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It’s about to be 2019 and you don’t have hot water for the new year! Don’t panic just yet because there are several minor issues that are easy to fix. Water heaters are one of the most durable and long lasting of all the appliances in your home.  Check out a few of these DIY tips below, and you may just be able to get it back on track!

Gas, Electric, or Tankless

First thing is to Determine if you have a gas, electric, or tankless water heater. Below are a few tips to determining which kind you have.

  • A gas water heater will have a pilot flame and a way to choose pilot on or off
  • An electric water heater will have some kind of electric plug to power the appliance
  • A gas water heater will have a vent on top that looks like a chimney
  • A gas water heater has a gas line with a shut-off valve
  • A tankless water heater will be installed into the wall. Which means, there is no tank!

Gas Water Heater Tips and Tricks

The pilot light needs to be relit

  • Turn the pilot switch or knob to “off” for a few seconds.
  • Turn the switch to “pilot” to light the flame.
  • Once the pilot is lit, switch the knob to “on.”
  • If the flame stays lit, you are back in business. You should have hot water soon!

No Gas

If you can’t light the pilot or it won’t stay lit you may need to check the gas supply.  Double check the valve handle on the gas line and make sure it is aligned with the pipe.  If it is not just simply turn your gas on.  Make sure the gas supply to your home is on by testing another appliance in your home.

Gas Water Heater Thermostat is Set Too Low

Check the thermostat on the water heater it should be in the normal range 120-135 F or around 50°C.  This could be your problem and you can also reset the water heater by turning it all the way down and then back up again.  If this is done correctly and is the problem the water heater should kick back on

Electric Water Heater Tips and Tricks

Circuit Breaker

Try resetting the circuit breaker.

The Fuse

The fuse might be in need of a replacement.


Check the water heater temperature setting, it might be set to low!

Check the thermostat on the water heater it should be in the normal range.  You can reset the water heater by turning it all the way down and then back up again.  If this is done correctly the water heater should kick back on.

Tankless Water Heater Tips and Tricks


The old “have you tried turning it off” trick is usually the best here!

Hot Water Handle

Try opening the hot water handle to allow some movement.


Try unscrewing the screws under neither the top of the tankless water heater so you can remove the plate. This will allow water that is stuck to move out. 


When to Call a Professional

If you have tried the tips and tricks listed above and still no luck with that water heater it may be time to call a professional!  These signs listed below may be best addressed by a professional plumber.

  • Cracks, leaks or rust on the tank
  • Rust in the water
  • Smelly water (smells like sulfur)
  • Unusual, alarming noises coming from the water heater or adjacent pipes.
  • Noises coming from the water heater can be caused by sediment build up. Steam bubbles form under the sediment and the thumping and popping is caused by these bubbles escaping. 

Click here for more water heater information! 

Carter’s My Plumber

At Carter’s My Plumber, we know what it’s like to be without hot water, and we offer free estimates to make a repair or replace your water heater.  We are highly skilled and trained to handle every make and model of water heaters.  Sediment is usually a problem in areas with very hard water. Regular flushing of your hot water heater helps prevent sediment build up, and may help you avoid extensive water heater repair.  If you have an emergency this New Year (or anytime) don’t hesitate to give us a call or schedule online.  We are here to help and to put a smile on your face.

Kelson Carter

Article reviewed by:

Kelson Carter, aka, The Prince of Plumbing

Kelson is a 3rd generation Plumbing Contractor. His family business is located in Greenwood, Indiana, and provides Residential Plumbing Service to the Indianapolis Metro market.

Kelson grew up watching his grandfather and father do plumbing. After graduating high school, Kelson went to Trade School and became a Licensed Master Plumber and Licensed Plumbing Contractor. He is also Certified in Backflow Prevention. He currently owns and operates Carter's My Plumber with his parents.


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