Your hot water heater makes it possible for the dishwasher to wash your dishes properly, those great hot showers on cold winter mornings, and your clothes to be clean. It is an important part of the bones of your home.
These heaters do a lot of work on a daily basis in your home which is why they only have a lifespan of around 10 years.
This short lifespan is an indicator that there will be repairs that need to be done to it at some point. There are gas and electric water heaters and many of the issues that we list are common for both types. If it is specific for one kind or another, we will make sure to highlight that point for you.
PILOT LIGHT NOT LIT
This is a problem that only occurs on gas model water heaters. If a pilot light is not lit, it is most likely due to a bad thermocouple or thermostatic control. The thermostatic control is an easier thing to deal with than the thermocouple. The thermocouple is the part that is directly responsible for lighting the pilot light. If this part is the problem, you are going to want to call in a professional to deal with this.
WATER TOO COLD
This is a serious problem that is going to require a total diagnostic test to run on the water heater. This problem usually occurs when, either, the heater element or the control valve is broken or malfunctioning. This is a big problem that is going to require you to call in a professional repair technician.
FLUCTUATING WATER TEMPERATURE
There are usually two different thermostats that work to maintain the proper temperature of the water in the water heater. If the water temperature is shifting from too hot to too cold, you are going to have to test each thermostat to see which one is the problem. Once you narrow it down, it is a simple part exchange that will fix the problem.
WATER HEATER IS LEAKING
The older a water heater gets, the more likely it is to spring a leak. Leaks can commonly be contributed to pressure relief valves, element gaskets, and drain valves. You will just need to expect the heater to find where the leak is coming from and replace the part. This is quite a simple troubleshooting and fix issue to handle.
WATER TOO HOT
Like the fluctuating temperature, water that is too hot is likely due to one of the two thermostats not working properly. On many models, there is an upper and lower thermostat to make sure that the temperature is consistent. You will need to determine which one is not working and replace it and the water temperature will get back to the set temperature.
LOUD & UNUSUAL NOISE
Mineral buildup in the water tank itself is considered to be the primary cause of noise in a gas water heater and it can be the cause in an electric one as well. This is a common problem, especially if your home has hard water. This will require the tank and the valves of the water heater to be cleaned out. If you have an electric water heater, the heating element may be the source of the loud noises.
You should never feel obligated to fix something that you are not confident in fixing. These are common issues that may arise but if you are not comfortable working on a water heater, call in a pro.
Also, call in a professional if there is a complicated problem that you just are not able to troubleshoot yourself. Just make sure that the repair technician has experience working on the type of water heater that you have. Companies we recommend:
One Source Appliance Repair
Guinco Appliance Repair
A Plus Service & Repair