A hot water system that has suddenly stopped working is a big problem for most families, especially when you're in the middle of winter. Cold showers, washing clothes, and doing the dishes, become much more of a chore than they should be. Many hot water system issues are simple fixes, but more than a few will require a visit from your local plumber, Plumbing Systems Inc. Here are some of the most common causes of why your hot water is not warming up. Electric Water Heaters Electric water heats are prone to just a few problems. You can start your troubleshooting by checking the most common. Leaky Pipes or Water Tank If you're only getting cold or tepid water out of the tap, it might be a sign of a leaky pipe or tank. A major leak will be obvious, but small leaks may not be with just a casual glance. You might be able to tighten up a leaky connection, and a plumber can sometimes replace a busted pipe. Unfortunately, a leaking tank usually means replacement with an entirely new system. Tripped Circuit Breaker A circuit breaker is a safety feature built into a home's electrical system to prevent electrical system overload. Check that your circuit breaker for your water heater is still intact. Reset the breaker back to the on position. If it refuses to stay put, then you should call an electrician to have it checked. Failed Heating Element A failed heating element is the most common fault in electric hot water systems. Heater elements are not that difficult to replace, but if you are not confident in your handyperson skills, your local plumber will be more than happy to help you. Gas Hot Water Heaters Gas water heaters work differently from electric ones, but they can still fall prey to faults that stop you from getting hot water. No Gas Reaching the Burner If there's no gas reaching the pilot light, then the burner can't start. Check that somebody hasn't turned off the gas supply by accident by ensuring the gas valve is in the on position. Check the Pilot Light If the gas is flowing, but you still don't have a pilot light check the following components: Thermocouple - the tip of the thermocouple should be inside the flame and tightly connected to the gas line. If it's blocked, the thermocouple may need replacing. \tAir in the line - Make sure you have gas flow. Force any air out of the line by lighting the pilot light several times. \t \tPilot light orifice blocked - take this out and give it a clean. \t \tDefective supply line - tiny holes in the gas line can cause intermittent heating. Replace faulty lines immediately These are just a few of the most common problems that can occur with your hot water system. If you cannot detect and quickly rectify the situation of no hot water in your home, it's time to give your local plumber at Plumbing Systems Inc a call.