Hot Water Heaters: Common Problems That Can Be Fixed

If you're like most homeowners, you probably use your home's hot water heater multiple times a day. Hot water is needed for showering, washing dishes, and doing laundry, just to name a few things. While you may not think about your hot water heater very often, you're sure to notice when something is wrong pretty quickly. When you're experiencing problems with your hot water heater, it is natural to worry and assume that your water heater needs to be replaced, which can be quite expensive. However, water heaters have a number of issues, and in many cases these problems can be repaired. Some common hot water heater issues that can be fixed include:

Lack of Hot Water

Turning on the faucet and never receiving any hot water can be one of the most frustrating issues when dealing with a hot water heater. The good news is that a complete lack of hot water does not mean that your water heater is broken beyond repair. One common reason for no hot water is faulty heating elements. If one or more heating elements inside the tank, they can be replaced by a plumber, thus restoring hot water. The issue can also lie with a broken thermostat that can no longer regulate the temperature and needs to be replaced. It is also possible that the pilot light is out on a gas heater, or a circuit breaker has tripped on an electric hot water heater.

Hot Water Has a Rusty Hue

No one expects to turn on the tap and see rust colored flow through. If you only experience rusty water when attempting to access hot water, the issue likely lies with your hot water heater, not your home's water supply. Hot water heaters as equipped a sacrificial anode rod, and this rod is designed to corrode in order to protect the tank. If you have an old anode rod that is completely corroded, it can no longer do its job, and rust may begin to form inside the tank, causing rust-colored water. In most cases, having the water heater flushed and replacing the anode rod will solve the problem.

Water Smells Bad

If bacteria builds up inside your hot water heater's tank, the bacteria will eventually die, creating a very foul odor similar to sulfur or rotting eggs. This will cause the hot water that comes from the tank to have a bad smell. Luckily, the odor is not permanent-- having the tank flushed and then professionally cleaned by a plumber will eliminate both the bacteria and the smelly water problem. 

Contact a water heater repair service to learn more.