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What to Do When You Lose Hot Water

It happens to everyone: One morning you step into the shower only to find the water is freezing cold. If your home has lost hot water, the first step is to go to your water heater and check to see if the pilot light is lit. If it’s out, follow the relighting instructions written on the water heater. Often, when a water heater won’t reignite, there’s a problem with the thermocouple. This will require getting a replacement part from the manufacturer and having it professionally installed.

The typical lifespan of a water heater is 7 to 10 years, so depending on your water heater’s age, it may be time for a replacement. This would almost certainly be the case if the homeowner neglected to flush out the water heater. These appliances need to be flushed out during the first few years of operation to prevent sedimentary buildup from accumulating inside the tank.

Tankless water heaters are more complicated, but they are also easier to troubleshoot. Many will display an error code when there’s a problem. The homeowner or technician can then look up the code on the manufacturer’s website and identify the source of the problem. We can then find out if there’s a component misfiring or if the system needs to be flushed out. Because of their complexity, if your tankless water heater stops operating you should contact a plumbing professional as soon as possible.