What to Check if Your Gas Water Heater is Producing Only Warm Water

A tank-style gas water heater may produce only warm water for several reasons. And sometimes it takes a while to identify the exact problem. But other times, it’s something really simple.

First Check the Easy Stuff — It Could Save You a Service Call

  1. Has the pilot light gone out?
  2. If you use propane, has it run out? That happens more than you’d think. And usually the water heater is the first to lose it. The burner on a kitchen stove may still turn on so don’t use that as a gauge. It only means there’s enough gas left in the line to light the stove.
  3. If you use natural gas, has it been turned off?

Is Fixing or Replacing the Gas Water Heather More Cost-Effective?

Before even trying to source the problem, answer this: how old is the water heater? If it’s between 8 – 10 years old, consider replacing, especially if it’s not a high-quality brand. The CDC estimates the typical lifespan of a tank-style water heater is between 10 – 15 years.

However, we live in an area with extremely high mineral content. Those minerals shorten the life of water appliances. So unless you have a whole-house water softening system that reduces minerals, most tank waters here are near the end of their life between 8 – 10 years.

Reduced Price Now on Specific Water Heaters

If you need a new tank-style water heater, we have a few top-rated Rudd brand water heaters that are on special right now. Click here to find out more.

Of course we also offer tankless water heaters. We can help you determine which is best for you. Read a more about the differences here.

Only Warm Water from Gas Water Heater if Thermostat is bad
Gas water heater produces only warm water when thermostat is defective. The thermostat is part of this gas control valve. This valve needs to be replaced if the thermostat is defective.

Gas Water Heater Not Hot Enough Because Thermostat May Be Defective

A gas water heater’s thermostat and pilot light control are built into the gas control valve. So if the thermostat goes bad, the gas control valve will need replacement. If that’s the case, call us.

However, if you first want to find out if that’s the cause of the water not being hot enough, here’s a simple way to do that.

Use a marker to identify the current temperature setting. Then turn the dial all the way down to the lowest setting. After a few hours, turn on a hot water faucet.

Has the temperature cooled down? If not, the thermostat has failed. And the gas control valve needs to be replaced.

If Thermostat is Defective on Gas Water Heater, Gas Control Valve Needs to be Replaced

Gas Control Valve’s Elements

A gas control valve does more than control the flow of gas to the water heater. It also contains the pilot light. When the pilot light is on, it heats the thermocouple tube.  The thermocouple senses heat from the pilot and then signals the gas control valve to turn on the burner to heat the water in the tank.

Therefore, if the pilot light is NOT lit, the burner to the tank goes OFF. Whatever heated water remains in the pipe eventually cools to lukewarm.

If Pilot Does Not Remain Lit

gas water heater thermocouple needs replacement if only produces warm water

Are you certain propane or natural gas is on? Then if your pilot light does not remain lit, the problem is most likely your gas water heater’s thermocouple. We strongly recommend you call us to replace it. A defective thermocouple is not a fixable part. It must be replaced. And it can be a tricky do-it-yourself project.

Call The Water Heater Experts – Here’s Why

  • We’re the most affordable plumber for the highest quality plumbing
  • We’ve installed more water heaters than most any other plumber in the area
  • We give you a ten-year warranty on workmanship (manufacturer’s warranty on parts)
  • We guarantee your satisfaction

Want to read other reasons to call us, click here.

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