Why Is My Water Not Getting Hot?

traditional water heater.

Getting ready for a hot shower, only to find there is no hot water is a terrible feeling. Maybe your water heater is not heating well enough, and you find yourself thinking, “My hot water is only warm”.

You could be in a situation where it seems like your system has run out of hot water, and only cold water is coming out of the faucets. Either way, it seems like there is no hot water in the house, and your water heat is having trouble producing hot water.

Whether you need a water heater repair or a replacement, there are a few things you should check. We want to take you through some of the most common reasons your water is not getting hot in your home. 

Contact Us About Your Water Heater

Five Reasons Your Hot Water Is Not Getting Hot 

Pilot light is out

If you have a gas water heater, the pilot light going out could be an issue. The pilot light is the small flame that ignites the fuel, which creates heat for your water. If the pilot light is out, there is no way for the gas to ignite, and no heat is created. 

It should be a simple fix to relight the pilot light. Some systems have a reset button. If you need to relight the flame, just use a long lighter. 

Read More: Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Water Heater

Electrical problem

Electric water heaters use wiring and electrical connections to function. If there is a problem with the wiring, or with the electrical source, your water is not going to heat up. 

Try unplugging your system and testing the outlet. If that isn’t the issue, there may be a problem with the internal wiring. Check all of your connections from the electrical source to the water heater. Also make sure to check circuit breakers and fuses. 

If all this looks fine then it seems like there is a problem with the actual water heater system. Call in a professional to help you out! 

Thermostat malfunction

Make sure the thermostat on your hot water heater is working properly. Your thermostat should be set between 122 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal energy efficiency and comfort. 

If the thermostat looks like it’s set, but the water isn’t hot enough, this could be your issue. Regular maintenance will help you stay on top of this aspect of your water heater. A technician will be able to check the thermostat compared to the actual temperature. 

You could have also tripped the high temperature shutoff switch. Flip the switch and press the reset button. If this doesn’t work, you know the drill… call in the pros. 

Water tank leak

If your water tank is leaking, it comes with several issues. For one, you probably have water draining into your home. Even if it’s a small amount of water, it’s causing your system problems. 

Your water heater should be able to be full to work energy efficiently, and also to keep you the most comfortable. If there is a constant slow leak, then you are not getting the most out of your system, while also paying extra for it. 

Unfortunately, a leak typically means you need to replace your water heater. We recommend regular service to keep your water heater in good shape, and clean out any debris and sediment that is building in the bottom of your water heater. 

Gas leak

A gas leak is a bad situation to be in. If your hot water heater isn’t getting any gas, it’s not able to fuel your heat. This also means that gas could be leaking in your home. 

We recommend you shut the gas supply off immediately and leave your home. Only once you are a safe distance, call the gas company and emergency services. Do not attempt to repair a gas leak in your home, or start to switch off appliances. 

Signs You May Need to Replace Your Water Heater 

If you have no hot water at all, it’s a clear sign that you need some help. You either need to repair or replace your water heater. Here are a few signs of a failing hot water heater. 

Sediment Build Up In The Tank

The water that goes into your heater is never going to be 100% pure. There are little pieces of calcium and magnesium that can come from “hard water”, and eventually buildup at the bottom of your tank. 

Your heating element is at the bottom of the water heater, and this buildup of sediment can create a wall between the water and the heat. This makes it harder for the water to warm up. 

We recommend you drain the tank and use a water softener. 

Read More: Upgrading A Boiler & Water Heater In Ventnor, NJ

The Dip Tube Isn’t Working

In your water heater, cold water is pushed to the bottom to be heated using the dip tube. Then the heated water is brought to the top and used to go out to the appliances that need it. 

If the dip tube isn’t working properly, it will let this colder water stay at the top, and keep the water in your home from getting as hot as it should. 

Internal Heating Element Is Broken

Your water heater typically has a lower and upper heating element. If the upper element isn’t working well, it means you’ll have a large supply of lukewarm water. If the lower heating element is broken, you’ll have hot water, but it won’t last long at all. 

If one of your heating elements isn’t working, you should be able to replace the part without having to replace your water heater. Regular maintenance is a great way to prevent elements like this from breaking and keeping your system energy efficient. 

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heater

Alt Text: Tankless Water Heaters Never Run Out Of Hot Water

One of our favorite pieces of technology for heating water is a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters heat water as needed, instead of the traditional tank that stores a large amount of heated water. 

Hot water heaters have a couple of great advantages compared to traditional tanks: 

  • Endless supply of hot water
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • No big spills or leaks
  • Much smaller space needed

Read More: How Does A Tankless Water Heater Work?

Water Not Getting Hot Enough: FAQs

  • Why am I not getting hot water in my shower?
  • You may be getting hot water around the house, but not the shower. This could be due to mineral buildup or clogs in cartridges, that prevent the warm water from getting to your shower. You could also have breaks or leaks in the nozzles on your hot and cold water taps. 
  • How do I reset my water heater?
  • Your reset button is usually a red button, located by the thermostat. 
  • Why is my water only coming out warm?
  • You could have sediment buildup, gas leaks, a broken dip tube, or broken heating elements. 
  • Why is my hot water not working but cold is?
  • Your water is not heating in your tank, or the thermostat needs to be turned up. 

Water Heater Installation in Ocean City, NJ

Broadley’s is an expert when is comes to water heater installation in Ocean City, NJ, and the surrounding towns. We have plumbers who have worked on total remodeling projects, redesigning bathrooms, installing appliances, and more. Give us a call at (609) 390-3907 or contact us online

Contact Us About Your Water Heater