Did you know that every year, 8% of US households swap their old water heaters with a brand new one?
In actual numbers, that's about 7 to 7.8 million water heater replacements!
This shows how vital hot water is to our daily lives. In fact, we use water heaters so much that it accounts for 19% of the total residential energy use in the US!
That said, a water heater not working properly can be a big nuisance to anyone. After all, not having hot water for a morning shower can make you late for school or work. But a faulty water heater can cause bigger problems, including leaks and even burns.
The question is, what exactly are the water heater issues that you should leave to experts? Is there anything you can do first before you give professional plumbers a call for water heater repair or replacement?
Water Comes Out of the Tank or Heating Unit
Every year, the average household wastes about 10,000 gallons of water due to water leaks. That's about half of the water in average-sized swimming pools!
Faucets and toilet tanks are often the culprits, but the water heater itself may also be leaking. One solid sign that points to this is a spike in your water bills. Unless you always get visitors to your house, then a rise in your water usage may indicate a leaky tank.
You can troubleshoot a water heater leak by inspecting the tank or the heating unit for moisture. Be sure to turn off the electrical or gas supply and then let the tank cool down first. Check for water seeping out of or pooling down at the bottom of the equipment.
If there's a considerable amount of water coming out of the unit, call your local plumbers right away. Leaks are water heater problems that often indicate corrosion. Left unaddressed, the degraded parts can crumble and allow even more water to flow out.
If there's too much internal damage to the unit, it may be best to get a replacement water heater.
Too Little Water Comes Out of Faucets and Showerheads
If you rely on local water facilities, then you likely have hard water like nine in 10 US homes do.
Although hard water isn't a health concern, it contains a lot of sediments. Over time, these minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, will harden at the bottom of the water tank. In tankless water heaters, the buildup can occur in the water lines.
Either way, these mineral deposits can block the flow of water and reduce water pressure. The mineral formation can also kill your water heater's heating efficiency. The deposits can act as insulation, so the unit can't heat the water as it should.
This then leads to the water heater compensating by using more energy. This extra stress can lead to more water heater problems, like inefficient heating. The longer this goes on, the shorter the life span of your water heater.
If you've noticed that there's too little water coming out of your fixtures, it's time to ring up plumbing pros. They have the equipment to flush out these clog-causing sediments. They'll also check for other possible culprits causing the reduced water flow.
Fluctuating Water Temperature
Varying levels of water pressure can lead to changes in water temperature. This can occur when several faucets and showers are running at the same time. In some cases, this is normal, but it can also indicate that you have a clogged tank or water lines.
If this still happens even if you're the only one using water, then you may have a faulty thermostat. A worn heating element in the water heater can also be a culprit. Either way, contact your friendly local plumbers to inspect the water heater.
Fluctuating water temperature isn't only inconvenient – it can also be a safety hazard. For one, a malfunctioning water heater can heat up the water excessively. This can result in scald burns that may be severe enough to warrant medical attention.
Keep in mind that 85% of all scald burns in the US occur in homes. This should be enough reason for you to get those hot water heater problems fixed ASAP!
No Hot Water at All
If you're not getting any hot water at all, check the heating power supply first. For gas heaters, see if the pilot light is lit and that the burner is emitting flames. For electric heaters, check the circuit breaker as it might have tripped.
If all these are in order but you still don't get any hot water, then it's time to call the plumbing pros. You may have a dead thermostat or a defective internal heating element. Whatever the cause is, reliable plumbers will get the bottom of your water heater issues.
Stressed Out Over a Water Heater Not Working? Call the Pros Now
There you have it, the ultimate list of the most likely culprits behind a water heater not working. As you can see, most of these are best left in the hands of plumbing pros as they can be too complex to DIY. Besides, the last thing you want is to put your safety and wellbeing at risk.
Especially if you’re dealing with large leaks, which can lead to indoor flooding. It’s best to ring up your local plumbing experts right away. They’re better equipped to handle and repair these water heater issues.
Ready to get that busted water heater up and running again? Then please get in touch with us now and request a job estimate! We’ll be happy to look at your faulty water heater and get it fixed ASAP.