Troubleshooting Hot Water Heater Problems

Ningthoujam Sandhyarani May 13, 2019
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Problems with a water heater can be really annoying, especially in the cold winter months. Here are some of the most common problems and their solutions.
A water heater is a common home appliance that is used to constantly supply hot water. Heating water consumes the most electricity. With the advancement of technology, many energy-efficient heaters are now available in the market.
The most common energy-saving heaters are storage, tankless, and solar ones. For outdoors, portable water heaters can be used. The electronic configuration and source of fuel are different but the basic principle behind all types is the same. In every heater, normal cold water (tap water) is heated by a heating system and warm water is collected via tap.
Each heater has its own advantages and disadvantages. Like any other appliances, these have certain problems. It is to be noted that repair should be carried out only if you are familiar with the device. In case, you are planning to fix anything, first turn the heater off, close the water input, and drain the water.

Problems And Their Solutions

No Hot Water

This may be caused due to a defect in the heating element and/or gas thermocouple. You can replace these components to fix the problem by following the manufacturer's guidelines.

Insufficient Hot Water

Check the thermostat setting; adjust it if it's set too low. Another cause may be due to a defect in the dip tube that will draw the cold water out directly without heating. You can consult a professional to fix this.

Too Hot or Too Cold Water

This is caused due to changing the thermostat setting frequently. Try adjusting the setting to the desired temperature of hot water.

Pilot Light Problem

Pilot light may go on and off frequently, try to relight the pilot light. If this doesn't work, call a serviceman to fix it up. The problem may be due to draft, defective thermocouple or dirt in the gas line that clogs the pilot line.

Smelly Water

This problem is common with heaters installed with a magnesium anode rod. Odor from the water may be due to the presence of impurities, especially microorganisms like bacteria. Clean by flushing the heater with chlorine water. To solve this problem, you can consider replacing the old rod with an aluminum anode rod.

Noisy Functioning

Noises can be due to contraction and expansion of metal equipment or scale formation inside the heater. The latter case can be solved by flushing the heater once every month.

Slow Hot Water Recovery

It can be due to sediment accumulation or problems in burner operation and air combustion.

Leaking Tank

This is a common problem, especially with old tanks due to corrosion or other reasons. The only solution for this malfunction is to replace the water tank.
These are some common problems that arise with water heaters. You can minimize the chances of these problems by opting for regular servicing, as per the manufacturer's guidelines. In order to avoid sediment accumulation, it is advisable to flush the heater out regularly.