Common water heater problems and ways to fix them

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Common water heater problems and ways to fix them

Water heaters are the silent workhorses of every households. They work around the clock to provide heated water at your beckon call. Common water heater problems can cause the unit to malfunction, producing only warm water or worse.

The two most common types of water heaters used in residential housing are electric or gas operated units. Being aware of the signs that lead to water heater failure can alert you to a potential problem and avoid being left out in the cold.

The symptoms of a malfunctioning electric water heater can vary between the mild and extreme.

No Hot Water

  • Broken or malfunctioning heating elements.
  • Incorrect thermostat setting or faulty thermostat.
  • An interruption of power to the appliance (tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse).

Rust Colored Water

  • The sacrificial anode rod has failed, causing the tank to rust.
  • Glass lined water heater tank is experiencing excessive corrosion. This can also lead to unexpected leaks or ruptures.

Leaking or Pooling Water

  • Faulty plumbing connections.
  • Leaking heating element gasket due to under or over tightening.
  • Water heater storage tank has excessive corrosion and has failed or ruptured.
  • T&P valve is faulty, stuck open, overheating or open due to excessive pressure inside the tank.

Water is Too Hot

  • Heating element thermostat is set too high. Most water heaters are factory pre-set to 120 degrees Farenheit.

Water is Luke Warm or Amount Inefficient

  • Crossed plumbing lines — hot water line connected to cold tank inlet and vice versa — due to improper installation.
  • Water heater is too small to handle hot water demand.
  • Faulty upper or lower heating element.
  • Faulty dip tube.

Smells of Rotten Eggs

  • The water heater tank contains sediment laden with bacteria. As the bacteria die and decay, they create smelly, hydrogen gases that are passed through your plumbing.

High Pitched Whining Noise

  • Heating elements have a larger than normal amount of scale buildup.

Popping or Rumbling Sounds

  • Excessive amounts of sediment laying in the tank cause the bottom to overheat and boil instead of heat the water.

Common water heater problems for gas appliances experience similar problems as electric powered units do. However, for the sake of not being repetitive, only those problems relevant to gas water heaters are listed below.

No Hot Water

  • Pilot light is off causing the thermocouple feature to prevent gas delivery.

Inadequate Amounts of Hot Water

  • Thermostat failure.
  • Obstructed flue or vent.
  • Defective thermostat.
  • Faulty dip tube.

Pilot Light will not light

  • Bad gas valve
  • Faulty thermocouple

For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.

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