woman taking freezing shower

Why Isn't My Gas Water Heater Getting Hot?

Have you been taking cold showers for the past few days? If so, your water heater is most likely malfunctioning and needs repair. Luckily for you, gas water heaters are simple fixtures that are relatively easy to diagnose.

  1. No Gas – When a gas water heater isn’t receiving enough (or any) gas, it’s not going to be able to ignite to heat up the water within. Check the gas meter, shutoff valve, and the control knob on the heater itself to make sure none of them are turned off. If all three are turned on and the burner still won’t ignite, contact your local plumber.
  2. No Flame – Many gas water heaters have a pilot light that will ignite the burners when the unit is turned on. If the water heater has a bad thermocouple (the part that shut off the gas when no pilot flame is present), it can also extinguish the pilot light. Look to have the thermocouple replaced.
  3. Thermostat Settings – The thermostat dial on the water heater should always be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, set it to this temperature and let water from the tap run for a few minutes. If there is no change in the water temperature, the thermostat itself might need to be replaced.
  4. Faulty Safety Shutoff – Every gas water heater has a safety shutoff when internal temperatures become too high. This shutoff valve will stop the flow of gas to the fixture, preventing the water from being heated. Unfortunately, faulty shutoffs cannot be fixed and must be replaced.
  5. Dip Tube Trouble – A properly working water heater will have a dip tube bring cold water from the top of the tank to the bottom where it is heated. When a dip tube cracks, water at the top of the tank will flow into the outlet pipe without ever being heated at the bottom of the tank. Unfortunately, replacing the water heater is the smartest move to make when this piece breaks.

Explore Our Water Heater Services

Not having hot water doesn’t sound like a big issue until you try to take a shower or clean your dishes with ice cold water. When your hot water heater fails to produce hot water, contact Tri-City Appliance, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (203) 303-5700.