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 problems to deal with is a water heater 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 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 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 heater just won’t heat up properly. It can disrupt daily routines and cause unnecessary stress. However, there are several reasons why your water heater may not be heating water, and identifying the issue is the first step in getting it fixed.

A common reason for a malfunctioning water heater is a leak in the system. Leaks can cause damage to the heating elements and prevent the water from heating up properly. In some cases, a new 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 water heater is not having a unit that is large enough to support the needs of your household. If your water heater is too small for your family, it can struggle to keep up with the demand for hot water, resulting in lukewarm or cold showers.

Once the problem has 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.

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 water faucet to see if the water has heated up to the proper temperature.

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 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 problem, you can ensure that your home has a reliable supply of hot water.

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.

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.

testing-heating-element-using-voltmeterTo 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.

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

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.

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

If your water heater is not heating water properly then contact our Sutherland Shire plumbing professionals and we will make sure that your home’s hot water is heated up properly even if that means installing or replacing your water heater right away.

Contact us at (02) 8599 4593 for more information about what types of issues your water heater may be experiencing or for more help with fixing your home’s hot water.

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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