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Common Water Heater Problems

A water heater is an essential appliance in every home, providing us with hot water for showers, washing dishes, and other daily tasks. However, like any appliance, Water Heater Repair sometimes is needed. In this article, we’ll explore common water heater problems, types of water heaters, DIY repair tips, and when to call a professional for help.

Insufficient Hot Water

One of the most common complaints with water heaters is not having enough hot water. This issue can be caused by a variety of factors, including a malfunctioning thermostat, a broken heating element, or a tank that is too small for the household’s needs.

Leaking Water Heater

A leaking water heater is not only a nuisance but can also lead to water damage if left unaddressed. Leaks can stem from a damaged pressure relief valve, a corroded tank, or loose connections.

Strange Noises

Hearing strange noises coming from your water heater, such as popping or rumbling, can be alarming. These sounds are often caused by sediment buildup in the tank, which can lead to reduced efficiency and potential damage to the unit.

Discolored or Smelly Water

Discolored or smelly hot water can be caused by a failing anode rod, which allows bacteria to grow inside the tank, leading to unpleasant odors and discolored water. Replacing the anode rod can help resolve this issue.

Types of Water Heaters

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand or instant water heaters, heat water as it flows through the unit, eliminating the need for a storage tank. They are energy-efficient and provide hot water almost instantly but may require more maintenance than traditional water heaters.

Storage Tank Water Heaters

Storage tank water heaters are the most common type of water heater, with a large tank that stores and heats water. They are generally more affordable than tankless options but may be less energy-efficient and have a limited supply of hot water.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters utilize the heat from the air or ground to heat water, making them highly energy efficient. However, they may not be suitable for all climates and can be more expensive upfront.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters harness the power of the sun to heat water, offering an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient solution. These systems can be more expensive to install but can result in significant long-term savings on energy bills.

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DIY Water Heater Repair Tips

Flushing the Tank

Over time, sediment can build up in your water heater tank, reducing its efficiency and causing strange noises. Flushing the tank regularly can help remove this sediment and improve the performance of your water heater. To flush the tank, turn off the power and water supply, attach a hose to the drain valve, and open the valve to drain the water. Once the tank is empty, briefly open the water supply to help flush out any remaining sediment before closing the drain valve and refilling the tank.

Replacing the Anode Rod

The anode rod is a crucial component of your water heater that helps prevent corrosion by sacrificing itself to protect the tank. Over time, the anode rod will deteriorate and need to be replaced. To replace the anode rod, turn off the power and water supply to your water heater, drain a few gallons of water from the tank, and then use a wrench to unscrew the old anode rod. Insert the new rod, tighten it in place, and restore the water and power supply.

Adjusting the Temperature

If your water is too hot or not hot enough, you can adjust the thermostat on your water heater to find the ideal temperature. For most households, a temperature of 120°F (49°C) is recommended to balance comfort and energy efficiency. To adjust the temperature, turn off the power to your water heater, remove the access panel, and use a screwdriver to adjust the thermostat dial. Replace the access panel and restore power to the unit.

Resetting the Circuit Breaker

If your water heater is not working at all, it’s possible that the circuit breaker has tripped. Check your home’s electrical panel to see if the breaker for your water heater has been tripped and reset it if necessary. If the breaker continues to trip, contact a professional, as there may be a more significant issue at hand.

When to Call a Professional

Safety Concerns

Water heater repairs often involve working with electricity and hot water, which can be dangerous if not handled correctly. If you are unsure about any aspect of a repair or do not feel comfortable performing the task, it’s best to call a professional.

Complicated Repairs

Some water heater repairs, such as replacing a heating element or fixing a leaking tank, require specialized tools and knowledge. If you encounter a problem that you’re unable to fix on your own, it’s time to call a professional plumber.

Replacing the Water Heater

If your water heater is old, inefficient, or beyond repair, you may need to consider replacing it with a new, more energy-efficient model. A professional plumber can help you choose the right water heater for your home and install it safely and correctly.

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FAQs Water Heater Repair

  1. How often should I flush my water heater? It’s recommended to flush your water heater at least once a year to remove sediment and maintain efficiency.
  2. How long does a water heater typically last? The average lifespan of a water heater is 10-15 years, depending on the type, maintenance, and water quality.
  3. Can I install a water heater myself? Installing a water heater can be a complex task that requires knowledge of plumbing and electrical work. It’s best to leave this job to professionals like the experienced team at Jilly Plumbing in Boerne. They can ensure your water heater is installed safely and efficiently, providing you with peace of mind.
  4. What are the signs that my water heater needs to be replaced? Indications that your water heater may need to be replaced include age (over 10-15 years old), frequent repairs, rust-colored water, leaks, and insufficient hot water supply.
  5. How can I make my water heater more energy-efficient? You can improve your water heater’s energy efficiency by insulating the tank, lowering the temperature setting, installing a timer, and performing regular maintenance, such as flushing the tank and replacing the anode rod.


Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact Jilly Plumbing in Boerne today!

If you’re experiencing water heater issues or are in need of a new water heater, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Jilly Plumbing in Boerne. Our team of skilled technicians can help diagnose and repair your water heater or install a new, energy-efficient model to keep your home comfortable and save you money in the long run. Contact us today for all your water heater needs!

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