When the Water Goes Cold

Why your hot water heater isn’t keeping the water hot


There you are, enjoying a nice hot shower after work, only to suddenly have your breath sucked out of you by the rush of freezing-cold water splashing against your skin.

Is this some kind of terrible prank?
Did everyone in the house flush the toilets at the same time?

Although either one is quite possible, you most likely have an issue with your hot water heater that requires some basic troubleshooting and possibly professional repair.


Common Water Heater Issues

Several different issues, ranging from simple do-it-yourself fixes to technical or structural problems requiring professional service, could be causing your cold condition.

This post highlights some of the more common issues, along with the likely causes



There seems to be no hot water at all coming from the hot water heater


Possible Causes

  • Power supply off or pilot light out. As simple as this may seem, homeowners frequently overlook these possible causes when troubleshooting
  • Failure of the heating elements. If all of the power systems are operating correctly and the problem persists, you may need professional replacement of the elements
  • Hot water valve is turned off. We know…another simple potential cause of the issue, but if either the valve connected to the hot water heater or the valve controlling the hot water leading to your shower are off, then there is no hot water.


The hot water turns cold after only a few minutes


Possible Causes

  • Sediment buildup in the tank. This issue is more common in older water heaters, and it can cause malfunctioning in several ways. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on flushing your tank, or contact a professional plumbing service.
  • Malfunction of a heating element. If only one of your heating elements is working properly, you will have a limited supply of hot water. You may need professional replacement of the elements in this situation
  • Damaged Dip Tube. The DIp Tube forcefully propels cold water to the bottom of the tank, keeping it from mixing too much with the hot water. A damaged Dip Tube requires professional service from a reliable plumber.


The issues you are having are very common, so don’t panic and rush out to buy a new hot water heater. Many issues can be easily solved with a little troubleshooting.

When you have had enough and realize you may need to seek help if you are going to enjoy another hot shower this year, reach out to us for honest, fast, and affordable hot water heater maintenance and repairs.