With proper care, your water heater should work reliably for 8-12 years. However, sometimes things go wrong. Sediment in the water, improper settings, and worn out parts can lead to problems with your water heater. Repairs are necessary for small problems. Bigger problems might mean replacing your water heater.
It is a good idea to check your water heater regularly for anything unusual. Be aware of the telltale signs that your water heater is not working properly. If you know what signs to look for, you can catch problems early on. With the help of a water heater repair professional, you might be able to avoid those bigger, more expensive problems, or having to replace your unit.
A water heater is a complicated system. To avoid injury and damage, only a licensed professional should repair a water heater.
Following are some of the most common water heater problems:
Heating too high or too low – While this might be caused by improper settings, it is best to let a water heater repair professional help you.
Low pressure from hot water faucets – Buildup of sediment in your hot water heater or pipes can cause low pressure. But low pressure can have other causes as well, in your water heater and in other parts of your plumbing system.
Running out of hot water too quickly – If your hot water heater is not functioning at normal capacity, it may be time for a flush. Or this may indicate that parts are wearing out. It is best to have a professional check your water heater to see where the problem originates.
No hot water at all – While this might be a simple problem at the power source, the problem also might be with your water heater.
Leaks around the water heater – If you discover water around your water heater, that doesn’t necessarily indicate a leak. However, a potential leak is not something to take a chance with. A repair professional can help you determine where the water is coming from and how to remedy the situation.
Rust on the water heater unit – Rust on the outside of your water heater might indicate corrosion on the inside. You don’t want a rusted-out water heater. It’s best to let a professional assess the damage.
A noisy water heater – Sediment and mineral buildup in a water heater can cause noise. This buildup causes excess wear and decreases the water heater’s performance. It may be time for a flush.
Hot water with a bad smell – Smelly hot water can have many causes, some related to the hot water heater and some not. Bacteria or corrosion in the water heater tank can cause this problem, especially if you notice it throughout the house. If the problem is limited to one faucet, the cause might be elsewhere. A plumbing professional can help you pinpoint and diagnose the problem, so your water can smell clean again.
If you check your water heater regularly, and pay attention to these signs that something is wrong, you might have lower-cost options for repairs and avoid bigger problems.