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How to Troubleshoot Water Heater Problems

Is your water heater out of sight, out of mind, until something goes wrong? That’s the way it is for most home owners. You probably don’t bother checking on your water heater until a complication occurs. But when water heater problems do happen, do you know what to do to diagnose and fix the issue? Below the experts at Pipe Dream Plumbing provide tips on how to troubleshoot and repair seven common water heater problems.

  • Water Leaks. Water heater leaks can be caused by leaking valves, connections, or a corroded tank. If the leak is coming from the temperature and pressure valve, try opening and flushing out any debris. For connection leaks, try tightening the connections or bolts. However, don’t over-tighten them. Unfortunately, if your water tank is leaking, you’ll need to replace it. Contact Pipe Dream Plumbing to see about installing a new water heater. If the location of your water heater is cramped for space, consider installing a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters take up little space, and they use 30% to 50% less energy – saving you money.
  • No Hot Water. If you turn on your faucets and you have no hot water, one of several things could be occurring. 1) If you have a gas water heater, your pilot light may have blown out and you need to relight it. 2) You could have a damaged thermostat. 3) You may have a faulty heating element (on electric water heaters) or thermocouple (on gas water heaters). You’ll need to have a defective thermostat, heating element and/or thermocouple replaced by one of our plumbing professionals.
  • Not Enough Hot Water. Are you always taking a cold shower after your family has used all the hot water? An undersized water heater may be the culprit. Talk to Jeff Clements at Pipe Dream Plumbing to determine if your hot water demand is exceeding the capacity of your water heater. If so, you’ll need to install a new, larger water heater or a tankless water heater.
  • Hot Water Is Too Hot. If you have small children, you don’t want your hot water to possibly scald your kids if they play with the faucet knobs. If you think your water is too hot, the thermostat may be set too high. A normal temperature setting is between 110 degrees F and 140 degrees F. Reduce your temperature setting to 100 degrees F.
  • Rust Colored Water. Is your water a reddish-brown color? The inside of your water tank may be corroded, or the anode rod may be failing. Have the plumbers at Pipe Dream inspect your water heater. You may need to replace the anode rod or the entire tank.
  • Hot Water Smells Bad. The hot water in your tank may be reacting with the anode rod, causing a high concertation of sulfates. Try flushing out your tank. If this doesn’t fix the problem, the anode rod may need to be replaced.
  • Noisy Water Heater. If your water heater is making noises, it could be: 1) the water heater has sediment inside the tank, and the sediment is being burned away by the heating element; or 2) the heating element is burning out. Try flushing out the tank to remove the sediment. If this doesn’t help, the heating element needs to be replaced.

By knowing how to troubleshoot and repair common water heater problems, you may be able to save some money. However, you also need to know when to call the professionals at Pipe Dream Plumbing, too. For all your water heater problems, call us at 317-388-1988 to schedule a free estimate. We can help you get rid of your water heater nightmares.