When a water heater begins to malfunction, it is best to call in a professional immediately, but it does make the whole repair process go a lot faster if you are able to give the plumbing technician a heads up regarding what the problem is exactly. This gives them a chance to come over adequately prepared to handle the problem. On that note, here are some common water heater problems that every homeowner should be aware of.
The Misleading Pilot Light
If you are not getting hot water out of your tank, check to see if the pilot light is on. If it is on and there is still no hot water, it is a clear indication that something is wrong, and you need to call in a professional to figure out the exact problem. It may not seem like much, but even this little piece of information over the phone is often enough for the plumber to come prepared for the task ahead.
Insufficient Hot Water
If the amount of hot water supplied by your tank isn’t enough for your needs, it could mean a number of things, the most common of which are as follows.
- The hot water tank is too small
- The thermostat is either malfunctioning or it is malfunctioning
- The heating mechanism has become inefficient due to mineral deposits
More often than not, a small tank is the culprit in such situations and the only solution is upgrading to a larger model. Figuring out the right tank size for your needs and getting the hot water tank installed properly are tasks that are best left to experienced professionals, so consult them before you actually buy the bigger unit.
The Water is Either Too Cold or Too Hot
If the water coming out of your tank is either too hot or too cold, it probably means that the hot water tank needs a flush to clear out all the mineral deposits, which are interfering with the normal functioning of the water heater. Alternately, it could be a malfunctioning thermostat as well. The technician should be able to determine what the exact problem is after taking a look, but if you have had the tank cleaned in the last 3 – 6 months, the thermostat is likely the problem here.
Rust in Water/Colored Water
If you see rusty, reddish-brown water come out of the faucet or shower when you turn them on, the problem is more serious than just dirty water. This is a sign that the glass lining inside the hot water tank has cracked sufficiently to allow metal corrosion. If you already have an anode rod inside the tank, it is time to replace it, or it could be time to replace the whole tank, provided it’s more than 8 – 10 years old.
It’s never nice to wake up to a broken water heater, but it’s always a possibility, nonetheless. The good news is that we can almost certainly make sure that never happens by ensuring proper installation, regular maintenance, and consistent checkups throughout the year.