Common Water Heater Problems

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Your water heater usually sits out of sight, relatively unnoticed, until you have a problem. If you're like most of us, as long as the heater is delivering hot water on demand, you don't bother to check on it. However, like other mechanical systems in your home, water heaters need regular maintenance in order to function properly. If your water heater is malfunctioning, let Mr. Rooter® handle it for you!

Recognizing Water Heater Problems

Many common water heater problems can be fixed without having to call a service professional. Others are better left to the pros. Mr. Rooter is here to answer all your questions so you can make an informed decision about what services will best benefit you.

Below is a list of the most common water heater problems:

  • Too little hot water. A water tank that produces too little hot water is one of the many common water heater problems you may encounter. Usually this can be solved by turning up the temperature on the tank's thermostat. Be careful, however, not to turn the temperature up too high, as this can be a scalding hazard.
  • No hot water. If you don't get any hot water when you turn on the hot water faucets and your water heater is gas-powered, the most likely problem is a pilot light that has blown out. This can be due to a faulty thermocouple or a faulty pilot control valve. Another likely cause is a heating element (if you have an electric water heater) or the thermocouple (for a gas water heater) that needs to be replaced. Replacing the heating element or thermocouple is a relatively easy job for a plumbing professional. Unless you have such training, you're well-advised to let a pro handle this repair.
  • Smelly water. Smelly hot water usually means that the water has become infected with bacteria. Generally, you can detect a rotten egg-type smell. You can generally solve this yourself by flushing the tank and filling it with a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide. Allow the solution to sit in the tank for two hours or so and then flush with clear water. If the tank is still smelly, it's best to call a plumbing contractor. If both the hot and cold water coming out of your fixtures is smelly, the cause is more than likely not related to your water heater.
  • A noisy water tank. If your water tank is making noise, it could be a sign of one of several problems. The most likely is that your tank has sediment in the bottom of it and that the heating element is literally burning the sediment. If that is the case, you'll need to drain your water tank, a fairly easy procedure and something you should do about once a year as regular maintenance. Your water tank may also be making noise if the heating element is starting to burn out. Having a service professional replace the heating element should solve the situation.
  • Leaking tank. Unfortunately, once your tank starts to leak, it's finished and it's time for a new one. Leaks, even small ones, are not something you want to ignore. You certainly don't want a 30 or 60-gallon tank draining in your basement or utility room. At the first sign of a leak, contact your local Mr. Rooter to see about getting a new water heater.

Knowing when to call a professional and when to attempt a repair yourself can save you money on maintaining your water tank. Just a little knowledge about troubleshooting can make a big difference.

Call On Us for Plumbing Services You Can Trust!

Whether you need a free in-home estimate, or a scheduled repair, Mr. Rooter has everything you need to get your home’s plumbing in top shape. Our licensed plumbing experts are courteous, professional, and thoroughly trained to handle plumbing services of all kinds. We will always show you your options, and let you make an informed decision. You can reach us any time and any day, at no extra cost for our services.