Hot Water Heater Problem: Six Common Problems with Your Home Water Heater

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of a hot water heater that works properly, you know what a luxury it is and what a nuisance it is when it doesn’t. So if you’re experiencing some hot water heater issues of your own, you’re probably wondering what could be the problem. While malfunctions can vary, there are some common issues you’ll want to look out for if your hot water heater starts to act up. In this blog post, we’ll discuss six of these common hot water heater problems and go over some of the solutions. So let’s jump in and take a look!

How to Check for Hot Water Heater Problems?

It’s essential to check for hot water heater problems before they become too serious and create bigger issues. One of the first steps is to turn on the hot water faucet and simply listen to the water heater. If you hear a rattling sound, it might indicate that there are sediment deposits in the tank—this is common in areas with hard water. You can also check if the pilot light is out; if it’s gone out, this could be due to a faulty thermocouple or gas valve. Also, if you check the pressure valve every now and then, you can see if the pressure or temperature has changed in your water heater, which could indicate a problem.

When checking for hot water heater problems, it’s important to remember that some issues may not be visible but are still very present. For instance, even though there isn’t an issue with the pilot light, deposits may still have collected at the bottom of the tank, which can cause deterioration and reduce efficiency. On the other hand, some homeowners think that it’s okay not to check for potential problems unless there’s an issue with their current performance. Ultimately, it’s important to weigh both sides and make an informed decision based on your particular circumstances.

Making sure your water heater is in good condition is key to avoiding more serious issues down the road, so be sure to periodically check on “patient.” After all, is said and done, you may want to look into how hot your water actually is; luckily, there are easy ways to measure this, which will be discussed in the next section.

  • According to a report by Repair Home, tankless water heaters can last between 15 and 20 years, while tank water heaters typically last 10 to 15 years.
  • The US Department of Energy estimates that a typical household spends around $400 annually on energy costs for their hot water heaters.
  • In 2020, the National Apartment Association identified that water heater repair/replacement was one of the top ten maintenance issues experienced in rental properties.

Temperature Check

It is important to take temperature readings from your hot water heater in order to identify potential problems. Temperature checks are easy and cheap, and they can give you a quick idea of what might need to be looked into further. If you decide to do a temperature check, it is important to be aware of local regulations and any safe temperature standards that need to be followed.

When temperatures are too high, not only does this shorten the lifespan of the heater, but it can also be hazardous for individuals who come into contact with the water from the heater. Depending on where you live and what the rules are, water that is too hot can be anywhere from 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If your hot water heater’s temperature is too high for your area, you may need to take steps to lower the temperature or even replace the appliance.

It is best to have a professional look at the heater and partially take it apart to see if the temperature can be changed without replacing the whole thing. An experienced technician will have all the tools they need and know the best ways to handle these kinds of problems safely.

Temperature issues are normal as hot water heaters age, so checking on a regular basis is essential to keep your family safe and ensure you get the longest life out of your unit. Now that you know how to check for signs of hot water heating problems, let’s explore six common problems identified by homeowners.

common water heater problems

Six Common Problems Identified by Homeowners

Homeowners may be the first to identify that there is a problem with their hot water heater. They may observe symptomatic behaviors, such as oddly low temperatures or low water pressure. While this doesn’t always indicate a problem with the hot water heater itself, it is important to note. Here are six hot water heater problems commonly identified by homeowners:

  1. Components with severe corrosion: Over time, corrosion, which results from metal reacting with oxygen, can cause parts of the heater to start rusting or eroding away. Homeowners should look out for any rust-colored water coming from their faucets or if they notice their pipes rusting or crumbling at an alarming rate.
  2. Poor installation or placement: If the hot water heater has been installed in a place that is too cramped or otherwise inaccessible, it could lead to potential problems down the line. Properly installed and placed heaters will provide adequate ventilation and more efficient heating overall.
  3. Malfunctioning thermostat: the thermostat controls the temperature of your hot water. If it is not functioning correctly, either due to exposure to fluctuations in temperature or simply due to age, then it can cause issues with your hot water supply.
  4. A broken dip tube: The dip tube connects the cold water coming into the heating tank to the lower part of the tank so that the water is properly heated before it comes out of the taps. If the dip tube breaks off or gets debris lodged in it, cold and hot water can mix, leading to erratic temperatures when showering or doing dishes.
  5. Leaks in plumbing—Leaks in piping can disrupt the proper flow and efficiency of your hot water supply, particularly as leaks tend to happen around connections between different pieces of plumbing, such as joints and valves.
  6. Sprinkler heads that are clogged: If the sprinklers on the roof are clogged, it can cause the warm water tank to have more pressure because the water can’t flow through the system. This can damage parts of your system and reduce its overall performance.

It’s important for homeowners to check for these common problems on a regular basis, as catching them early can often help prevent bigger issues in the future. 

Diagnosing and Repairing Hot Water Heater Problems

Fixing hot water heater problems can often be a difficult task, depending on the issue at hand. While some repairing and maintenance tasks can be done yourself, an experienced professional may be needed for more complicated cases, such as corrosion or leaks. Properly diagnosing the issue ahead of time will save you a lot of money in the long run by avoiding repair mistakes that cause further damage.

