You walk to the bathroom, turn on the shower, and test the water on your hand. There’s no hot water. No warm water is coming out, no matter how you toggle the knob. What gives? Why is there no hot water in your apartment?
There are a lot of things that could stop your apartment from having hot water. Here are some of the most common causes:
What Could Cause My Apartment To Have No Hot Water
Water Line Maintenance
The most common reason your apartment might not have hot water (or any running water) deals with water line maintenance. When this happens, you’ll generally be alerted before it happens. Most apartment buildings will give you a 12-hour notice, but some may tell you the day of.
In some cases, only hot water will be affected. However, if it is a municipal fix, you might notice that all the water that typically runs in your home will be shut down. Due to these issues’ inconvenience, most crews limit maintenance work to a maximum of six hours.
If your apartment is older, there is a chance that you may have emergency repairs as a result of a breakage in your line. In many cases, your landlord will tell you that the water has been shut down due to the break—if they have the time to do so.
If it is an emergency repair, there is no timeframe on how long it may take for the water to come back. You usually won’t get hot or cold water since this is typically a municipal issue. However, you might have a little water if it is an emergency repair in the apartment complex.
Water Heater Issues
If you have no hot water but still have cold water, it’s probably a water heater issue. If your water heater has sprung a leak or otherwise malfunctioned, you will not have any hot water running to your apartment.
If your water heater is gas-powered, sniff the air. A scent of rotten eggs suggests that your home might have a gas leak. If you suspect this, call your landlord and 911 right after.
Bad Gas Valve
You might also have a bad gas valve if you have a gas-powered heater. On a similar note, you may want to check to see if your boiler’s ignition is working and if there is actually heat generated from the boiler.
A Frozen Pipe
If your apartment is in an area that has been affected by a major winter storm, this could be the reason why your apartment doesn’t have hot water running to it. A frozen pipe will cool down most water and sometimes break and cause flooding.
A Small Tank
Sometimes, it’s because hot water is in high demand in your apartment building and the shared tank ran out of water. A little wait will have you good to go.
Are you in the middle of a blackout? If so, you may have an electric water heater, which won’t be able to provide you with hot water without power.
This is rare, but if you have to pay for your hot water separately, you might have your hot water shut off due to unpaid bills. Again, this is generally not legal, but it can happen.
What Can You Do If Your Apartment Has No Hot Water?
If you can’t feel hot water in your apartment, there are only a few things you can do. Here’s what we suggest you do:
1. Check to see if your utility bills have been paid
If you got an electricity shutoff notice and you have a personal electric water heater, this could be an issue. Paying your bills should return your hot water within a matter of hours.
2. Look for damage in your apartment
If you have a leak from your hot water plumbing, you need to tell your landlord the source of the damage. This could cause additional damage to your flooring, walls, and property.
3. Call your landlord and report the problem
It’s okay to ask if there is a plan in place to fix it and ask for an ETA. A lack of hot water can seriously threaten your home’s livability, so it’s on them to ensure that it is handled in a timely and professional manner.
4. Know Your Rights
If this goes on for multiple days, check your local housing rights. You may have a right to legal recourse, as this could be a breach of contract. Landlords cannot violate your warranty of habitability, which guarantees access to hot water. It’s up to you to determine what you should be able to do to protect your rights.
No Hot Water in Apartment Bottom Line
As a renter, you are not required to fix a lack of hot water. Your landlord is responsible for providing you with hot water. It is their issue to fix; if they do not, they are no longer keeping your home livable. Regardless of what is causing there to be no hot water, you should first call your landlord or superintendent to have them hire a certified repairman. That’s part of the reason that you pay rent!