6 Common Water Heater Problems & Tips for Troubleshooting

Water Heater Problems

Is your water heater giving you a tough time and you are looking for those common water heater problems and tips for troubleshooting?

A water heater is one of the most important things, especially in winter. There are numerous problems that depict why your heater has suddenly stopped giving hot water.

Whether you have a gas water heater or you are using an electric water heater, we have got you covered. In this guide, we will explain some common issues and how to get rid of them so that you can enjoy hot water at a chill temperature.

Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting

We have covered all the possible problems that you might be experiencing in your electric water heater along with the solutions so that you manage to fix it without anyone’s assistance. Those possibilities that depict why hot water heater not working are:

1. Water Leakage from the Topside


If you examine that your water heater is leaking from the top and it has suddenly stopped supplying hot water, it can be due to different reasons. Sometimes the hot outlet pipes and cold inlet pipes become loose which resulted in lukewarm or cold water.

Water Leakage from the Topside

In order to get this issue fixed, you have to properly fix these pipes for which you can also call someone if you are not convenient to do this job.

On the other hand, there is a T&P valve fixed inside the heater that might be broken or failed and this is why you are facing issues with your water heater. Ensure to tighten all the pipes, joints, and connectors carefully so that this issue never happens again.

2. Water Leakage from the Bottom


If the top of the water heater is fine but you are experiencing leakage at the bottom, it could be due to normal condensation. A drain valve that is inserted in the bottom might be leaking due to which you are facing this issue.

Water Leakage from the Bottom

To fix it, make sure the valve is fully shut down by turning it anticlockwise. Also, ensure the pressure relief valve is working fine and is not leaking.

3. No Hot Water


Nothing can be more frustrating than having no hot water, especially in winter. In order to figure out the issue, check the breaker box where a circuit breaker is installed.

check the breaker box of the water heater

A circuit breaker is one of the most important elements that make your water heater hot. Sometimes, the circuit breaker trips resulted in cold water. However, if it is working fine, check the heating elements that might need to be replaced.

On the other hand, the reset switch or limit switch that is installed at the thermostat might be creating issues. This switch normally trips when water becomes too hot or it might be broken and need to be replaced. After the replacement, your problem will be solved.

4. Lukewarm Water


Another common problem that every person faces regarding the water heater is not having enough hot water. The normal cause of this problem is the thermostat. With the right temperature settings, you can fix this problem if it is that simple.

If you have an electric water heater, the thermostat normally lies behind the access panel. When summers come, people usually set the temperature low because of the zero requirements for hot water.

Electric water heater

However, as the winter arrives, you need to set the temperature at a high level in order to get enough hot water. A few other common problems include defective thermostats, issues with pipes, loose wiring, etc.

Look for each defect so that you get to know the actual problem. Moreover, if you have a large family but your water heater size is small, this problem is pretty normal and can only be fixed if you get your hands on the right size of the water heater.

5. Too Hot Water


Sometimes the water is too hot that it becomes unbearable and this problem is also linked to a thermostat where you need to lower the setting.

If you are unable to keep the settings as required, there is some fault in your thermostat and it needs to be fixed. Call a plumber so that he can better guide you. You might also need to replace it.

Inspect thermostat of the water heater

The issues can also be in the wiring so instead of doing it yourself, better leave this work for a professional.

6. Long Water Heating Time


If your electric water heater takes too long to heat, there is some issue with your heater. How much time an electric water heater takes to heat the water depends on the model that you have purchased.

However, if the time is too long than normal, you need to examine all the heating elements because they might be faulty or they need replacement.

Sometimes, because of not properly cleaned, the thermostats are surrounded by debris and sediments which resulted in this issue. It is important to properly clean your water heater so that you do not face this issue in the future due to cleaning.

7. Different Noises from Water Heater


Is your water heater suddenly making different strange noises like banging, popping, hissing, etc? It is mainly due to scale buildup in the thermostat and all the heating elements.

scale buildup in the heating elements of water heater

Moreover, sometimes scale tend to build up at the bottom and it starts producing such noises. Sometimes, it can be due to a leakage issue when too much pressure is produced inside the tank and it fails to release.

Though it has nothing to worry about yet in order to get rid of these noises, it is better to resolve this issue. Pay special consideration towards cleaning and try to replace the heating elements. Maintenance is also important in this regard.

