. If it’s the culprit, the cold water replacing the hot will not get heated, or water that has already been heated will not retain its heat.
  2. Electric water heaters have two thermostats, but if one or both of them is broken, water won’t come out hot–or sometimes, it may even get too hot since nothing is monitoring the water temperature. Be sure to check your heater’s thermostat and compare the water temperature shown on the gauge.


If you face any issues with your hot water, be sure you call a specialist to have it checked. Although you can try and fix the problems on your own, leave complicated jobs to experts.