Hot Water Heater Troubleshooting
and Repair Guide

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Gas and electric hot water heater troubleshooting and repair guide tips for homeowners. How to troubleshoot element leaking, when pilot light goes out, sediment build-up, rotten egg smell, noise, rusty hot water, thermocouple issues, no hot water, not enough hot water, tankless...

The water heater troubleshooting guide will help you learn about common problems that might happen to your heater, how to use symptoms for easier troubleshooting and what is needed for successful repairs.

As reported by the users and experts, some problems are simple and easy to fix by a handyman. The solution can be found here or in any other DIY article or forum. As long as you have some plumbing, electrical and gas skills, and the right tools, you can do the repairs without calling a service company.

For those homeowners who are not handy or problems are way too risky and complicate to repair, the recommendation is to contact a plumber.

Hot water heater troubleshooting - Common problems

The following symptoms and problems are common on tank type units using both fuel type; electricity and gas (natural and propane, LP). Keep in mind that gas units are more complex machines than electrical so troubleshooting is more difficult. Common problems and solutions can be found below, while some issues that are specific for each type can be found in the article about troubleshooting electric type and gas units.

Water heater leaking

One of the frequent complaints found on forums and in many user reviews is the puddle of water found under the unit. Most of the time, leaking is the cause. The reasons for the leak are the rusty tank, TPR valve discharges an excessive pressure or loose fittings/connections and damages on the pipe. How to fix water heater leak is one of the problems this article will deal with.

emergency plumber

Sediment and lime build-up

Almost every heater is affected by the hard water and this is what increases the chance of reduced efficiency and performance, and premature tank failure. Cleaning sediments out from the heater regularly is what eventually saves money, as the water heater performs better and more efficient.

Sediment build-up affects the performance of your water heater, can cause the rotten egg smell and annoying popping noise. This water heater troubleshooting article will cover ways how to control sediment build-up and how to remove it.

Water color change

How and why water inside the WH tank is changing, read further. This troubleshooting guide will cover problems that are related to milky, discolored, and rusty hot water and how to repair it.

Rotten egg smell

Smelly water is an unpleasant problem. You open the hot water tap and there is a terrible sulfur odor that smells like rotten eggs. How to troubleshoot rotten egg odor and how to prevent it, is what this article will cover.

Water heater noise

Is your WH making ticking, popping, sizzling, pounding, humming or clicking noise? Or the plumbing pipes are making a loud noise which is known as water hammer?

Cold water sandwich

"Cold water sandwich" is most of the time found on tankless heaters but can also be seen in storage tank type. Temperature fluctuation is what makes unpleasant showers, hot-cold-hot-cold, or known as cold water sandwich.

Low pressure

How to do hot water heater troubleshooting when your water heater has a low water pressure. What causes the low pressure and how to fix it?

Not enough hot water or temperature is too low for a shower

How many times did you experience lukewarm water after 10 minutes of showering? What causes the problem when there is not enough hot water for your shower or dishes, and how to do repairs. Is it a heating element, gas burner, dip tube or something else?

Heat traps problems

Explore what are the most common heat trap problems and how to solve issues on water heaters such as the rattling noise, flow restriction problems, thermal expansion through pipes and loss of energy.

Note: Keep in mind that some listed problems here are hard to fix and require a professional assistance. Check out this company from where you can get FREE ESTIMATES from the local plumbers.

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