Gas Water Heater Troubleshooting

For those who have a gas water heater and are experiencing different issues, let’s have a look below.

Gas Water Heater Troubleshooting

1. Water Leakage from the Top

Like an electric water heater, you need to check the hot outlet pipes and cold inlet pipes of the gas water heater if you are experiencing any leakage issues at the top.

You need to fasten these pipes so that it stops leaking. Sometimes, T&P valve pipes that become faulty also need to be fixed. Do not forget to check the wiring and make sure everything is working perfectly fine.

2. Water Leakage from the Bottom

The process of examining the bottom of the gas water heater is also the same. The loose drain valve is the main reason why you are dealing with this problem.

Ensure it is properly fastened and sometimes due to corrosion, you need to get your hands on a water heater. It is better to call someone so that they thoroughly examine the actual cause of this inconvenience.

3. Hot Water Problem

If the pilot light of your gas water heater is on yet you are not getting hot water, there is some issue with the thermocouple that fails to sense that the heater is on.

In such a case, you need to buy a thermocouple because the old one has become faulty. Sometimes, the tripped circuit breaker also becomes the reason for not having hot water so do not forget to look for it.

4. Maximum Reheating Time

Is your gas water heater taking too long to heat the water? it is one of the most significant water heater problems that should never be taken for granted. You need to check the settings of the thermostat first that whether it is at a required place or needs to be increased.

Check thermostat of water heater

Sometimes, the temperature is too low so it fails to heat the water quickly. Other than that, make sure the burner is free from dust and debris. If you are not into regular cleaning, this issue often occurs so regular cleaning and maintenance are important.

Another common issue is the size of the heater tank. If it is too small for a large family, it will take ages to reheat the water. Hence, if you live in a joint family, it is important to get your hands on a big water heater.

5. Pilot Light Doesn’t Turn On

Are you facing difficulty turning on the pilot light despite knowing the actual method? It might be because of some clogging in the tube and you need to fix it or replace it. Another common reason is the thermocouple that is faulty or broken.

The gas valve can also be destructive and you need to fully examine it to find out the breakage. Hence, the next time you are finding it hard to turn on the pilot light, check for these issues and you will get the answer.

6. Pilot Light Keeps Fluctuating

It is more annoying when the pilot lights keep getting on and off. Apart from thermocouple replacement, look for clogged vents and bad gas valves. The only solution to this problem is regular cleaning and maintenance. Hence, do not take it lightly.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

If your water heater not heating properly or the hot water tank is leaking, you need to go through these commonly asked queries to get a better idea about these issues.

What is the Most Common Problem with the Water Heater?

The most common problem in the water heater lies in thermocouples. Sometimes, it becomes faulty and fails to deliver hot water, and sometimes the temperature is set too low and you face all the abovementioned issues.

Hence, before opting for any solution, go through the thermocouple that whether it needs to be replaced or not. Also, ensure the wirings.

Why Did My Water Heater Suddenly Stop Working?

If you are using an electric water heater and it has suddenly stopped working, it might be due to tripped circuit breaker. You need to thoroughly examine it.

Also, look for any water leakage because sometimes the pipes or valves need to be fastened. Moreover, check the temperature setting on the thermocouple to whether it is accurate or needs adjustment.

What is the Difference Between an Electric and a Gas Water Heater?

A gas water heater makes the water hot by using heat with fuel burning. On the other hand, an electric water heater uses electric resistance coils. Electric water heaters are more costly due to electricity costs.

What Does it Mean if The Water Heater is Not Producing Hot Water?

The most common problem is in the circuit breaker that might be tripped and now producing cold water. You also need to check different heating elements in order to figure out whether they should be recovered or replaced.

Final Thoughts

In this guide, we have discussed common water heater problems and how to get rid of these issues so that you keep getting hot water in chill weather temperatures.

If you have water heaters at home, you keep experiencing such issues so there is nothing to worry about. However, it is better to get yourself facilitated with the solutions so that you do not need to call someone every time for minor problems.

We have possibly listed all the concerns that you might want to know. Whether your gas hot water heater not working or your electric hot water heater is making it inconvenient, you can get all the information in this guide.

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