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6 Water Heater Problems to Never Ignore

by sergio micic on Aug 14, 2022

You know how frustrating it is to take a cold shower in the middle of winter or for the hot water to run out before you're even halfway through. To avoid this, pay more attention to how the system works. 

Faucet6 Water Heater Problems To Never Ignore (Image Credit Pexels)

You'll understand what's ordinary, such as occasional cracking or hissing noise in an electric-powered heater, and problems such as no hot water coming out. You'll also know when to treat a situation as an emergency and when simple DIY troubleshooting will suffice. Here are problems to never ignore.

Water Heater is Leaking

A little drip from the pressure-relief valve or a pipe connection is okay. If there's more than that, you have a leak that could lead to extensive damage. Check the water heater tank for rust. The tank is rusting if it's discolored or has rusty flakes on the bottom. 

Other causes of leaks are a faulty T&P (temperature and pressure) relief valve or loose pipes. Worn-out gaskets and washers can also cause leaks. Look for water heater repair experts to inspect the unit and make the necessary repairs.

No Hot Water

First, check the circuit breaker or fuse if there's no hot water. If it's tripped or blown, reset or replace. The gas supply or pilot light is faulty if that doesn't work. For an electric heater, the heating elements could be the issue. In any case, don't try to fix the problem yourself. Water heater repairs require specialized skills and knowledge.

Lukewarm Water

If you're getting lukewarm water instead of hot, there are a few possible causes. First, check the thermostat if it's set too low. If it is, adjust it to a higher temperature. If the problem persists, the heating elements may be damaged and need replacement. 

Another issue is sediment build-up. When water is heated, minerals settle at the bottom of the tank. They insulate the heating element and prevent it from doing its job correctly. 

If the tap's water is too hot, the thermostat might be set too high. Adjust it to a lower setting. If that doesn't work, the thermostat could be defective.

Rumbling and Knocking Noises

If you hear strange noises from the water heater, it might be due to sediment build-up. The minerals settle at the bottom of the tank causing the heater to overheat. This, in turn, makes the water boil producing a rumbling noise

The only way to stop this is to flush the tank. Flushing entails draining all the water and starting anew. Also, take the opportunity to clean the tank and check the anode rod.

Water has a Bad Odor

If the water from the faucet smells terrible, it's probably due to bacteria build-up in the tank. It usually happens when the water isn't hot enough to kill all the germs. The solution is to clean the tank. Drain all the water, add bleach solution and let it sit for a few hours before flushing and refilling the tank. If the problem persists, contact a professional.

Water Takes Too Long To Heat Up

If you notice that it takes longer for the water to heat up, the problem could be with the gas supply. If the burner isn't getting enough gas, it can't heat the water quickly. Check the gas line to see if it's open. 

Clean the burner assembly as dirt and debris prevent proper gas flow. If the problem persists, there might be an issue with the pilot light. Try relighting it yourself but if that doesn't work, call a professional.

Always Consult Professionals

As earlier noted, understanding how the different parts of your water heater work are the first step to keeping it in good condition. This way, you can quickly identify a problem and take the necessary measures.

However, some problems are best left to the professionals. If you're in doubt, don't hesitate to contact a water heater repair company. They have the experience and expertise to handle any issue.

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