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What to Do When Your Water Heater Breaks Down

Water heaters are a crucial part of our daily lives. They provide us with hot water for showers, laundry, and dishes. Unfortunately, like any other appliance, they can break down unexpectedly, leaving you without hot water. Not only is this inconvenient, but it can also be costly to repair or replace. That’s why it’s important to know what to do when your water heater breaks down.

Below are the steps you should take when your water heater breaks down:

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

The first thing you should do when your water heater breaks down is turn off the power. If you have an electric water heater, turn off the circuit breaker. If you have a gas water heater, turn off the gas supply valve. This will prevent any further damage from occurring and ensure your safety.

Step 2: Shut Off the Water Supply

Next, you need to shut off the water supply to the water heater. There should be a valve located on the cold water pipe that feeds the heater. Turn it clockwise until it stops to shut off the water supply.

Step 3: Drain the Tank

Once the power and water supply are turned off, you should drain the tank. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank and run the other end of the hose to a floor drain or outside. Open the valve and allow the tank to drain completely. This will help prevent any water damage to your home.

Step 4: Call a Professional Plumber

After the tank is drained, you should call a professional plumber to assess the damage and make any necessary repairs. A licensed plumber will have the skills and experience to diagnose the problem and provide a solution. If your water heater is beyond repair, the plumber can also help you choose a new one and install it properly.

Step 5: Consider Upgrading to a New Water Heater

If your water heater is old or has been experiencing issues for some time, it may be time to consider upgrading to a new one. A new water heater can provide you with better efficiency, lower energy bills, and peace of mind. There are many different types of water heaters to choose from, including tankless, gas, and electric models. Your plumber can help you choose the best option for your home and budget.


Experiencing a water heater breakdown can be stressful and inconvenient. However, by following these steps, you can minimize the damage and get your hot water back as soon as possible. Remember to turn off the power and water supply, drain the tank, call a professional plumber, and consider upgrading to a new water heater if necessary. By taking these steps, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying hot showers and clean dishes once again.

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