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Advanced Plumbing and Rooter Service

231 Market Place, Suite 540
San Ramon, CA 94583

Phone: 925-383-6100

C-36 License #782789

A person adjusting the water temperature by pressing a button in the thermostat panel

How to Handle 2 Common Water Heater Emergencies

Being prepared for issues that might arise with your water heater means that you can get your hot water supply back quickly. By acting fast you can get the professional assistance you need to get your water heater up and running again in no time. Here we look at two common water heater emergencies and what you should do to correct the issue fast.


One of the most common water heater emergencies people encounter at home is suddenly having no hot water. If you wake up one morning with only cold water, there could be any one of multiple issues at work.

Hot Water Has Run Out

You can run out of hot water if there are too many people or appliances using your hot water – or if the capacity of the tank is not sufficient. Fortunately, the fix is pretty easy. You just need to wait until your water heater refills and reheats. If you find this happens often it might be time for a water heater replacement. A larger capacity tank or a ‘limitless’ on-demand system could be the ideal fix.

Reconnecting gas line after water heater emergencies


No Gas Supply

If your water heater is gas powered, you should get if the gas supply has been disconnected or turned off. Simply reconnecting the gas will fix the problem. If you suspect a gas leak, call your local plumber or gas service immediately as this is can be a dangerous emergency.

Pilot Light Has Gone Out

If you see no flame, it may be that the pilot light on your gas water heater has gone out. Keep in mind that newer gas water heaters may use an igniter or glow plug instead of a pilot. To reignite the pilot light, turn the regulator off for 5 minutes. Then set the regulator to pilot, and hold down the button for self-igniting pilots. Otherwise, use a long lighter and then turn the regulator to ‘On’. If the pilot light does not light or stay lit, the gas inlet valve may be closed. Simply turn the handle to reopen the gas supply, and light the pilot again.

Thermocouple Issues

If your pilot light still doesn’t work, you may be dealing with a faulty thermocouple. You’ll need to get a certified technician on site for this repair, so call your licensed plumber for assistance. Just be sure that they’re experienced with gas line repair.

2) Water Leaking

Water leaking from your water heater should be treated seriously as this could escalate into flooding that causes costly damage to your home. Leaks don’t go away, they only get worse. That’s why you need to fix a leaky water heater as soon as possible.

  • If possible, identify the source of the leak. This can help guide shut off procedures and inform your plumber.
  • Once you find the leak, shut off the power or gas supply to your water heater as soon as possible. Be cautious because power lines or outlets may have become wet.
  • Turn off the cold-water supply valve. This will stop water from entering your heater and leaking from it. If you have a big, serious leak and you can’t reach the shutoff valve without contacting water, shut off your main water supply.
  • Call your professional plumber as soon as possible to safely diagnose and fix the cause of the leak.

When your water heater has issues, you might have a potential emergency on your hands. Take these essential first steps when you find that your water heater has no hot water or is leaking.