What is The Most Common Problem with Water Heaters?

A newly installed tankless gas water heater with a turquoise blue background

Discover the Importance of Water Heater Repair

You’d probably be hard-pressed to find a home without a water heater. This device sits quietly in a closet or a corner, maybe in the basement, that is out of sight and out of mind. However, it is what we assume will always be heating the water in our home, somewhere from 120 degrees and up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Getting water heater repairs have become more common with the cost of living increasing and most household incomes decreasing. 

 A water heater is an essential appliance in our home for bathing, cooking, and more. A water heater actually reduces our energy costs compared to the other ways we have of heating water, like boiling it on a stovetop. Why is heated water so important? 

Well, first of all, we’ve become accustomed to having a hot shower in the mornings (or at night) and we like our clothes and dishes clean. Hot water also reduces the risk of waterborne illnesses by killing bacteria and germs. So, when the water goes out, we either have to replace it or get a water heater repair service, usually the less expensive option. 

What are the Common Problems that Can Result in Needing Water Heater Repairs? 

There are a few common problems that will determine whether a water heater repair may be all you need. These include:

  • Temperature Issues – Temperature issues with a water heater are one of the most common problems that plumbers are called to check.
  • Cold Water – What should I do if my water isn’t producing hot water? A water heater that has only cold water is either the thermostat has gone out, the power is turned off at the water heater, or the heating element has burned out. 
  • The thermostat and element may need to be replaced – This is a fairly easy and quick water heater repair. But first, check the power source and make sure it is getting electricity or gas, check the circuit breaker or fuse also. If those are all okay, then replace the element or thermostat. 
  • Warm Water – If the water isn’t getting as hot as it should, you could need a larger water heater. But first check the cold and hot water connections, making sure they are connected. It could also be the heating element or thermostat that need to be replaced. 
  • The Water is Too Hot – If the water is too hot, usually a quick water heater repair is done by lowering the thermostat temperature. 

What are the Signs that my Water Heater is Leaking?

Water heater leaks are identified by pools of water around the bottom, water coming from the tank sides, or water coming from the connections. If from the connections, easy water heater repair is to tighten the connection on top of the tank and at the water connection. 

Water heater leaks can also be attributed to the following: 

  • A faulty T&P relief valve
  • The water pressure is too high
  • The water heater is overheating
  • The heating element bolts are loose
  1. Water is Discolored – If the water is coming out rusty, this is usually due to rust in the tank. A possible water heater repair is to flush the tank and remove the sediment that is causing corrosion inside the tank. If this doesn’t fix the problem, replace the anode rod or call a professional plumber. 
  1. Odd Sounds – There is sediment in the water no matter where you live and it builds up inside the tank and this leads to odd sounds coming from the water heater. Sometimes, a possible water heater repair is to flush the unit, but if that doesn’t stop those odd sounds, you’ll need to call a professional plumber. 

What Should I Do if I Smell Gas from My Water Heater? 

First, you want to check the gas connection at the water heater and coming from the house. If both are tight, it is recommended to evacuate everyone from the house and call the gas company. Then you’ll need to call a plumber, if they are able to complete water heater repairs, you can call the gas company to turn the gas back on. 

How Often Should I Have My Water Heater Serviced? 

Once a water heater has reached the 5-year mark, you should have it inspected and flushed annually by a professional plumber. Once it has reached the 8-year mark, your plumber will be able to advise you if it is time to replace the unit. 

How Much Will Water Heater Repair Cost?

The cost of water heater repairs can vary from area to area and from plumber to plumber. When you have your water installed new, you should inquire with the plumber that installs it about a maintenance program. The cost of that program will minimize water heater repair costs going forward. 

Watering It All Down: To Repair or Replace?

How can I tell if my water heater needs to be replaced? A water heater replacement isn’t the most expensive thing you’ll have in your home, but it also isn’t an expense you want to entail unless you just have to. If any of the issues we’ve mentioned in this piece continue, even after a flushing process or calling a plumber, it is to replace the unit!