Many common water heater problems can be fixed without having to call a professional, while others are better left to the pros.
Whether you notice your water is coming in a little too hot or too cold, or you notice a bad smell from your faucet – it’s better to tackle the issue immediately before it disrupts your water tank.
There are many reasons why your water heater might be leaking, but once it leaks, you may need to go buy yourself a new one.
Leaks, even small ones, shouldn’t be ignored because it’s possible for that tiny leak to rupture.
Water tanks can hold 30 to 60 gallons of water at a time, and you won’t want to find that on your basement floor and soaking your utility room.
At the first sign of a leak, call a plumber so you figure out the best course of action – whether that’s a new heater or a specific part.
During this time, avoid using as much water as possible, or turn the water off altogether.
Too Little or No Hot Water
One of the most common water heater problems is a tank that doesn’t produce enough hot water.
Usually, you can simply turn up the temperature on the tank’s thermostat. Beware of turning it up too high, or you could scald yourself when taking a shower.
However, if you have absolutely no hot water, it could mean the pilot light has burned out on a gas-powered furnace. This may be due to a faulty pilot control valve or a broken thermocouple.
Most of the time, you can just relight the pilot light, but before you do, you should ensure that you don’t need to replace the thermocouple on a gas-powered heater.
For electric heaters, the heating element could be broken, which needs to be replaced.
Banging Noises From the Water Tank
A banging or noisy water tank is usually a bad sign because the water should move smoothly through the tank without disruption.
One of the first things you should check is if there is sediment at the bottom, which is usually caused by calcium build-up from hard water, or it’s coming from a rusty component.
If that’s the case, you’ll need to drain the heater completely. If you conduct yearly maintenance, this would have been done already.
What if you have conducted maintenance, but the tank is still banging? It could mean the heating element is burning out or has already burnt out.
You’ll need a technician to replace your heating element immediately so you can continue to have safe, hot water.
Bad Smelling Water
Smelly hot water is a bad sign because it means that the water has bacteria in it, or something fell into the water tank that shouldn’t be there.
You try to fix this problem yourself by flushing hydrogen peroxide with water down your toilet. Let the hydrogen peroxide sit in the tank for two hours, then flush with clear water.
This should take care of the problem.
If it doesn’t, call a plumber immediately because there could be a more significant issue at hand than your water heater acting up – especially if both the hot and cold water is smelly.