Your lack of hot water can stem from relatively simple or complicated problems. Therefore, you should try to diagnose the simple issues before calling a plumber if you don't have adequate hot water. Below are the simple diagnoses to try.
Confirm Energy Availability
Your water heater converts energy into heat that raises your water's temperature. Therefore, you won't have any hot water if your water heater doesn't have the energy it requires. Confirm whether your water heater has the energy, typically fuel or electricity.
For example, for an electric water heater, you should confirm that:
- Your house has electricity
- You have plugged the water heater correctly, and the switch is on
- The circuit breaker for the water heater's circuit has not tripped
For a fuel-based water heater, such as a gas water heater, this step involves confirming that your house has a gas supply and the gas valve is correctly set. If energy supply is the issue, fixing it should help you get hot water.
Check the Pilot Light
Confirm that the pilot light is on if you use a gas water heater. Maybe a draft snuffed out the pilot light, and the water heater's burners are off. In such a case, the problem should disappear if you relight the pilot light and it stays on. Otherwise, the problem requires a professional's input.
Check the Thermostat
You won't get hot water if you have not correctly set the thermostat. The thermostat monitors the water temperature, calls for heating if the temperature drops, and stops heating once the water temperature matches the thermostat temperature.
Maybe someone accidentally bumped the thermostat and left an incorrect setting. If that is the case, you just need to raise the thermostat to the correct temperature to resolve your hot water issue. Allow some time for the water's temperature to rise to the set level.
Evaluate Your Hot Water Use
A tank water heater produces a limited volume of hot water. Thus, you won't have adequate hot water if you use hot water faster than the system can replenish. Evaluate your usage, for example, by examining:
- The number of hot water appliances you use simultaneously
- Your frequency of hot water use
- Your household's size versus your water heater's capacity
If your hot water use exceeds the system's capacity, you must space out your hot water use in the short term. The permanent solution is to upgrade to a water heater with a bigger capacity.
Consult a plumber if the above diagnoses fail. You should also contact a plumber if you succeed with the diagnosis but can't or shouldn't fix the issue.