Understanding Common Water Heater Problems

A water heater is an appliance that households rely on throughout the day, every day. Whether for showering, laundering clothing, or washing dishes, hot water is essential. Most people don't spend much time thinking about their hot water heater — it is often hidden away in a basement, closet, or garage. But, when a water heater begins experiencing problems, it can be quite alarming. Luckily, water heaters can typically be repaired if they are showing signs of problems. Some of the most common issues seen with water heaters include:

Lukewarm Water

When you turn on a hot water tap, it is natural to expect hot water to flow. Thus, if the water coming out of a hot water tap is only lukewarm, it is a sign of a problem. In this type of situation, first check the thermostat on your water heater to make sure that it has not been turned down to a low temperature. If your water heater thermostat is set to a hot temperature but you still only have lukewarm water, it will most likely need professional attention. One cause of lukewarm water is a heating element that is wearing out. If a heating element fails completely, your water heater may not produce any hot water.

Water Smells Bad

Hot water from your water heater should be clean and fresh. Thus, it can be an unpleasant surprise to turn on the hot water and detect a foul odor. Smelly hot water is usually caused by a buildup of bacteria inside the water heater tank. You may find that the water has the odor of rotten eggs. Stinky hot water is usually a very easy fix. All you will need to do is have your water heater drained, cleaned, and flushed. After this process is completed, your hot water should no longer have a bad smell.

Sounds from Water Heater Tank

If you own a home, it is in your best interest to inspect your water heater regularly, preferably while it is running and heating water. A water heater in good repair should not make much noise. If you hear strange sounds, such as popping, cracking, or hissing, it usually indicates that you have a buildup of minerals and sediment inside the tank. The sounds being made are pieces of sediment heating up when they encounter the heating element. The best course of action is to have your water heater drained and flushed to remove sediment. 

Speak to a hot water heater professional for more information. 


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