Typically when your water heater starts having problems, you don’t know it’s not heating water until you step into a cold shower, and there could be a number of reasons for this sudden problem.
If you have a gas water heater, the problem could be as simple as the pilot light going out, but if you have an electric water heater, you may have a problem with the thermostat or heating element.
Gas Water Heaters
There are a number of other reasons your unit might not be heating water. For gas units, if the pilot light is not the problem, there may be an issue with the thermocouple. When the pilot light is lit, the thermocouple will open, allowing gas to reach the burner.
This device shuts the gas off when the pilot light is out; it’s essentially a safety valve. If there’s a problem with the thermocouple, it shuts off the gas and the pilot light will go out, leaving you without hot water.
Electric Water Heaters
Most electric water heaters have two thermostats and two heating elements. If you are running out of hot water quickly, you probably have a bad heating element. If you are not getting any hot water, the problem could be a bad heating element or a bad thermostat. The thermostat turns the heating elements on in order to get the water to the correct temperature.
Common Problems with Both Gas and Electric
There are problems that are common to both gas and electric water heaters that can cause you to lose hot water quickly or cause the unit to stop heating water.
If you have a water heater that is leaking, depending on how bad the leak is, you could run out of hot water quickly or not have any at all. There can also be a problem with the pressure release valve or leaky hot water drain valve.
For more information on troubleshooting problems with your water heater and how to properly repair these issues, please contact us! Black Diamond Plumbing & Mechanical has been serving the suburban Chicago area since 1999.