Solve the most common problems of a water heater

October 17, 2014

A little bit of know-how and time to troubleshoot are all you need to keep the most common problems of a water heater from becoming big troubles down the line.

Solve the most common problems of a water heater

Most of the time, you take for granted the common pleasures of a working water heater: A warm shower in the morning, hot water for dish washing in the evening and every household task in between.

  • Turn on the tap and no hot water? You certainly aren’t going to take that for granted.

Relax – some common water heater problems are simple

You certainly know you have a water heater problem when the hot tap runs cold.

  • Good news for the fearful and non-mechanical: not every water heater problem means an expensive repair.

The circuit breaker to your electric water heater tripped off. The kids are taking baths, the dishwasher is running, and you just put in a load of towels on the “hot” setting.

Some simple water heater problems have simple solutions:

  • Reset the circuit breaker to your electric water heater.
  • Wait for your undersized water heater to catch up with your family’s demands.

Gas, electric or oil – troubleshoot your water heater

Want to save yourself worry and money? It’s easier than you think if you know some of the most common problems of a water heater that are bothersome and need attention, but aren’t potentially dangerous.

  • You might need to turn up the temperature or hit the reset button. If that works, you’re back in business — or hot water.

Others take some more troubleshooting. Some repairs you might do yourself or need to call the plumber for include:

  • Replacing burnt-out heating elements in an electric water heater
  • Replacing the old thermostat
  • Replacing a broken dip tube
  • Replacing the anode rod to fix bad-smelling or rust-coloured water
  • Checking that your hot and cold water connections are working

Pay attention to these water heater troubles now

  1. Strange noises and scary leaks are two of the most common problems with a water heater you should never ignore.
  • Groans and rumbles from your old water heater aren’t empty complaints about aging.
  • It’s sediment buildup that needs flushing. It won’t flush? You need a new water heater.

2. Hear a high-pitched or whining noise from the direction of your water heater?

  • Your water heater is building up pressure, and you need to check the pressure relief valve.
  • Is the valve leaking? Not sure what a pressure relief valve looks like on the side of your water heater? Shut off the water heater right now and call your plumber.

3. Small puddles of water at the base of your water heater are warning signs.

  • You’ve got a leak that is just growing.
  • At the very least, you’re creating the perfect mould environment.
  • At worst, just wait until that irritating leak becomes a flood that ruins your floors, walls and possessions. Why not call the plumber now instead?

Before the most common water heater problems visit your home, when your heating contractor does your annual furnace check, include your water heater in the service. Not sure how much longer your old water heater will last? Consider installing a new, high-efficiency water heater today.

*Not only is it dangerous, it may even be illegal in some provinces, such as Québec, to do your own electrical wiring. The solution: consider hiring a master electrician.

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