No Hot Water After Turning Water Back On – Causes and How to Fix

It would shock your bodily system if you woke up one morning, and instead of hot water, you got cold water in the shower. There are myriad things that can cause this problem. In this article, I will discuss the issue of no hot water after turning the water back on – causes and how to fix it.

If you have turned on everything but there is no hot water in the shower, try to turn off the heater for a couple of seconds and then turn it back on again. Make sure that heat is coming out of the burner. If still nothing happens, there is something wrong with either the burner or the water heater itself. You need to replace whichever of the two is broken.

Another way to approach the no hot water in the shower issue is to reset the circuit breaker. If the breaker just tripped, you will again get hot water from the heater in approximately one hour. However, if you notice that the circuit breaker continues to trip, it is a bad sign.

Read on to learn more about the problem of not having hot water after turning the water back on, its possible causes, and their corresponding fixes.

No Hot Water After Turning Water Back On

No Hot Water After Turning Water Back On

Turn the Water Heater Off

After turning the water on, and still, you don’t get hot water in the shower, try to turn the water heater off for a couple of seconds. Then turn it back on again. Make sure that heat is coming out of the burner.

Check the Burner and the Water Heater

If this does not solve the problem, either the burner or the water heater itself is malfunctioning. You need to check both and replace whichever of the two is no longer working. It could also be that the circuit breaker has tripped.

Reset the Circuit Breaker

To check if that’s the case, turn off the water heater first. And then reset the circuit breaker. If there’s no problem with the burner or the heater, you should get hot water again in approximately one hour.

Check the Fuse

It could also be a simple problem, such as a blown a fuse. If that’s the case, replace the broken fuse, and you will again have hot water. However, if the circuit breaker continues to trip, it could be a problem somewhere in your hot water system.

Possible Causes of No Hot Water

no hot water pressure after turning water back on

There are many reasons why you’re not receiving hot water from your shower and kitchen faucet. The water heating system in your house is composed of many parts. Just one part of this system that malfunctions will result in this problem.

So, here are the usual reasons why you are not receiving hot water after turning the water on and their respective fixes:

1. Water Heater Going Bad

There are two kinds of water heaters, gas, and electric. Both are designed to give you hot water whenever you need it, especially in the morning when you go to the shower. The gas water heater uses liquefied petroleum gas or LPG to make water hot, just as you would make hot water on your stovetop. Electric water heaters get their source of energy from the grid.

Whether your water heater is powered by gas or electricity, it won’t produce hot water if it is experiencing certain problems.

How to Fix Faulty Water Heater

If your heater is powered by electricity, the first thing you need to do is turn the heater off. But if you have a gas-powered heater, check if there is enough supply of gas going into the heater or if there is none at all.

After turning off the heater (for the electric type), wait a few minutes and reset the circuit breaker. If the circuit breaker just tripped, you will again have hot water in your shower after about one hour.

However, if the breaker keeps on tripping every once in a while, there’s something wrong somewhere. If the issue persists, you have to call a qualified electrician to check the problem. This could be a problem with the water heater itself.

The same thing goes with a gas heater. If there is ample gas supply, but the water heater does not produce heat, there is a problem with the heater itself.

2. Leak in the Tank

If there is no hot water pressure after turning the water back on, it could be that there’s insufficient water in the tank, or it might even be that there’s simply no water in the tank. How can this be possible?

If there’s a leak in the water holding tank, you won’t have enough water pressure to deliver hot water to your shower and kitchen faucets. Your water heating system is just wasting energy because of a lack or insufficient supply of water.

How to Fix Leak in the Tank

Inspect the entire surface of the tank for small rusted parts or small holes. Do the same in the water supply pipes. The pipes’ surface may have a pit that can cause leaks before water is delivered to the water heater.

If you find holes in the tank or the pipe, have them repaired or replaced by a qualified plumber.

3. Gas Valve Going Bad

If you use a gas water heater and are not getting hot water even with enough gas supply, there could be a problem with the gas valve. Usually, you can open and close it without any trouble. It should also be installed correctly and secure in its place.

How to Fix Gas Valve Going Bad

Check if the gas is turned on, and check the gas valve to see if it is still functioning properly. If it is ok, check the pilot light. You may have to trigger this pilot light several times to see if it is still working properly.

