Heating the water in your home is a big job. From hot water in your sinks and showers to the water needed to run appliances, water heaters work hard to keep up with demand, and it is not unusual for them to occasionally run into problems.
Here is a look at seven common water heater problems and how you can remedy them. It is best to call a plumber for help with water heater concerns, but you may be able to take a look at your unit to get a better idea of what might be wrong on your own. Be sure to turn off the power at the circuit breaker before you attempt any troubleshooting on your water heater.
Top Water Heater Issues
Learn more about the seven top water heater issues homeowners encounter.
The Water Is Too Hot
If the water in your home is running too hot, it may be that you have the thermostat set too high. The owner’s manual that came with your water heater can tell you how you can adjust the thermostat temperature. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit provides the best balance between efficiency and heat.
The Water Is Not Heating Up Enough
If your water heater appears to be working but it is not heating the water to a high enough temperature, there are a few potential causes. One is crossed hot and cold connections, which can be ruled out by a simple test: turn off your water supply and turn on a hot water faucet. If water still flows, it could mean there is a crossed connection.
Other potential causes are an undersized water heater, which can be corrected by purchasing a larger water heater that is better suited to the demands of your home.
A faulty thermostat or heating element can also lead to water that is warm but not hot enough. Get in touch with a plumber to check the heating elements and thermostat and determine whether your water heater is an appropriate size.
The Water Is Cold
Cold water can be caused by a faulty thermostat or heating element or a lack of power. First, try resetting tripped circuit breakers and replacing any blown fuses to rule out a power problem.
Then, you can check the power switches to ensure that they are properly turned on and the power indicators are lit. You should also check your thermostat to make sure it is receiving power.
The Water Is Discolored
If your water is discolored, it could mean that the tank’s inner lining is corroding and creating rust. This is sometimes caused by a failing anode rod. The best course of action if you have rusty water is to contact a plumber to determine if the anode rod can be replaced. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace the water heater entirely.
The Water Heater Is Making Noises
Water heaters are prone to making noises if sediment has built up inside of them. This can often be fixed by flushing the water heater. If the noise persists after flushing the water heater or the sediment buildup is too significant to be removed, it is best to contact a plumber for a water heater replacement.
The Heater Is Leaking
There are several reasons that your water heater could be leaking. For example, a bad gasket, a loose heating element bolt, a stuck valve, a faulty temperature or pressure relief valve, overheating, improper water pressure and leaks from nearby plumbing connections can all be to blame.
The first thing to check is the connections. If any plumbing connections appear to be loose, tightening them may be enough to reduce the leak. However, it is important not to tighten them too much. The heating element bolts can also be tightened if needed.
If the heating element continues to leak, it may be time to have the gasket replaced. A plumber can advise on the best course of action when your water heater is leaking.
The Heater Is Working Too Slowly
If your water heater is slower to heat water than usual, it could mean there is a problem with the heating elements, which can be checked by a professional using a testing probe.
The problem could also be the thermostat; a multimeter can be used to determine if this is the issue. For gas units, it may simply be a question of setting the heater to the right gas pressure or cleaning the orifices of the burner.
Talk To The Northern Virginia Master Plumbers
Hot water is an essential part of your daily life. If you are having any problems with your water heater, give Baumbach Plumbing & Remodeling a call and we’ll send a technician out right away to diagnose the problem and discuss the best solution to getting your home the hot water your family needs.