How To Get Hot Water Running Again

So, you’re in the middle of enjoying a nice, relaxing shower when suddenly, the water turns ice-cold. Trust me, I’ve been there, and it can be quite an unpleasant surprise. But fear not, because in this article, I’ll guide you through the process of getting your hot water running again.

Step 1: Check the Pilot Light

First things first, if you have a gas water heater, you’ll want to check the pilot light. Locate the access panel and carefully remove it. Look inside for a small flame. If the flame is out, try relighting it by following the instructions provided by your water heater’s manufacturer. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, it may be a sign of a larger issue and it’s best to call a professional.

Step 2: Reset the Circuit Breaker

If you have an electric water heater, the problem could be as simple as a tripped circuit breaker. Head to your electrical panel and locate the breaker that controls your water heater. If the breaker is in the “off” position, switch it back on. If it trips again immediately, it may be a sign of an electrical issue and you should contact an electrician.

Step 3: Check the Thermostat

In some cases, your hot water troubles could be due to a malfunctioning thermostat. Find the thermostat on your water heater and ensure it is set to an appropriate temperature. If you’re not sure what temperature to set it at, consult your water heater’s manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance.

Step 4: Inspect the Heating Element

For electric water heaters, a faulty heating element could be the culprit behind the lack of hot water. To check this, turn off the power to the water heater, locate the heating elements (there may be two), and use a multimeter to test for continuity. If the meter reading shows no continuity, you’ll need to replace the heating element. Consult your water heater’s manual or call a professional for assistance.

Step 5: Flush the Tank

Over time, sediment can build up in your water heater, affecting its performance. Flushing the tank can help remove this sediment and restore the flow of hot water. Start by turning off the power to the water heater and closing the cold water inlet valve. Attach a hose to the drain valve and place the other end in a suitable drainage area. Open the drain valve and allow the water to flow until it runs clear. Once done, close the drain valve, reconnect the power, and open the cold water valve.

Step 6: Call a Professional

If you’ve followed all the steps above and still can’t get your hot water running, it may be time to call in a professional plumber or technician. They will have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and fix any more complex issues that may be causing the problem.

Remember, while these steps can help in many cases, it’s always important to prioritize your safety. If you are unsure or uncomfortable performing any of the steps, it’s best to seek professional assistance. Stay safe and may your showers always be warm and satisfying!


Experiencing a lack of hot water can be frustrating, but with a systematic approach, you can often identify and resolve the issue on your own. From checking the pilot light to flushing the tank, these steps will help you get your hot water flowing again. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to call a professional for assistance. Remember, hot water is an essential part of our daily lives, and it’s worth taking the time to ensure it’s always available when we need it.