Troubleshooting Hot Water Dispenser Problems

A water dispenser.

A hot water dispenser is handy to have in your kitchen or bathroom. Many offices will use hot water dispensers as well in break-rooms. They allow for instant hot water to be used by turning a tap on. They can encounter problems, though, and often do. Fortunately, they are relatively simple to diagnose.

No Hot Water

If you are not able to get hot water from your dispenser, there are several things you can check. First, check the power. Most hot water dispensers plug into a standard outlet. Check to ensure the unit is still plugged in. If it is, you can check the outlet itself. Many kitchens and bathrooms now have outlets with overload switches built in.

If the switch has been triggered, you will need to reset it. You can do this by pressing the reset button in, waiting a few minutes, and trying the dispenser again. If this doesn't work, and you have determined the outlet is the problem, then it's best to have an electrician come out to fix it. If the outlet is working properly and you still have no hot water, check the heating element.

Just as with any appliance, components will burn out over time. You can check with the manufacturer to find out how to access the heating element. Most manufacturers will send you replacement parts and instructions on request. Many will charge a fee for this, but it's almost always cheaper than purchasing a new unit.

Water is Too Hot

A water dispenser.

Hot water dispensers will usually come with a pre-set temperature. Most will allow you to adjust the temperature if you wish. It's usually as simple as removing the front panel with the unit unplugged. Some models will have a dial, and others will have a digital readout you can use to adjust the temperature.

Poor Water Pressure

A hot water dispenser works by collecting water in an internal tank and keeping it heated. The water is pushed from the tank into the faucet when you activate the hot water. If the pressure is poor it could be due to an obstruction in the pipe leading from the tank to the faucet. You can test this by disconnecting the pipe and blowing air through it. If the pipe isn't obstructed, check the incoming water as well; this could be obstructed. Another reason for weak pressure could be a valve isn't open enough. Check to make sure the valve is opened all the way.

Leaky Faucets

A water dispenser.

If you have a continuous leak in your faucet it is likely a faulty shut off valve. A little water dripping from time to time isn't a big deal, but a continuous leak will reduce the efficiency of the heater, as well as waste a lot of water. A leaky shut off valve is not something that can usually be fixed on your own. Contact the manufacturer for options, or contact an authorized repair agent.