Home Improvement

8 Common Water Heater Problems and How to Fix It

Water heater problems can arise at any time and for any number of reasons. But fortunately, there’s usually not much worry if an issue does crop up, as most are easy to repair. Different components may need attention, such as the thermostat and the temperature pressure valve. Problems with the tank or elements can also occur. This article will look at eight common water heater problems and how to fix them. Some repairs may be possible DIY projects, while others will require a professional plumber in Rancho Santa Margarita, and Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air is the team for you!

1.     Very Little Hot Water

You likely leak somewhere in the system if you have very little hot water. You can check for leaks by turning on all faucets throughout your home and listening for gurgling sounds coming from your pipes near the water heater. If you hear any gurgling noises, turn off all faucets immediately and call a licensed plumber immediately to fix the leak before it causes further damage to your home or family member’s health.

Tank Too Small

The size of the storage tank determines how much hot water is available at any given time. If you have multiple people in your home who take showers and do laundry, you’ll need a larger storage tank than if you are an older couple who only shower on occasion.

Adjust Water Temperature

You can adjust the temperature of your hot water by turning up or down the thermostat on your water heater or by installing an adjustable temperature control valve that allows you to regulate the flow of hot water from your faucet. This will save money on energy bills while providing enough heat for household tasks like washing hands or dishes.

The Water Heater is Not Strong Enough

If your water temperature is not hot enough for your needs, it’s time for a new water heater! Several factors determine how much heat a water heater can produce, including its size and age. Still, suppose yours is over ten years old or has constantly been running without any breaks since installation (i.e., no vacations). In that case, you should consider replacing it with a newer model with more power and better efficiency ratings than older models.

2.     No Hot Water

If the water in the house is not hot enough or there is no hot water at all, check the thermostat first. Make sure it is set to “hot” and not “warm” or “cold.” If this does not solve the problem, check the temperature pressure valve on top of the tank for any obstructions, such as lint or debris; clean it off if necessary. Also, ensure there are no leaks in any pipes leading into or out of the tank itself. Finally, check for any signs of corrosion around fittings and valves; this indicates mineral buildup, which may be causing blockages within the pipes.

Thermocouple Or Heating Element

A thermocouple is an electrical device inside your water heater that senses when the temperature of the heater is becoming too high and shuts off power to the heating elements. If your thermocouple has failed, you will not have hot water in your home, no matter how often you turn on your faucet. The good news is that replacing it doesn’t require a lot of skill or knowledge — just time and patience. You just have to remove some screws, unplug some wires and then plug them back in again after putting the new part in place.

3.     Noisy Water Tank

If your water tank is noisy, the first thing you can do is check if it’s full of sediment.

Drain the Tank and Descale

Drain the tank and clean out all the sediment that has built up inside it. You may also want to consider removing the anode rod from your tank. This rod helps protect your tank from corrosion, but if it’s not working properly, it can cause noise or rust in your tank.

4.     Leaks from the Water Tank

If you have a leaky water tank, there are three things you should do: First, don’t use any hot water until the leak is fixed because this could cause more damage to your home’s structure. Second, turn off all gas lines connected to your water heater, so they don’t catch fire while you’re working on fixing the leak. Thirdly, repair leaks immediately because they can cause serious damage over time if left untreated.

Repair Leaks Immediately

If you notice your water heater leaks, it’s time to act fast before more damage is done. Call a plumber right away to leak fixed as soon as possible. A small leak can become a major problem if left unchecked, causing extensive damage that could cost thousands of dollars to repair.

5.     Smelly Water

If you notice a musty smell coming from your taps, this could mean that bacteria are growing inside your tank due to improper maintenance or other issues with your system. This is especially true if you notice an unusual amount of sediment in your toilet bowl when flushing it out after cleaning it. Call a plumber immediately to avoid potential health hazards from these types of bacteria.

Potential Bacteria

You might notice an unpleasant odor from your water heater or even see something growing inside it. This is a sign that bacteria have formed in the tank, which can lead to health issues if you drink the water. The best way to deal with this is to drain and flush the tank regularly (every six months), clean the burner assembly and replace any parts that show corrosion or wear. If you have a newer tank with anode rods, check those too — they should be replaced every ten years.

6.     Dirty, Rust-Colored Water

If your water is dirty or rusty colored, it could be caused by sediment in the bottom of your tank. Sediment can build up over time and cause heating and flow problems. A simple cleaning should solve this problem.


This can be caused by galvanic corrosion from dissimilar metals in contact with each other. Galvanic corrosion occurs when two different metals come into contact with each other, and they are electrically connected (for example, copper pipes used to supply hot water). When this happens, an electric current is created between the two metals, which causes electrolysis in the water tank. This can cause corrosion on any exposed metal parts (such as your faucet) exposed to this corrosive water. To fix this problem, you must replace your copper pipes with stainless steel ones.

Failing Anode Rod

An anode rod protects the steel tank from corrosion by acting as a sacrificial piece. It attracts any corrosion that would otherwise eat away at the steel walls of your tank. If this rod fails, it can lead to leaks and other problems with your tank.

7.     Water Taking Too Long To Reheat

If your water heater takes longer than normal to heat up after being turned off, it could mean that you need a new thermostat or thermocouple. These electrically operated devices regulate the temperature within the tank and shut off power when there’s a problem with heating elements or safety valves shutting down because of pressure buildup inside the tank due to excessively hot water use during peak hours.

Faulty Heating Element

The heating element is responsible for heating up the water. If this element goes bad or breaks, it will prevent your water heater from working properly. You should call an emergency plumber right away if this happens because there is a chance that it could cause a fire in your home if it isn’t fixed quickly enough.

8.     Water Temperature Too Hot or Too Cold

A thermometer should be placed near your water heater so that you can check the temperature easily each time you use it. Suppose the temperature is too high or low. In that case, there may be something wrong with your water heater that needs to be repaired immediately by a professional plumber before it causes any damage to other parts of your home’s plumbing system.

Temperature Pressure Valve

Temperature pressure or TPR valves are often the culprits when you have problems with your water heater. This device is an onboard safety feature that protects the tank from overheating or freezing. When the temperature of your tank reaches a certain temperature (usually set at 120 degrees), it will shut off the gas supply to prevent damage to your tank. If you notice that this valve is not working properly or not shutting off when it should be, check the thermocouple inside of it. If this isn’t working properly, replace it immediately so that you don’t end up with a broken tank!


As mentioned above, this is not a job for the average homeowner. The same goes for many other plumbing issues. Be sure you partner with a reputable plumber in Rancho Santa Margarita. Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air has experience with each of these issues.

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