Identifying the source of the problem is key to successfully fixing any hot water heater issue. If you suspect that your water heater has something wrong with it, inspect the plumbing system for wear-and-tear-induced damages, such as faulty parts or worn-out valves. You should also check for strange noises or signs of corrosion, which could indicate a major problem requiring attention from a plumber. Once you have identified the symptoms, it is time to move on to the diagnostic process.

The diagnostic process is critical to identifying what needs to be fixed in order to fully repair it, whether it involves testing every component of your hot water heater, flushing out accumulated sediment, or simply looking for faulty wiring caused by wear and tear. This process can be done either manually or through automated testing tools, depending on your knowledge and experience. After determining what needs to be fixed and addressing those issues, you should also consider preventive measures to avoid future damage, such as installing leak detection systems or regularly checking temperature gauges.

If your water heater is functioning properly after a thorough check-up, no further repairs are necessary, but you should still keep an eye out for tell-tale signs of imminent failure. This way, you can address those issues quickly before they lead to disastrous consequences, such as flooding. By making sure your hot water heater is regularly maintained and up-to-date, you will ensure it runs safely and efficiently while reducing energy bills in the process.

Tank Installation and Replacement

After diagnosing the hot water heater problem and determining a course of action for repair, it is important to consider the tank itself. If the unit is old and tank installation or replacement becomes necessary, there are many factors to consider. Professional plumbers can look at the situation and decide if it makes sense to replace the pipe or not.

In most cases, professional installation is recommended. It ensures that your new hot water heater will be properly installed and provides peace of mind knowing that your device is built to code and meets up-to-date safety standards. This peace of mind often comes at a cost, however, so it is worth considering whether or not you want to do an installation yourself if the local codes and regulations allow it. There are plenty of resources available online if you consider this option.

It’s crucial to take the unit’s lifespan into account when choosing an installation method, whether you hire a professional or do it yourself. It may be prudent to pay more for a high-quality tank that could last longer than an inexpensive option over time, saving money in the long run as fewer replacements are needed in comparison.

No matter which route you ultimately choose for installation or replacement, doing your due diligence and research ahead of time can help you make an informed decision for your particular case. Through careful planning and foresight now, you can save yourself from costly issues down the line.

Once all the needed repairs have been made, whether by you or by a licensed plumber, you should focus on preventive maintenance so that you don’t have to deal with hot water heater problems again. 

Preventative Maintenance for Hot Water Heaters

Preventative maintenance is an important practice for any homeowner with a hot water heater. Routine maintenance and checks can help find problems before they get worse and cost more to fix. Checking the anode rod on an electric hot water heater, for example, can stop the tank from rusting over time, which could make the heater last a lot less time. Flush out your tank at least twice a year to reduce debris buildup, and help avoid blockages in your pipes. It’s also essential to check connections and valves regularly, making sure everything is hooked up properly after installation or replacement.

Of course, not all homeowners have the skillset or resources available to do preventative maintenance on their hot water heaters themselves. It might be wise in such cases to enlist the help of a professional plumber who is experienced in dealing with these types of issues on a regular basis. On the other hand, if you do have the skills to carry out such tasks yourself, it could be a cost-effective way to avoid potential problems down the line.

Regardless of how one goes about getting preventative maintenance done on their hot water heater, it is always crucial for homeowners to keep an eye on it and address any issues that may arise quickly. Taking steps early on can ultimately save money in the long run for both repairs and replacements. 

Check Systems and Warning Lights

When it comes to hot water heater problems, one of the most important elements to monitor are the systems and warning lights. This can be done through preventative maintenance, as recommended in the previous section. With regular maintenance, professionals can spot signs of trouble before they get worse and prevent more damage from happening. This is why checking systems and warning lights is so essential for troubleshooting hot water heater problems.

The most notable system to check is often the thermostat. If there’s an issue with the temperature settings, then it is likely that there will be issues with the actual heating of water within the tank. Keeping tabs on this system starts with a simple visual inspection to make sure everything appears to be in working order. In order to ensure proper operation, technicians also advise testing its functionality. If they find any problems with the way the thermostat is calibrated, they might suggest replacing or fixing parts to keep problems from getting worse.

It is also important to take a look at the warning lights on your hot water heater. When something goes wrong during its operation, this system will light up and alert you of a potential issue. Upon inspection, if no issue can be found, it is recommended to reset the light or replace any necessary parts that may need a replacement for it to work properly again.

Final Words

In conclusion, when it comes to troubleshooting hot water heater problems, inspecting both its systems and warning lights are two essential steps to take. Through preventive maintenance, professionals can see if there are any warning signs about the temperature settings or if something isn’t working right in the system. If you write down any problems you find early on, you can fix them quickly and easily before they grow into bigger problems.

If you’re experiencing issues with your home water heater and need professional help, don’t hesitate to reach out to JBK Plumbers at (801) 874-7976 for expert assistance. Our experienced team can diagnose and repair a wide range of hot water heater problems quickly and efficiently. Don’t let a malfunctioning water heater disrupt your daily routine. Contact us now to schedule a service appointment and get your hot water flowing again. Trust JBK Plumbers for reliable solutions to your water heater issues. Call us today at (801) 874-7976!