Water Heater Issues

What to do when your water heater doesn’t heat water.

Electric Heaters

Electric hot water heaterElectric hot water heaters operate from lower and upper heating elements to produce hot water. All electric water heaters come with a limited warranty like this one pictured here with a number to call for troubleshooting and questions.

WARNING: Electric water heaters run as high-voltage appliances, and you need to turn them off before troubleshooting. Find your electrical breaker box and turn OFF the power to the heater’s circuit. Test that the power is off by turning on hot water from a faucet. If you feel hot water, make sure all power is off at the correct circuit before servicing. 

Problem: Sparse Hot Water 

Suppose your water heater isn’t able to keep up with your everyday use of hot water. In that case, your heater may be too small for the household demand, or you may need plumbing servicing.


  • Conserve hot water. Try spreading out showers, dishes, and laundry throughout the day and not all at once.
  • Upgrading to a larger water heater can help with a large household. 
  • Turn up your water heater temperature can increase hot water, but make sure to test the water to avoid scalding skin. The EPA recommends a temperature setting of 120° Fahrenheit.
  • Contacting your warranty for services or contact us for a free quote. If you’re not overusing hot water, you may have a faulty heating element and need professional plumbing help. 

Gas Heaters

Gas hot water heater

Gas water use a gas burner, which heats water underneath the tank. 

WARNING: Gas water heaters are not to be installed or serviced yourself. A certified plumber needs to install and service gas water heating issues. According to Better Health Channel, gas heaters should be serviced and tested by a licensed professional at a minimum of every two years. All gas operated homes should have carbon monoxide alarms; visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission for more info. If you smell gas, leave the building and call 911. 

Problem: No Hot Water

If you’re experiencing no hot water and have a gas water heater you may have a pilot light out or a problem with your thermocouple.


  • Pilot light out. If you’re not able to get any hot water from your gas water heater, you may need to check the pilot light. This is a simple step. If it’s not lit, simply relight it. 

Watch this video on gas energy safety.

  • Gas water heater thermocouple damaged. A thermocouple is a electrical instrument that sends electrical currents to the gas valve which opens the pilot light when there is heat and closes when there’s no heat.

Watch this video on thermocouple safety

When to Call a Professional

If you can’t light or replace the thermocouple safely yourself, call a certified plumber. You can call H&M Plumbing and Drain at 469-422-2218.

We offer onsite quotes and coupons for all projects.