Did you know that water heating accounts for around 20% of your home’s total energy usage?
Your water heater is responsible for giving you all of the hot water that your household uses. Heating up water is a simple concept, but water heaters are complex devices with a lot of moving parts, regardless of whether you’ve got an electric or gas heater.
For that reason, there’s a lot that can go wrong with a water heater. If you’re struggling with water heater issues, this post is for you. Today, we’re going to tell you 5 of the most common water heater issues that Denver residents deal with, as well as how to fix them.
Regular water heater maintenance is essential to preserving your water heater, but every homeowner needs water heater repairs at some point. Keep reading, and you’ll get to know more about this overlooked but all-important device.
1. No Hot Water or Not Enough Hot Water
The most common issue that you’re going to have with your water heater is temperature fluctuations. There’s nothing more frustrating than turning on the shower to discover that you don’t have any hot water or getting in the shower and you only have a minute or two of hot water.
When it comes to temperature, you’ll have 3 problems: cold water, warm but not hot water, or really hot water. If the water is cold, it probably has to do with the thermostat or heating element.
The first thing to do is to reset the breaker in case it’s actually a blown fuse causing you problems. Check the power switches on the hot water tank to ensure they’re turned on, and the indicator lights are lit, then check the thermostat to make sure it’s receiving power.
If the water is warm but not hot, it could result from a crossed hot and cold connection, as well as a faulty thermostat or heating element. You can check the connections by turning off the water supply and turning a faucet on – if there’s water, the connection is crossed.
Failing that – and assuming your thermostat and heating element are both fine – it could be that your water tank is too small. If your water is too hot, you’ve probably got the thermostat set too high, which can be fixed by simply consulting the owner’s manual for your water heater.
2. Water Heater Leaks
A lack of hot water could also indicate a leak in your water heater. It’ll be pretty easy to spot a water leak, but not quite as easy to rectify the situation if it’s a bad leak. The best thing to do when you discover a leak is to contact a trained professional to come and work on your water heater.
Generally, water tank leaks result from a blocked drain valve, pressure issues in the tank caused by too much water, corrosion of the tank itself, loose bolts, or bad gaskets. It’s a good idea to go around the tank to check all of the connections and tighten any that seem too loose.
If you’re unable to locate the source of the leak and fix it yourself, you’re best to turn off the water heater and get help. The last thing you want is for the leak to get worse, which could eventually lead to flooding. When the issue is caused by things like tank or hardware corrosion, you may be in for a full tank replacement.
3. Water Pressure Problems
Low water pressure isn’t necessarily to do with your water heater, but it could be that it needs to be cleaned. As magnesium and calcium deposits form in your pipes and water tank, its ability to heat and distribute water will be negatively affected.
Flushing your water heater is a relatively easy process, but it’s a time-consuming one. This article gives you thorough instructions on how to do it yourself. The point of flushing the water out is to clear the tank of those mineral deposits that could be affecting water pressure.
If you’re still having issues with water flow after you’ve flushed the tank, it’s likely that your pipes have sediment in them. This is something you can’t deal with on your own, so contact a licensed plumber for assistance.
4. Discolored Water
When you turn the faucet on in your bathtub or sink, you always want to see clear water. If it’s got a tinge of white, that just means you’ve got hard water, but if it’s completely discolored, it could be that your water heater tank is rusting.
Your water tank will start rusting from the inside, which could be caused by a failing anode rod. If you catch this early enough, a plumber can simply replace the anode rod, and your water will be clear again.
A rusty tank, however, may need to be replaced, which is a bigger job. You may consider switching to a tankless water heater in the future if you’re afraid of the tank becoming rusty again.
5. Water Heater Noises
Your water heater should always be relatively silent compared to other important appliances, like a boiler or furnace. If it’s clearly making noise, the first thing you should do is check the pressure valve. You never want to put your water tank under unnecessary strain, as it could burst.
If it’s not a pressure valve problem, it’s likely another pesky sediment buildup. To rectify this, you’ll need to flush out the water heater, as described above
Tackling Denver Water Heater Issues Promptly
When any of these water heater issues arise, the best thing you can do is tackle them promptly. The longer you let these things fester, the more damaging they’ll become, which could result in expensive water heater repairs.
Water heater maintenance might not sound appealing to the average homeowner, but it’s essential to prolong your water heater’s lifespan. Come back and visit our blog for another water heater maintenance guide and don’t hesitate to contact us at Dr. Fix It to schedule service for any heating, cooling, plumbing, or electric woes in your Denver-area home.