As a homeowner during those cold winter months, the last thing you would want is for your hot water heater to stop working. Fortunately, hot water heaters give warning signs before completely failing. It’s important to always be on top of these signs to avoid having any issues with your heater in the future. When you become aware of the issues sooner than later, it can prevent additional water damage or unexpected costs. Read our guide on how to know if your water heater is going out.
What Can Cause a Hot Water Heater to Stop Working?
Experiencing a water heater that suddenly stops functioning properly can be really frustrating when it is cold outside. Here are some common reasons why your water heater isn’t working:
- Thermostat Failure – This can result in inconsistent water temperatures or no hot water at all.
- Pilot Light Goes Out – If the pilot light is out, the burner won’t ignite, resulting in no hot water.
- Sediment Buildup – Sediment can build up at the bottom of the tank and cause severe damage to the tank.
- Corrosion – As the water heater ages, the tank, and pipes can corrode, causing leaks or the unit to fail.
- Loose Parts – Leaky faucets could mean that loose bolts need to be tightened.
- Electrical or Gas Supply Issues – If the water heater is not receiving enough power or fuel, then it may not function properly. This could mean that there is a problem with the circuit breaker or gas line.
- Loss of Water Pressure – This can come from a leak in the tank and pipes or a malfunctioning pressure valve.
If you have attempted to repair any of these common issues and your water heater still has problems, then it might be time for a replacement.
Signs That Your Water Heater Is Going out
Like any other home appliance, hot water heaters can break down over time. It is important that you address the issues right away before the problem can become worse. Here are a few things to look out for when exploring the warning signs:
Water Heater’s Age
One of the most common signs of a failing hot water heater is age. Water heaters typically have a lifespan of 8-12 years. If your water heater is close to its time, it may be the right time to consider a new replacement. The best way to find the age of your hot water heater is by checking the manufacturer’s label or owner’s manual.
If you start to see rusty or discolored hot water coming out of your faucets, this could mean that the water heater is corroding from the inside out. We highly recommend calling a local plumber to address the issue as soon as possible, as rusty water can damage other parts of the appliance.
Strange Noises Coming From the Water Heater
Unusual noises from your water heater does not necessarily mean that it is failing. It could be a reminder to get it serviced by a professional. Better to be safe than sorry and check for any signs of poor water flow or loose valves. When a plumber inspects the source of the sound they can determine any necessary repairs.
Water puddles under the unit of your hot water heater could mean that the valves or connections need tightening or replacing. If the source of the leaking is coming from the tank, you are definitely going to need a replacement. Over time, leaking can cause severe damage to your home. Contact a professional right away to resolve this issue.
Lower Water Pressure
Low water pressure should be taken care of as soon as possible to avoid further damage and sediment buildup. If you start to notice low water pressure in your shower or faucets, then have a plumber assess the situation to determine the cause of the issue and if your water heater is in need of a repair or replacement.
Water Temperature Becomes Inconsistent
If you begin to notice inconsistencies in your water temperature or find that you’re running out of hot water quicker than usual, it may be time to consider a replacement. These symptoms could be linked to an issue with the thermostat, a damaged heating element, or a buildup of sediment in the tank.
Should You Replace or Repair Your Water Heater?
Sometimes repairing a hot water heater can become more costly than replacing it. This can depend on the problem. If it’s been a long time since your water heater has been replaced and it is starting to have issues, then you probably already know the answer.
Still not sure what to do? Contact the professionals at Express Home Services to investigate the problem and determine the best solution for your home. Located in Utah and Nevada, We offer HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services. Get a free quote today!