Water heaters are critically important in every home, especially when cold temperatures become unbearable in the winter. Unfortunately, while they work hard to provide you with hot water behind the scenes, there are times when you experience water heater troubles. Even worse, these problems can happen when you least expect them.
Have you been in a similar situation? If you want to avoid these instances, then this article is for you. Make sure to read from beginning to end because this can prevent you from getting into these undesirable circumstances and save you several hundred dollars.
Signs of Water Heater Troubles
Water heaters are extremely important, so it’s best to regularly check for signs of trouble. This will prevent them from becoming defective when you need them the most. Here are the common signs that your water heater needs repair or replacement.
Leaking. This can be indicated by water pooling around the base of the water heater or by water dripping from the tank.
No hot water. If the water heater is not producing hot water, it could be caused by a lack of gas or electricity in the unit, a malfunctioning thermostat, or a failed heating element.
Insufficient hot water. If the water heater is producing hot water but needs more to meet demand, it could be caused by a malfunctioning heating element, a broken dip tube, or a tank that is too small for the demand.
Strange noises. If the water heater is making strange noises, it could be caused by sediment buildup in the tank, which can be resolved by flushing the tank.
Rusty water. If rust-colored water is coming out from the faucet, it may be coming from the water heater, which indicates that there is rusting inside it.
Age. Your water heater might need to be replaced if it is already over 8 to 12 years old.
Common Causes of Water Heater Troubles
Water heaters make our lives more comfortable especially during the winter season, but their reliability can be compromised due to a number of factors. Here are the common causes why water heaters fail:
Sediment buildup. Sediments can accumulate at the bottom of the water heater tank over time, causing the heating system to make strange noises and become less efficient.
Corrosion. Your water heater can rust over time, especially if your water supply contains a high level of minerals, or is what is called hard water. The rusted part that deteriorates further can cause the water to get a rusty color and bore a hole in the system that can cause leaks.
Thermostat issues. As the thermostat controls the water temperature in the tank, its malfunctioning can cause the water to be too hot.
Heating element failure. The heating element is responsible for heating the water in the tank. If it fails, the water will not be hot.
Leaking valves. The valves of a water heater can wear out or corrode, causing leakage.
Blocked or clogged venting. If the water heater’s venting is blocked or clogged, it can cause the unit to malfunction or shut down. Even worse, the exhaust fumes may backflow into your house, which may cause serious health risks.
Lack of maintenance. A water heater that is not regularly and properly maintained may experience problems or fail earlier than expected.
Water Heater Troubleshooting Tips
Some water heater problems can be solved with a little bit of DIY knowledge. Here are tips in solving some of the most common issues with water heating systems. Remember to turn the power off your circuit breaker before doing anything.
No hot water: Check the thermostat if it is set to the correct temperature and that the circuit breaker or fuse for the water heater is not tripped. Also check that the unit has sufficient gas or electricity supply.
Insufficient hot water: Aside from checking the thermostat for the correct temperature setting, also check to see if there are any leaks in the system, or if the heating element or dip tube is malfunctioning.
Strange noises: Drain a few gallons of water from the tank to remove the sediment buildup. This can help eliminate strange noises emanating from the system.
Leaking problems: Check the water and gas connections to ensure they are tight. Also check the temperature, the pressure relief valve, and the drain valve.
Rusty water: Drain the tank and flush it to remove any sediments that may cause the water to look rusty. If the problem persists, it may mean that the tank itself is rusting and needs to be replaced. Additionally, check the age of the water heater; if it’s past 12 years old, then it might be time to replace it.
After you’ve done any or all of these tips and still can’t identify the issue with your water heater, it’s time to call a professional water heater repair service to deal with the problem and prevent further damage.
Call Hansen’s Plumbing for Your Water Heater Troubles Today
As much as DIY methods can solve some water heater troubles, we don’t recommend trying to solve them by yourself—especially if you don’t have the proper tools and know-how—because it might lead to accidents that could otherwise have been avoided. Instead, we recommend looking for help from professionals.
We at Hansen’s Plumbing have over 30 years of plumbing experience, earning us the title of the most trusted professional plumbing services in Ventura County, California. Contact us today for all your water heater and plumbing needs.