Know Why Your Hot Water Heater Can Stop Working

Are you no longer getting hot water from your hot water heaters? If so, it helps to know some common reasons why it is not working.

Bad Thermostat

An electric water heater will have upper and lower heating elements that are connected to their own thermostat that helps control their temperature. It's possible that a thermostat will go bad over time and no longer tell the heating elements what temperature to go to. This can cause the heating elements to stop working if they are no longer getting a signal from the thermostat or maybe cause one heating element to not respond and cause the other heating elements to struggle to keep the water hot.

When replacing a damaged thermostat, it is common to replace both upper and lower thermostats at the same time. If one thermostat broke from years of wear and tear, it is likely that the other thermostat will fail soon after. It's a cheap part, and easy to replace both thermostats while replacing one of them.

Bad Pilot Assembly

A pilot assembly includes the pilot hood, igniter, and the flame sensor. While there are three individual parts that make up the pilot assembly, they often come together as a set of three pieces. That's why if any one part of the pilot assembly is damaged, a plumber will likely replace all three because of how the part is made. 

Bad Power Vent

Hot water heaters that run on gas require ventilation. Any water heater that has a metal ventilation stack coming out of it is going to use direct venting, which is when those fumes naturally make their way out of the ventilation stack and go into your chimney. If you see plastic pipes made out of PVC, you are going to have a power vent that requires a fan motor to push the fumes out the side of your home. A power vent is used when you have a water heater in a place that is not near a chimney, and the fumes need to leave the house. 

Unfortunately, a water heater with a power vent has that extra element that can become damaged. If the power vent is not working, likely due to a problem with a bad motor, the water heater will shut off as a safety mechanism. All of those fumes cannot leave your home, so the water heater stops using fuel to prevent the fumes from entering your home. You'll need to have the power vent repaired or replaced to get hot water again. 

Contact a plumbing assistance contractor in your area to learn more.