Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>No hot water in pipes
8 posts / 0 new
Last post
No hot water in pipes

I had turned off the water going my home at the water heater while I was working out of town. When I came back and turned the water back on, I have cold water but no hot water. There is water in the tank but it does not seem to leave the tank and enter the piping.

Re: No hot water in pipes

What you're saying is, you have hot water in the tank but no hot water in the house, right?

If that's the case, you have a blockage where the hot water is coming out of the tank.

1. Shut the cold water to the tank. Remove the hot flex water connector on the hot side on top of the water heater. Have a bucket handy to catch some water in the pipes. Replace it if needed.

2. Remove the hot side short nipple. Replace it if needed.

Still no hot water in the house? write back.

Re: No hot water in pipes

If the valve for the heater is a gate valve there is a good chance the valve is broken in the closed position.


Re: No hot water in pipes

Did you turn off the water heater when you left town as well? If it is gas you may just have to relight the pilot. If it electric there may be a reset switch or button to press.

Sometimes it is nice to have the "dumb" solution be the right one.

Re: No hot water in pipes

I have replaced the hot water hose. I do not know if there is a short nipple here, the water line screws directly on to the pipes.

The only valve is on the cold water pipe which leads from the house to the water heater, is that what you mean?

It is an electric water heater. I have reset the breaker but, I do not see any thing on the heater that needs to be reset.

Re: No hot water in pipes

That would be the valve. It could have broken in the closed position when you turned it off.


Re: No hot water in pipes

More accurate information is needed.

You replaced the hot side flex. Still, you could have a clogged hot side nipple that doesn't allow any hot water out the tank. Replace the nipple.

You should also look at the cold side shut off valve: it must be open in the "open" situation, not stuck on closed. I would replace it as well, whether you have an old fashion rotary valve or a ball valve.

Re: No hot water in pipes

Connect a garden hose to the drain. Hold the end of the garden hose in a bucket ABOVE the top of the water heater. Do you get good water flow into the bucket when you open the drain?

(Holding the bucket below the top of the water heater could cause gravity flow, which would prove nothing. We're looking for pressure flow.)

If so, the blockage is on the hot/outlet side.

If not, the blockage is on the cold/inlet side (or your water heater is so full of sediment it's blocking the drain).

Some water heaters are equipped with heat trap nipples on both the inlet and the outlet. These nipples are basically a check valve with a marble (the marble in the cold nipple floats; the one in the hot nipple sinks). If the marble is stuck, it can block the flow. Replacing the nipple is the best solution.

In some tanks, the cold nipple has a dip tube attached; in others the dip tube is a separate piece that hangs from the nipple or an internal flange.

In some tanks, the hot nipple has a sacrificial anode attached. In other tanks, the anode is attached to a separate plug.

If you have to replace the nipple, be sure to get the proper kind.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.