A water heater is relied upon for many tasks around the home, including washing dishes, doing laundry, to taking a shower. Water heater problems can create serious issues for homeowners and their families. They can also have serious repercussions for your plumbing system. Therefore, it’s important to address any potential issues early, whether you have an electric water heater or gas water heater.

Consult with a professional plumber whenever you suspect water heater issues. This list of common problems, along with troubleshooting tips, will help you know when to call an expert.

No Hot Water

If the water isn’t hot, the problem depends on the type of hot water heater. With a gas model, the pilot light may be out. It is visible at the base of the water heater. When you have no hot water, but the pilot light is on, the cause may be a failed pilot control valve or thermocouple. In an electric water heater, the heating element may need to be replaced. An experienced plumber should always perform these repairs.

Not Enough Hot Water

The heater’s thermostat may be malfunctioning if the temperature of the water doesn’t stay warm for long. But not enough hot water isn’t always due to an equipment problem. If the unit is too small, it won’t keep up with demand. In this case, you’ll need a new water heater with a larger tank; it may be worth considering a tankless water heater for space savings and energy efficiency.

Water Heater Leak

A leaking tank can only be fixed by replacing it. Common causes include rust and corrosion; oftentimes, a leak means the tank’s metal has corroded through. Excessive pressure in the tank or a broken drain valve can cause a leak as well. Sometimes, an electric heater may leak due to loose inlet/outlet pipes or condensation. No matter why there’s a leak, it should be looked at by a professional. A tank rupture will result in flooding and major water damage.

Dirty or Rust-Colored Water

Is a sign that rust and corrosion have affected your hot water heater. Dirty, discolored water can also mean sediment has built up in the tank. Flushing the tank can sometimes resolve the problem. Otherwise, the anode rod will have to be replaced. It is an important component that prevents rust from forming in the tank. Water heater replacement may also be a good idea if water is dirty or rust-colored.

Water Is Too Cold or Too Hot

Adjust the thermostat if it isn’t set to the desired temperature. If that doesn’t adjust the water temperature, the thermostat may be defective or there could be a buildup of sediment. You can try draining the water heater, cleaning it, and refilling the tank. Sediment will be visible during draining. If not, the thermostat or heating element may need to be replaced.

Odd Noises

Popping, banging, knocking, or hissing noises are often caused by sediment being burned by the heating element. The heating element itself may be burning out. Noise is a good reason to drain the water tank or schedule professional maintenance. It can also mean the water pressure is too high or there may be a leak somewhere.

Contact Cardinal Plumbing

Cardinal Plumbing is open and ready to address any water heater issues you are having. Providing no contact service and adhering to social distancing and sanitizer usage guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, we can help you with emergency water heater repair and water heater replacement. Don’t ever be left with cold water. We provide same-day service in Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, Sterling, and Gainesville. To request a visit, call 703-686-5668 today.