It has to be one of the worst feelings in the world when you step into a hot shower only to find there is no hot water. This can happen all of a sudden or be an intermittent problem for an extended period of time.
It’s important to know what is likely to be causing this issue; you can then choose the best course of action to rectify it and enjoy a hot shower again.
The first step is to take a look at the fuel supply for your water heater. If you have an electric water heater then check that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. This will deprive the heater of power making it impossible for it to heat the water.
Equally if you use oil, portable gas or some other fuel you’ll need to check that you haven’t simply run out. It is even possible to turn off mains gas or for there to be an issue with the gas supply.
It is worth checking this before you do anything else.
Checking The Function
If you have a gas boiler then you need to look into the little window to see if the pilot light is lit. You can also get someone else to turn a tap on so that you can see if the flame ignites. If it doesn’t then your water will never get hot.
The most likely issue in this instance will be a faulty gas control valve which is stopping the gas from getting to the boiler. An alternative is that the burner unit below the pilot light has become blocked. This can happen over time from soot and corrosion caused by the burning process. If the burner is blocked then no oxygen will get to the boiler and the gas will not be able to ignite.
If your boiler is electric and the circuit is okay then you may have an issue with the heater elements. These are inside the water heater and there will usually be 2 or 3 of them. The most obvious sign that this is the issue is when the temperature of your water drops but doesn’t go cold.
You’ll need to replace the element quickly before the other one stops working and you’re left with just cold water.
The above are the main reasons why you’ll lose hot water or only have it intermittently. However, you should have a warning before this happens. This will be in the form of lower than usual water temperature and even cold water on occasions.
It can be easy to turn the thermostat up and try to ignore the issue but this is your clue that everything is not well and you should act. Delaying is likely to make your repair bill more expensive and give you the inconvenience of no hot water for a period of time.