Close up picture of a shower head with cold water spray

No hot water? Here’s how to fix it.

Posted on 02/10/2018

There are few things more defeating than running a bath only to find out that the water stubbornly remains ice cold no matter how long you wait. Besides being an icy inconvenience, this could also be symptomatic of a larger problem with the pipes or the heating of your home, however in most cases you should be able to fix it yourself.

If you feel that you’re up to the challenge of tackling these basic problems then let’s get to it, otherwise you can always rely on Local Heroes to find a capable professional today.

The usual suspects

There are a few basic faults that could have caused the lack of hot water so let’s take a look at the most common and how you can fix them.

  • Credit

    Do you have a prepaid meter? Perhaps there is no credit on your account? If you check your energy display and can see that you’re in need of a top up then that should be your first port of call.

  • Pilot light

    If you’re missing out on a hot bath or shower then maybe your pilot light has been extinguished. Take a look at the window on your boiler and if you can’t see the light then it’s time to reignite. Once that’s done you should be all good to go.

  • Other gas appliances

    Is it just the hot water that’s giving you grief or is your gas out altogether? Try checking the hob on the cooker to see if you have any gas at all. If you don’t then try this next solution.

  • Fuses

    If you have no hot water, and no gas, then why not try taking a look to see if any of the fuses in your fuse box have tripped. If so, flip them yourself and then you’ll be heating up in no time.

  • Power cut

    Has there been a power cut in the time leading up to the hot water trouble? Several models of boiler, particularly older models, will have a timer interface that resets when it loses power. If this has happened recently, then it may be a simple matter of reprogramming the timer to reflect your schedule and needs.

That covers some of the more common problems you’ll experience when struggling with a lack of hot water, but if none of these solutions do the trick then it’s time to take it up a level.

Under pressure?

Of course, another problem could be the pressure of your boiler. Boiler pressure is relatively easy to fix but having to get physical with your home appliances can be enough to turn most people off. Don’t worry though, depending on your boiler, increasing the pressure by yourself can be straightforward.

Close up picture of a boiler A boiler low on pressure will struggle to heat water sufficiently

First you need to see if the problem is the pressure and you can do that by checking the display. If the pressure is below 1 on the pressure gauge then this is likely the problem.

With the instruction manual for your boiler, check the procedure for increasing boiler pressure; on many models, this can be simply a case of opening a valve on the boiler for a minute or so and rechecking. Other models may require a similar process but on the water tank; if your water tank is in the loft, consider asking someone aware of the risks and conformable with entering the loft, alternatively call a professional.

You should also double check with your manual on how long you need to leave the valve open. Leaving the valve open for too long can risk increasing the pressure too much so it’s always best to defer to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you’re being safe.

Reset the boiler

Have you tried turning it off and on again? With most other appliances this would be the absolute top suggestion but when it comes to our hot water, we very rarely want to take that chance.

You should be able to find the boiler’s instruction manual on the manufacturer’s website

If this is the route you’re going to take then first of all have your boiler’s instructions to hand. If you threw them out, like any normal person would, then don’t worry, you should be able to find a copy online if you know the make and model of your boiler.

Follow the instructions to the letter to restart your boiler and hopefully that should do the trick.

Faulty boiler

However, if you’ve tried everything on this list then it may be time to call in a professional to fix it for you. With any luck you’ll be back up and running in no time but be prepared that in some unfortunate circumstances your boiler may just have reached the end of its life. It’s a sad but inevitable part in every homeowner’s journey but a newer boiler should give you much less hassle than the older, more inefficient boiler.