What to do when there's no hot water

Even in balmy Atlanta, hot water is a necessity. From washing dishes and clothes to bathing yourself,...

Even in balmy Atlanta, hot water is a necessity. From washing dishes and clothes to bathing yourself, your kids, and your dog, hot water not only removes dirt and grime but also provides therapeutic benefits. Discovering that you have no hot water is definitely cause for alarm, but there are steps you can take to quickly identify and resolve the problem.

Local or general?

First, determine if this is a restricted or a general problem. Is there no hot water coming from any of the home's plumbing fixtures, or is it just a shower or bathtub faucet that is not producing hot water?

Safety mechanism

If the issue is isolated to a shower or bathtub faucet, the problem may be quite simple to fix. Some shower faucet brands have a built-in safety mechanism that prevents users from turning the valve completely in a clockwise direction. This is designed to keep children from scalding themselves. However, the mechanism may have slipped and is now preventing any hot water from coming out. The safety device--which is located under the water handle knob--can be adjusted to allow more hot water to be released.

Unit size

If there is no hot water anywhere in the house, you probably have a problem with your hot water heater. In particular, if you turn the water on and it's hot, but then goes from warm to cold, it is possible that the current unit is not large enough to handle the hot water demands placed on it.

Is it on?

If the water recently stopped being hot, check to see if the hot water heater's power supply is on. If you have a gas heater, inspect it to see if the gas is on and the pilot light is still lit. If you have an electric heater, ensure there is a secure power connection, and then press the thermostat's red button to reset it.

Other problems

There are numerous other things that can be checked on your hot water heater. For example, the temperature setting may need to be adjusted. In addition, the unit may need to be insulated to stop the hot water from escaping, or the heating element may have burned out and needs to be replaced. An Atlanta-area plumber can conduct a thorough inspection and quickly restore hot water to your home.

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