Why Won’t My Hot Water Heater Turn On?

It can be rather inconvenient when your gas or electric hot water heater refuses to serve its purpose, especially if you really need to take a shower or wash some dishes. It might need repair, replacement or only a slight adjustment:

Why Won't My Water Heater Turn On?

1. Don’t overlook the obvious and assume that your equipment has failed. The source of the problem could be quite simple. For example, someone may have inadvertently unplugged it or flipped a switch that controls the outlet.

2. Your water heater might refuse to turn on because it has run out of fuel. Make sure that you’ve paid the utility bills, and check the gauge on the fuel tank if it has one. Some gas units will work without electrical power while others won’t.

3. If the hot water heater uses any electricity, look at your home’s breaker panel or fuse box. You might just need to replace a fuse or flip a breaker switch. If there’s a pilot light, you may have to relight it. You shouldn’t need to perform these tasks more than once.

A gas unit with a pilot light that repeatedly goes out will probably need a new thermocouple. When an electric water heater has power but doesn’t work at all, it could be necessary to replace the heating element or thermostat.

4. Another possible solution for electric water heater owners is to reset the unit’s high-temperature cutoff. You can usually find it behind a panel. If pressing the reset control has no effect, the cutoff could need repair before your equipment will work normally.

Think twice before attempting any do-it-yourself repairs. The combination of water, electricity and/or gas may prove dangerous. A qualified plumber can precisely diagnose the problem and find a safe way to address it. Please contact us today to schedule a service call.