5 Common Hot Water Heater Problems


While it isn’t something you may think about on a daily basis, a hot water heater is one of the most valuable appliances in your home, as it supplies your taps and appliances with hot water every single day. However, if you ignore even the small problems with your water heater, you’ll not only end up with freezing cold water but also with expensive cleanup and repair work. By becoming familiar with these hot water heater issues, you’ll be more competent to adequately identify them and take proper actions to solve them. Here are a few of the most common hot water heater problems to help you know what you should do to get them repaired and to get your hot water back.

Not enough hot water

When the water from your tank takes longer than usual to heat up or when no hot water is showing up at all, then there’s certainly a problem, possibly related to your heat source. For electric water heaters, the heating parts could have failed or their electrical connection could have been damaged. When it comes to gas water heaters, the issue may be related to a bad pilot light or malfunctioning gas connection. In case your pilot light is lit but the gas doesn’t flare up, that could be caused by your burner as a whole, which might be in need of repairing. However, if you have a newer heater that has an electronic ignition system, you should examine your breaker box to determine if the circuit of your water heater has been broken. In that case, you should reset it and you’ll be free of problems when it comes to getting your heater to ignite once more.

Leaking water heater

When noticing a decline in the water temperature, there’s a high chance that there may be a leak in your water heater. That’s why it’s essential you discover the origin and cause of the leak in order to fix it. There are several primary causes of leaks such as their age, low maintenance, the tank’s pressure, bad plumbing installation, and loose drain valve, to name a few. A leak can be very evident from pools of water near the appliance, which could be dripping from the unit or from the pipes connected to it. Don’t underestimate the danger of a leaking water heater, as it can lead to a flood. For example, when looking for professionals to help you in Australia, in particular in the outskirts of Sydney, don’t hesitate to search for experts for hot water maintenance in Wollongong to help you with an emergency repair. 

Smelly and dirty water

Water that’s smelly and dirty might indicate there’s some contamination in the water tank. A solution to this problem may be to flush the tank once or twice a year to manage a healthy water heater. On the other hand, if the water has a cloudy color or is dirty, then the most likely cause would be a build-up of sedimentation and mineralization inside the tank. Any build-up inside the tank can reduce its efficiency, so asking a professional would be the best solution. 

Strange noise coming from the water tank

Hearing unusual noises coming from the water tank can be an indicator of different potential issues, and identifying a specific problem may be challenging to do alone. When it comes to gas water heaters, noises like popping, hissing, and banging can either be a clue that the heating elements of the tank are burning sediment on the inside or it can be that the parts themselves are burning out and need to be replaced. In this case, it’s highly suggested to flush the tank.

Damaged gas control or burner assembly

Another common problem with hot water heaters is a damaged gas control or burner. If the burner is dirty or out of function, a water heater cannot operate adequately. In order to solve this problem, you should replace the damaged gas control or burner assembly, which is also known as a thermocouple. If you want to replace the thermocouple on your own, then you first have to turn off the gas and the water to make sure it wouldn’t lead to further damage.

Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into the most common hot water heater problems to help you know what to do and get your water heater to its best condition. 


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