There are a number of things you can do when you have no hot water. You are taking your morning shower and suddenly your hot water turns bone chilling cold. You jump out of your shower and check the faucets in the bathroom and kitchen. There is only cold water coming out of all of your faucets. It’s time to face the harsh reality that you have no hot water. To make matters worse, it may take a few days for the problem to be resolved. That means you will be without hot water for bathing and cleaning for a few days. Most people take a shower everyday and this can be a major problem. By following a few tips and using some alternative hot water methods, you can survive without your hot water until the problem is remedied.
The Hot Water Heater
It’s a good idea to know where the hot water heater is located on your property. You will usually find your hot water heater in your basement, garage or storage closet. If you cannot find the hot water heater inside your property, it may be located outside. You hot water heater may be stored in a shed or enclosed space located in your backyard or along the side of your property. If you rent or live in an apartment complex, then you don’t have to be so concerned with finding your hot water heater. Renters should contact their building manager or property owner immediately to notify them of the hot water problem. The property owner will need to examine the hot water problem and handle all repairs. If you are the property owner, then you will be responsible for getting your hot water back.
Gas Water Heater
If you have a gas water heater, you will need to check the pilot light. First, examine the owner’s manual for your gas hot water heater. The owner’s manual will tell you where to find the burner access panel for your brand of heater. If your pilot light is lit, you will see the small flame burning behind the access panel. If your pilot light is out, you should either call the gas company or you can attempt to light it yourself. To light it your pilot light, turn the temperature control to the lowest setting and turn the knob controlling the gas to the “off” position. Wait five minutes for the gas inside the heater to disperse. Leave the area as you wait. If you can still smell gas when you return, call a professional repairperson because you may have a gas leak. If you don’t smell any gas, turn your gas back on and check your owner’s manual on how to light your pilot. Typically, you will hit the reset button and hold a lighted match over the pilot light. Once your pilot is lit, make sure you turn up the temperature to its original setting. In a few hours, you will have hot water again. If you don’t have hot water in six hours, call a repair professional.
Electric Water Heater
If you have an electric hot water heater, then you will most likely need to call a professional repairperson. You may have a faulty water-heating element inside the tank or you may have a larger electrical problem. It may take several days for a repairperson to fix your hot water problems or arrive for the service appointment. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to get by without hot water.
Skip Washing Your Hair
Washing and conditioning your hair usually takes the most time in your shower. If you are forced to take cold showers because you have no hot water, then you will want to make your shower as short as possible. Skip washing your hair and quickly scrub and wash your body before you become too cold. It can even be good for your hair to skip a few washings with shampoo. Shampoo can often strip your hair of its natural conditioners, so it helps to occasionally skip a shampoo to allow your natural oils to do their job. If you can’t go a day without washing your hair, then you may want to consider using a powder shampoo until your hot water returns.
If having a cold shower is not an option for you, then you may want to consider drawing yourself an old fashioned bath. You can boil water on your stovetop in a large pot. For even greater convenience, you can boil water in a large plastic container in your microwave. Make sure your large plastic container is microwave safe before using it to boil your water. Pour the boiled water into your bathtub. Keep pouring the boiling water into the tub until you have about six gallons of boiling water. Top off the rest of your bath with the cold water until the temperature is warm to the touch, but not scalding. Add your favorite bath soap or bath bubbles to the water and take a nice relaxing bath.
If you don’t have time for a relaxing bath, you may want to give yourself a quick sponge bath. Your sponge bath will require less prep time and less water than boiling all that water for a bath. Boil only a half-gallon of water in the microwave or on your stovetop. Pour the water into a mixing bowl and add a few squirts your favorite soap or shower gel to the bowl. Dip a washcloth into the soapy water and use it to bathe yourself. It should take you about two minutes to quickly sponge yourself down with the water and washcloth.
Laundry and Cleaning
Being without hot water will not only mess up your shower schedule, but it will also interrupt your laundry and dish washing schedule. Keep in mind that cold water will not disinfect your dirty dishes or laundry. You may need to boil water on your stovetop to wash your dishes. To wash your laundry, you may need to take it to a local laundry mat until your hot water returns.