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A hot water heater is one of the essential appliances in any home, providing heated water for everyday use, including bathing, cooking, and cleaning. Just like any other appliance, a water heater may experience problems over time. It’s crucial to be aware of these issues and act promptly to prevent unpleasant surprises like waking up to a cold shower on a cold winter morning. At Jilly Plumbing, we see a wide range of water heater issues regularly, and our knowledgeable team of licensed and certified plumbers has the expertise to tackle any problem. In this informative blog post, we’ll delve into the common water heater problems you may encounter and provide expert advice on troubleshooting those issues and when it’s best to call in a professional.

Some of the most common water heater problems include insufficient hot water, fluctuating water temperature, discolored water, strange noises, and leaks. All these issues can be fixed, but it’s essential to troubleshoot effectively and determine the root cause of the problem. This allows our plumbers to provide the most efficient and long-lasting solution to ensure your water heater continues to function optimally for years to come.

By the end of this post, you will be equipped with the basic knowledge to recognize these common water heater issues and make an informed decision on whether to troubleshoot the problem on your own or call in a professional, like Jilly Plumbing, to handle the situation. Not only does prompt action save you from the inconvenience of being without hot water, but it also prevents further damage to your heating unit and plumbing system.

If you need expert advice, a repair, or even a new water heater installation, contact Jilly Plumbing at [] today to schedule an appointment with our highly skilled and experienced plumbers in the San Antonio metro area.

Troubleshooting Common Water Heater Problems – Expert Advice by Jilly Plumbing

The Importance of Water Heater Maintenance

Regular water heater maintenance is crucial as it ensures the longevity and efficiency of the appliance. Sometimes, simple maintenance tasks can help avoid the occurrence of common problems, saving homeowners unnecessary expenses and stress. In this section, we’ll tackle the importance of upkeep and how neglecting this can lead to water heater issues.

Routine maintenance includes checking for leaks, flushing the system to remove sediment build-up, inspecting the pressure-relief valve, and adjusting the heater’s thermostat to optimal levels. These tasks not only help you identify existing problems but can also extend the life of your water heater and contribute to energy savings.

Insufficient Hot Water

One of the most common water heater problems reported by homeowners is insufficient hot water. This may be a result of various issues, such as a faulty thermostat, low gas pressure, or a malfunctioning heating element. In some cases, a small or aging water heater might not be able to meet the increased demand for hot water in a growing household.

To address this problem, first, check if the thermostat is set at the right temperature. For a standard household, the ideal range is between 120°F and 140°F. If the thermostat is functioning correctly, but the problem persists, inspect the heating element in electric heaters or the gas supply in gas heaters. If the issue remains unresolved, it might be time to call in a professional from Jilly Plumbing for a thorough inspection and possible water heater replacement.

Fluctuating Water Temperature

Dealing with inconsistent water temperature is both frustrating and dangerous, as it can lead to scalding accidents. This issue often occurs due to mineral build-up in the tank, a damaged mixing valve, or faulty heating elements.

To tackle this problem, flush the tank to eliminate any mineral build-up and ensure there are no foreign items trapped in the pipes causing blockages. If you have a gas water heater, check the burner for dirt or soot, which can affect the flame quality. Cleaning the burner can rectify this issue. In the case of faulty heating elements or mixing valves, you would need the expertise of a professional plumber to replace the parts.

Discolored Water

Discolored or rusty water may indicate corrosion inside the water heater or the presence of bacteria colonies. In either case, this is a health hazard that should not be ignored.

If the heater tank is corroding, it can lead to leaks and require immediate replacement. This can be confirmed by draining the tank and checking for signs of rust. To eliminate any bacteria, flush the tank and increase the temperature to 160°F for a short period to kill any microbial presence. Afterward, remember to return the temperature to a safe level.

Strange Noises

Any unusual noises coming from a water heater, such as rumbling, hissing, or popping sounds, can indicate several problems. This might be due to sediment build-up, extreme pressure in the tank, or deteriorating parts.

The first step to resolve this issue is to drain the tank to remove any sediment build-up. If the noises persist, checking the pressure-relief valve is the next step to ensure the pressure levels are within the recommended range. In some cases, a faulty heating element or other worn-out components can cause strange noises, and you might need a professional plumber to replace the parts.

Leak Detection and Prevention

A leaking water heater can result in expensive damages and contribute to wastage of a valuable resource. Regular inspections can help identify leaks early on, saving you from high repair costs.

Keep an eye on its surroundings, check the connections, and inspect the pressure-relief valve for any signs of leakage. By maintaining the proper temperature and pressure settings, you can prevent excess pressure from building up and causing leaks in the future.


While some water heater problems can be tackled by homeowners, professional plumbing services from a reputable company like Jilly Plumbing can address complex issues and extend the life of your water heater. Our team of licensed and certified plumbers has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform regular maintenance checks, troubleshoot issues, and provide cost-effective, long-lasting solutions to ensure you and your family won’t have to go without hot water.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for all your water heater concerns and plumbing needs in the San Antonio metro area. We are ready to deliver unparalleled services tailored to your specific requirements.

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