What to Do if Your Water Heater Is Not Heating Water (2023)

When it comes to the water in your home, one of the most frustrating water heater problems to deal with are water heater tanks not heating water properly. Few things are more annoying than running out of hot water in the middle of a shower, especially on a cold winter day. This is not only inconvenient but can also lead to increased energy consumption bills and can cause damage to your appliances and plumbing issues on your water systems.

That is what we want to discuss here today. If your electric water heater is not heating water the way it should, then this is an issue that can usually be easily fixed.

Hot Water Is Not Working But Cold Water Is

One of the most frustrating things that can happen to a homeowner is when their hot water heaters just won’t heat up properly. It can disrupt daily routines and cause unnecessary stress. However, there are several reasons why your electric water heater may not be heating water, and identifying the issue is the first step in getting it fixed.

Common reasons for a malfunctioning water heaters

A common reason for a malfunctioning hot water unit is a leak in the system. Water leaks can cause damage to the heating elements and prevent the water from heating up properly. In some cases, a new electric hot water heater may have been installed incorrectly, which can also cause issues with heating the water.

hot-and-cold-faucetAnother factor that can contribute to a malfunctioning electric hot water heater is not having a unit that is large enough to support the needs of your household. If your electric hot water heater is too small for your family, it can struggle to keep up with the demand for hot water, resulting in lukewarm water or cold showers.

Troubleshooting gas water heaters

Once the water problems have been identified, a technician can begin to troubleshoot the issue. For gas heaters, checking the pilot light and gas line for leaks is the first step. If there is a gas leak, it is crucial to call a professional immediately to avoid any potential safety hazards.

Troubleshooting electric hot water heaters

If you have an electrical unit it could be as simple as the thermostat being faulty or set wrong. You may just need to adjust the settings to the thermostat and then wait a while before checking the hot water faucet to see if the water has heated up to the proper temperature.

Difference between hot and cold water in the heating process

When the hot water is not working but the cold is that is simply because the cold water doesn’t need to be heated up by the heating element. Cold water is just the water coming straight from the source. In order for the hot water to actually be hot it has to be heated up in the water tank your system provides first.

In summary, a water heater not heating properly can be a frustrating problem for homeowners, but it can usually be resolved with the help of a professional technician. By identifying the issue and allowing a professional to troubleshoot and repair the hot water heater problems, you can ensure that your home has a reliable supply of hot water.

Also Read: How to Maintain a Water Heater

How To Test Water Heater Element

If you suspect that your water heater is not heating water as it should, you may need to check the heating element. Fortunately, testing the heating element is a simple process that only requires a few basic tools.

Tools required for testing a water heater element

One of the tools you will need is a voltmeter. This is not something that most homeowners typically have in their tool kits, but it is essential for this task.


Steps to test a water heater element

To begin the testing process, you will need to remove the face of the thermostat. Once you have done this, hold the voltmeter next to the wires that are connected to the heating element. This will enable you to check if there is any electrical current flowing through the system.

Additionally, if you are testing the water heater element yourself, make sure to turn off the power supply to the water heater before you start the testing process. This can be done by switching off the circuit breaker that controls the water heater or by turning off the gas supply if you have a gas water heater.

Signs that indicate a faulty heating element in a water heater

If the voltmeter reacts, it means that there is an electrical current and the thermostat is working as it should. However, if there is no reaction, it is likely that there is an issue with the heating element itself.

In some cases, the water tank may also not be holding enough hot water, which can lead to a lack of hot water system supply. This issue can also be identified during the testing process.

Precautions to take when testing a water heater element

It is worth noting that testing the water heater element can be dangerous, particularly if you are not familiar with electrical work. Therefore, it is recommended that you contact a licensed professional to perform the testing for you.

You should also take precautions to ensure that you are not exposed to hot water or steam during the testing process. Hot water can cause burns and steam can be dangerous if it is inhaled. Therefore, make sure that the water in the tank has cooled down before you start testing the heating element.

Finally, if you find that the heating element is faulty, it is important to replace it as soon as possible. A faulty heating element can cause the water heater to work inefficiently, leading to increased energy bills and a shorter lifespan for the water heater. Again, it is recommended that you contact a licensed professional to carry out the replacement process.

In conclusion, testing your water heater element is a simple process that can be done with a few basic tools. However, if you are unsure about the process or don’t have the necessary tools, it is best to contact a professional to avoid any potential safety hazards.

Related Article: Water Heater Element Replacement 

Water Heater Not Heating Water? Get Help from Our Plumbing Professionals in Sutherland Shire

A water heater is an essential component of your home’s plumbing system, providing you with hot water for various tasks, including bathing, cooking, and cleaning. So when your water heater is not heating water properly, it can be a significant inconvenience, and you may need to seek professional help to get it fixed.

If you’re experiencing problems with your water heater not heating water, our team of skilled plumbing professionals in Sutherland Shire plumbing can help. At our company, we have experienced plumbers who are trained to diagnose and fix a range of water heater issues, including heating problems.

There are several reasons why your water heater may not be heating water correctly. It could be due to a faulty heating element, a malfunctioning thermostat, sediment buildup, or other issues. Our plumbing professionals can identify the root cause of the problem and provide the necessary repairs to get your water heater working again or install a water heater replacement.

At Damien McEvoy Plumbing, we understand that a water heater emergency can happen at any time, which is why we offer 24/7 emergency service. If you wake up in the middle of the night to a cold shower or lukewarm water, don’t hesitate to call us. We’ll send our team of experts to your home to assess the problem and provide the necessary hot water heater repair.

If your water heater is beyond repair, our plumbing professionals can also help you choose a new water heater that meets your needs and budget. We can provide you with a range of options, including conventional hot water tank models and tankless water heaters, and install the new unit for you.

We take pride in our work and strive to exceed our clients’ expectations with every job we do. Our plumbing professionals are committed to providing you with high-quality workmanship and exceptional customer service. We also offer a range of other residential plumbing services, including water leaks detection, drain cleaning, and toilet repairs.

So, if your water heater is not heating water correctly, contact our plumbing professionals in Sutherland Shire today. We’ll make sure that your home’s hot water is heated up properly, even if that means installing or replacing your water heater right away. Call us at (02) 8599 4593 for more information or to schedule a service appointment.

About The Author


Matt Little is an Australian-born entrepreneur who started his journey as a plumber. With a passion for innovation and creativity, he turned his career towards business and is now a content manager and co-owner at Damien McEvoy Plumbing. Matt's diverse background and unique perspective have made him a valuable asset to his team and a thought leader in his field.

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