Common Water Heater Problems, Causes & Solutions

 In Maintenance, Plumbing, Tips, Water Heaters

Hot water is key to many household activities. From cleaning and cooking to bathing and even for use with other appliances, water heaters are one of the most invaluable appliances in your home. When your water heater isn’t functioning like it should, you want it repaired fast. And while today’s water heaters are built to last, they are still susceptible to a few common problems.

Causes & Solutions to Common Water Heater Problems

Don’t let cold water ruin your day. Know what the most common water heater issues are, what causes them, and what you can do to fix them quickly.

No Hot Water

Waking up to ice cold water can be quite shocking, but don’t panic. The most common cause is an issue with your heat source. If you have an electric water heater, your heating element could have failed, or the electrical connection could have been impacted. For gas, it could mean a bad pilot light or faulty gas connection. If the pilot light is lit but the gas doesn’t ignite, then there could be an issue with the burner.  If your water heater has an electronic ignition system, check to make sure the circuit to your water heater wasn’t tripped.

Too Long to Reheat

If you have hot water but it takes forever for it to reheat, there are a few things you’ll want to check.  First check that your thermostat isn’t set too low. If it is, your burner may simply not be putting out enough energy to heat your water efficiently. If you have a gas water heater, you’ll also want to check the gas connection. Poor gas pressure, a dirty vent flue or a dirty burner orifice could prevent proper gas flow, causing your heater to take too long to reheat. Cleaning these parts could solve your problem. Another reason your water heater could be taking too long to reheat is that it isn’t big enough and doesn’t have enough time to refill and heat up before being used again. You may need a larger capacity unity for you home.

Too Hot or Too Cold

Inconsistent water temperatures, no matter how you set your thermostat, could be a sign that your water heater’s thermostat is having sensing problems. You can try cleaning or replacing the thermocouple. Water that’s too cold could be a sign of sediment build up. You can try flushing your tank.  It could also be a sign of a gas flow issue. If the gas flow is restricted or insufficient, then the burner on your water heater won’t be able to sufficiently heat the water and it may need to be replaced.

Strange Smelling Hot Water

A strange smell coming from your hot water may indicate a buildup of bacteria in your water heater. You can try cranking up the heat to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit to kill off any bacteria in the tank. Just make sure you don’t use the hot water for serval hours after turning it back down to prevent serious burns. You can also try cleaning your tank with a chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide solution. The smell could also be caused by a bad anode rod that’s causing a reaction with the sulfate in the water and needs to be replaced.

Leaking Water

Perhaps the most common water heater issue is a water leak. Naturally, all water heaters can eventually leak as the water overtime corrodes the tank, causing microscopic cracks and fractures. However, a leak doesn’t always signify the end of your water heater’s life. A leak at the top of the tank could simply be from a loose connection that needs tightening. A leak from the bottom could be from condensation. Try turning up the thermostat. Water could also be leaking from the overflow pipe or pressure relief valve. These could be signs of corrosion and you should have your water heater checked as soon as possible.

Professional Water Heater Repair & Installation

Hot water is key to so many household activities. When your water heater needs repair or replacement you need it fixed fast. Call on a local, trusted expert to help your household get hot water back quickly. Call on One Hour Rooter at 612-354-8984, offering fast, affordable and reliable water heater repair and installation services to the Minneapolis metro.

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