5 Most Common Water Heater Problems

Common Water Heater Problems

Water heater problems are common in households, and homeowners should be good enough to tackle the most basic ones. Water heaters do a thankless job; you can feel their importance once they stop working. As long as you get a hot water supply at your faucets, you overlook the role of the heater.

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Water heaters can malfunction sometimes, and in the worst case, they may even stop working. The homeowners should gain enough knowledge about the common water heater problems, their indications, and solutions to fix them. Fortunately, this article is full of informative content on the said topic.

Working Principle of Water Heaters

Water heaters require a desired or set temperature for water. The thermostat acts like an intelligent switch for the heating element. Once the desired temperature value is reached, the thermostat turns off the supply, and the heating element stops further water heating. Water heaters can store hot water, and different heaters have different storage capacities.

The storage water heaters have high storage capacity, while the instant or tankless water heaters only heat the water on demand without much storage. Selection of the heaters depends on personal choice.

Most Common Water Heater Problems and Their Solutions

This section discusses the five most common water heater problems, and if you are curious about how to fix water heater problems, this section will provide a detailed answer to your issue.

1. Water Temperature Issues

When you set the desired water temperature on your thermostat, you expect hot water at that temperature. If the water heater is not in good condition and is not working correctly, you can get extremely hot or cold water running through your faucet. Common water temperature issues are described below:

  • The water is too hot.
  •  It’s too cold.
  • Water takes a long time to heat up.
  • After some time, the hot water supply diminishes away.

Possible Issues

If you are facing a water temperature issue, it can be due to the following reasons.

  • The thermostat of the water heater needs to be fixed

Solution: If the thermostat does not work correctly, you need to check it by opening the access panel and the cover and replacing it if needed.

  • The pilot light (for gas heaters) gets burnt, or the breaker trips ( for electrical heaters).

Solution: You can reignite the pilot light or flip the breaker switch.

  • The size of the water heater is incompatible with your requirements.

Solution: Change the water heater, or add another unit.

  • There is an issue with the water connections.

Solution: Call a plumber to fix the connection issues.

2. Sediments Deposition

Sediment deposition in your water heater can produce a hissing or knocking sound, like pinging through your pipes as it passes through. The water in most parts of the world contains some minerals, which can deposit inside the heater tank.

Sediments can affect the water pressure through the line and disturb water flow. Resultantly, the water slows down and even stops if the pipe’s diameter is manageable.

Solution: You can remove the build-ups by draining the whole water inside the tank. If you still face the problem, call a professional to sort out the issue.

3. Water Leaks

If the hot water supply is insufficient, water leakage can be a potential reason for it. When the hot water leaks through the tank or the pipes, enough hot water will not reach the endpoints. Moreover, water pooling around the tank or anywhere in the house is nothing less than a nightmare for homeowners.

Solution: If water leaks through a pipe, apply some temporary solutions like epoxy putty, silicon tape, and pipe clamp, and wait for the plumber to resolve the issue permanently.

Water Heater Problems

4. Discoloured Water

Let us create a scenario to understand the importance of this issue. Early Monday morning, you turn on your tap to brush your teeth and see discolored or dirty water coming out. One of the primary reasons for this problem is the corrosion inside your water tank, originating from a failing anti-corrosion anode rod.

Solution: You should replace the anode rod; if the problem persists, you must replace the whole unit. Moreover, corrosion is a serious issue and can cause leakages in the future.

5. Smelly Hot Water

If you direly need a shower, you get smelly hot water when you turn your shower tap. In most cases, the water smells like rotten eggs or sulfur. The bacteria in the tank or the faulty anode rod are the issue in this case. You need to solve this issue on priority to avoid any health issues.

Solution: You should replace the anode rod and clean the whole system to remove the bacteria.


Water heater problems are the story of every house when they age above a decade. Different issues occur in the water heaters; you can handle them by applying different solutions. All homeowners must know the basic working principle of water heaters and their common problems with reasonable solutions.


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