When you use your hot water heater each day, you’re bound to notice some changes over time. If you turn on the hot water to take a relaxing shower but are greeted with cold water, then you know your water heater is failing. Something has gone wrong. No matter the issue, you can troubleshoot the problem to determine the cause. Once you know the cause, you can attempt DIY water heater repairs or professional service. More often than not, it’s best to opt for professional water heater repairs for guaranteed results.
Common Water Heater Problems
There are numerous common issues plaguing water heaters today. You may have stumbled across any one of these items in your time as a homeowner. In each case, you could troubleshoot and schedule repairs promptly.
1. Not Enough Hot Water
If you do not have enough hot water or your water is not hot enough, it’s likely either a sizing issue or a problem with the water heater thermostat.
First, check the thermostat and turn up the heat as needed. For an electric model hot water heater, there will be both an upper and lower thermostat to change.
If the unit is not sized properly for your home, you may need to invest in a new hot water heater of the appropriate size to resolve the issue.
2. Excessively Hot
Water set to an excessively high temperature can be dangerous. If the thermostat was not turned up, which is a common cause of too hot water, then it’s likely a defective heating element. Both are troublesome.
Inside of the system, the overheat breaker should be blowing to prevent water temperatures from rising too high. Otherwise, shut off the breaker to the water heater and call an expert.
3. Burner Shuts Off
The burner is found on gas-powered hot water heaters and is designed to heat the water you request. It is found near the bottom of the tank. If the burner shuts off mid-cycle, it may require a thorough cleaning or replacement.
4. Odd Noises
Your water heater is not designed to be completely silent, however, you likely won’t notice it running unless you’re standing directly beside the tank or enjoying the fruits of its labor. But, if you start to hear a popping or snapping sound when the water heater is in operation, it could be scale or sediment buildup in the bottom of the tank. As the water inside is heated, the sediment is also heated – it expands and creates the weird noises you are now noticing.
The tank must be flushed and drained to remove any built-up sediment in the bottom. You’ll likely want an experienced plumber to handle the job, though.