You likely don’t spend much time thinking about your hot water heater, especially if it has always been reliable. If your water heater develops a problem, however, its troubles can negatively impact several aspects of your life. Your water heater can experience multiple different issues that have a variety of sources. An expert plumber can resolve these issues for you through repair or replacement.
No Hot Water
Few hot water heater problems cause more immediate irritation than a complete lack of hot water. If no hot water at all is coming out of your faucets, then you might have a bad heating element, a faulty thermostat, or a blown-out pilot light. You can check your power switches and change your fuses to rule out electrical problems, but you should consult a professional to solve this issue if those measures don’t work. Turn to us for plumbing solutions!
Overly Hot Water
Maybe your hot water heater has the opposite problem and is producing water that is way too hot. You might be able to fix this issue by simply lowering the temperature of your water on your hot water heater’s thermostat. If lowering the temperature on the thermostat doesn’t solve the issue, then you likely need to have your thermostat replaced.
Not Enough Hot Water
Another problem your water heater can develop is an inability to produce enough hot water for you to complete your tasks. If your showers start out at the ideal warm temperature and gradually or suddenly decline, then you might have a malfunctioning thermostat, a broken dip tube, or a buildup of sediment in your tank.
You might also end up dealing with a water heater that can only produce warm water at best. If your unit is relatively new, then you might be dealing with crossed lines, which can result in hot and cold tank inlet connections being installed improperly. Other potential reasons for lukewarm water production include a faulty dip tube, a problematic heating element, and a water heater that’s too small for your current demands.
Water Warms Slowly
Perhaps your water does eventually get hot, but doing so takes far longer than you think it should. If your water takes more than a couple of minutes to become hot, then you might have a contaminated burner orifice or gas pressure that’s too low.
Low Water Pressure
If the water pressure coming from your cold-water faucets is fine but the pressure coming from your hot taps is poor, then you may have a sediment buildup in the bottom of your hot water heater. If the sediment level in your heater isn’t the problem, then you may need to have your home outfitted with larger pipes that can accommodate modern appliances and water demands.
Inconsistent Water Temperature
Your hot water heater might develop a problem that causes it to produce alternating bursts of hot, warm, and cold water. This can be a glaring sign of serious issues within your water heater, so you should have a professional examine it as quickly as possible.
One of the most expensive problems your water heater may develop is a leak. A leaky water heater can flood your house and cause extensive damage. Tanks often become rusty and corroded over time, leading to a level of tank failure that requires a replacement of the entire unit. Just because your hot water heater is leaking doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be replaced. Common causes of leaks that don’t require a replacement of your unit include loose bolts and plumbing connections, dip tube problems, poorly installed plumbing connections, and condensation resulting from low water temperature.
Over time, you might notice your water beginning to take on a yellow or orange tinge. If this has just begun to happen, then you might be able to save your unit by hiring a professional to replace the anode rod in your hot water heater. If switching out your system’s anode rod doesn’t keep rust out of your water, then you’ll likely have to have your unit replaced.
Hot water that smells like rotten eggs or sewage could be an indication of a bacteria buildup in your tank. Having the hot water flushed will often get rid of this problem; annual flushing can help to prevent bacteria growth. If flushing the tank doesn’t work, then replacing the anode rod might solve the problem. Continued trouble with foul odors coming from your hot water likely indicates the need for a new water heater.
Sediment buildup can eventually cause your hot water heater to make a wide variety of odd sounds. Popping, banging, crackling, rumbling, knocking, and hissing sounds can all be signs that you need to have your water heater flushed. If your unit makes a high-pitched whining noise, then its heating elements might have a limescale buildup on them.
Any water heater that is older than eight years can reach the end of its life, causing numerous problems when it breaks for good. Some water heaters might last 10 or even 15 years, but your unit will likely have age-related issues before a decade and a half has passed. Regular maintenance by a qualified professional can help you to get the most out of your hot water heater.
If you start to feel as if you know your plumber a little too well because he spends so much time at your house fixing your water heater, then you might want to buy a new unit. A water heater that routinely breaks likely needs to be replaced. The price of repairs over time won’t be a sensible investment, and the risk of costly flooding should be avoided.
Costs More to Run
A higher energy bill can be a sign that your hot water heater is not operating as efficiently as it should. When sediment builds up in the bottom of the heater’s tank, it keeps the heat from transferring evenly throughout the tank. Having the heater flushed may help with this problem. The alternative is replacement.
Lack of Power
At some point, your hot water heater may simply not turn on. If you have a gas unit that won’t turn on, then you might have a pilot light problem, which can be caused by a faulty gas valve or thermocouple. If your hot water heater has worn out and won’t work, then you’ll have to get a new heater.
HVAC and Plumbing Assistance in Charlotte
At Healthy Home Heating & Air, our skilled experts are up to the task of providing a large range of plumbing and HVAC services in Charlotte, NC. We’re capable of working on your water heaters, pipes, drains, toilets, faucets, showers, and more. You can also trust us to install, replace, and maintain your heating and cooling system. We can help keep your indoor air quality high by cleaning your air ducts, installing a humidifier, and putting in an air cleaner.
Contact us today if you need high-quality HVAC, septic, or plumbing assistance in Charlotte.