During normal operations, this pilot light should stay lit. If it does not, there could be something that impedes gas flow. You need to ask the help of a gas technician to fix this problem. Don’t do it yourself because it involves working with volatile gas, which is dangerous if not handled correctly.

Here’s a video that will show you in a more detailed way how to check the pilot light of a gas water heater and other troubleshooting tips for gas heaters:

4. Gas Leak

Gas leaking from the supply pipe is also a probable reason for not having hot water when you turn the water on. But if this is the real problem, it is dangerous. This even endangers your entire house if not corrected immediately.

How to Fix Gas Leak

You need to call the gas company right away to fix this problem. The next step that you will take will depend on how the technician will solve the problem. If they find a gas leak in the pipe, they will fix it immediately.

But if they don’t find any leak, you need to continue troubleshooting your problem until you can pinpoint the cause. Only then will you be able to take the proper measure to fix the issue of not having hot water after turning your water on.

Again, no hot water after turning back on – what causes this issue? Some of the possible reasons why there is no hot water after turning back on include a clogged water heater due to rust or scale. In this case, you should open and close the water heater’s valve.

5. Insufficient Water Tank’s Size

The inadequate tank size will always lead to insufficient hot water when turning the water on. The size of the water tank should be suitable for the size of your family. Your water heating system will not be energy efficient if it is not.

How to Fix Insufficient Size of Water Tank

You should adjust the size of your water tank according to the size of your family. For instance, if your family has grown bigger ever since you married, you should use a bigger tank. You should calculate the size of the new tank according to the additional needs of your bigger family.

You should also consider the type of water heater that you are using. Remember that an electric water heater takes more time to heat water than a gas heater.

6. Thermostat Going Bad

There’s one component that controls the heat level of your water heater. This component is the thermostat. If it is not working well, you cannot get hot water from the shower and kitchen faucet. 

How to Fix Thermostat Going Bad

Check the thermostat of the water heater. You should set it between 122°F and 140°F. If the hot water supply is not enough or if there’s no hot water at all, inspect the upper thermostat.

If it is busted, you need to replace it. A lack of water heater maintenance also causes this problem. So, check if there is sediment buildup in the water heater and the tank. Flushing the sediment may solve the problem.

7. Cold Weather Outside

The temperature outside your house can also affect the ability of the water heater to produce hot water in your shower. If it is freezing outside, it takes longer to heat the water. It is simply difficult for any water heater to heat water fast during winter.

How to Fix

The only way to fix this problem is to give the water heater more time to heat the water. That means adjusting your schedule so you won’t be badly affected by the situation. You can also insulate the supply pipes and the water heater itself. Insulating them will help restore the energy efficiency of your water heating system.

Things to Check When There’s No Hot Water

no hot water in apartment

As you can see, there are things you can do to get hot water even if there’s a problem with the water heater. To complete our discussion on this topic, I will now give you several things you need to check if you are not getting hot water from the shower or the kitchen faucet:

1. Check If the Water Heater Is Plugged In

Sometimes it is just simply checking if the system is plugged in or not. Perhaps somebody has accidentally tripped on the electric cord which unhooked it from the outlet.

2. Inspect the Heating Element of the Electric Water Heater

If your electric heater is running, but it can’t give you hot water, then the heating element might just have burned itself out. You need to replace it.

3. Check the Time You Turned on the Water Heater

Perhaps it has not been that long. It takes time to heat water, especially when it’s cold outside. Wait a little longer. If you have waited for half an hour and the water is still not hot, then that’s the time you need to troubleshoot the problem.

4. Determine Whether the Circuit Breaker Is On

Perhaps somebody has done repairs on some small part of the water heater and left the circuit breaker on the off position. Just doing this simple check will solve your seemingly big problem.

5. Inspect If There Are Scales or Sediment Buildup in the Water Tank and Pipes

Scales and sediments can clog the pipes preventing hot water from passing through. Scales will form if your tap water is hard. You may need to use a water softener to prevent scales and sediment buildup in your tank and pipes.

Conclusion: No Hot Water After Turning Water Back On

If you have turned the water on but the shower cannot provide hot water, try to turn off the heater for just a few seconds. Then turn it back on again. Make sure that the burner is producing heat.

If there is still no hot water coming out from the shower, perhaps there is a problem with the burner or the water heater itself. You have to repair or replace either the burner or the water heater if you find them defective.

Related reading:

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