10 Common Water Heater Problems
You wake up to a cold morning and the first thing you want is a hot shower (after a cup of Joe or tea, of course). So, you head to the bathroom, expecting a continuous blast of comforting heated water to hit you.
But that didn’t happen.
Or perhaps, you’re halfway into your shower when the water started getting colder and colder. You’re out of hot water!
All these (and more) are just some of the most common water heater problems most households in the United States experience.
They don’t automatically mean you need to replace the system though. You need, however, to address them right away.
This way, you can get at least eight to twelve years of total use from it.
The key is to spot these issues early on, so you can have them fixed ASAP.
So, here’s the list of such problems you should know about.
1. No Hot Water At All
Nothing screams hot water system problems than getting absolutely no heated water.
Of course, before you assume that you have a bad heater, you should make sure electricity flows to it first. It’s possible that your circuit breaker tripped or that a fuse blew.
In case none of these happened, and you’ve already made sure to power on your thermostat, it’s most likely that one or several heating elements have already broken down. This includes your thermostat.
Troubleshooting steps you need to take depend on the type of system you have, whether it’s electricity or gas. For instance, a malfunctioning electric water heater may have connection problems. A gas heater that doesn’t produce hot water, on the other hand, typically has flue or pilot light issues.
2. It Keeps Running Out Of Hot Water
From spouting hot to cold water in a few seconds. This ranks second when it comes to the most common water heater problems.
One reason your hot water system does this is that of sudden drops in water pressure. Another is due to incorrect plumbing line installation (hot water lines and cold tank inlets cross each other). There’s also the possibility that the heater itself is too small to meet your heated water demand.
A few other things can cause these inefficiencies–things that an average homeowner can easily miss. As such, it’s best that you have a licensed service technician conduct an inspection.
These pros can figure out right away whether it’s the water pressure, a faulty heating element, or a malfunctioning dip tube causing the problem.
3. Water Is Dangerously Hot
Not only is this one of the most common water heater problems; it’s also one of the most dangerous.
Here’s are a couple quick statistics:
Every year, some 1,500 people are hospitalized in the U.S. due to burns from scalding hot water from faucets.
Furthermore, 300 emergency department cases of burn-related injuries among children take place every day.
So, imagine what a blast of excessively hot water can do.
All these said, make sure you have your hot water system checked right away when you’ve already experienced this. Don’t let it happen twice too many.
4. Rust- Or Weird-Colored Water
It’s not just disgusting; rust-colored or murky water is also a hassle to clean with. And you most definitely won’t want to drink or bathe with it.
While rust in water isn’t a health hazard, it can still be a major inconvenience, not to mention unpleasant-tasting. These should be enough to make you address the issue right away.
Because in most cases, this means that your hot water tank’s anode rod has already failed.
Just because it’s a sacrificial part doesn’t mean it has no use. In fact, it’s the reason why you need to have the failed rod replaced ASAP.
For your reference, this specific part attracts the metals and other contaminants from the water, such as aluminum, magnesium, and zinc. It’s there for the simple–yet crucial–reason that it keeps the water heater from developing rust.
So, when you don’t replace a failed anode rod, there’s nothing that will prevent rust from taking over your hot water system. And the more rust that develops, the greater the tank’s risk of developing leaks, or even rupturing.
5. Drips And Leaks
Dripping and leaking are again some of the most common water heater problems. Aside from the above-mentioned failed anode rod, another possible culprit is incorrect plumbing connections. Excessive tightening of the gasket can also have resulted in the leak.
Whichever the cause is, those drips and leaks need immediate fixing, or you can end up with an even bigger problem: water damage.
6. Awful-Smelling Water
In most cases, a bad water heater can lead to the supply smelling of rotten eggs. This typically indicates that the tank has accumulated too many bacteria-filled sediments. Dead and decaying bacteria emit hydrogen gases that then flow through the plumbing.
7. Weird Sounds
Whether you hear popping, rumbling, or whining sounds from your hot water system, these all suggest a problem. It can mean an abnormal amount of scale build-up in the tank or on the heating elements.
Scale can lead to heating inefficiencies, not to mention a spike in your water heater’s energy consumption. As such, they all point to the fact that you need to address the root cause right away or you can end up with a broken heater plus higher energy bills.
8. The Sound Of Boiling Water
Some people also refer to this as “kettling.” Regardless, it’s one of the most common water heater problems that need immediate fixing because that boiling sound actually means that the water is boiling.
Boiling equates to scalding, which equates to potential burns. And burns are never a good thing.
9. Faulty Thermostat
An inaccurate thermostat, at the very least, warrant a reset. If this doesn’t fix the problem then a replacement or upgrade is the best option.
10. Thermostat Switches Off And On
Low water pressure, multiple faucets opened or numerous leaks can all cause the thermostat to function incorrectly. This often leads to the thermostat cycling through the on and off state.
The Fastest Way To Address The Most Common Water Heater Problems
Through the eyes and skills of trained and experienced water heater professionals. That’s the best and fastest way you can say goodbye to all your hot water system headaches.
So, ring us up or send us a message to schedule your water heater for an inspection or service now. Our team of experts can diagnose and repair your hot water system issues right away.
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