No one wants to experience water heater issues, but like other areas in your home, it’s one unit that needs occasional maintenance as it’s used. Knowing how to tackle common water heater problems can ensure your household is back on its feet as soon as possible.

With that being said, here are the most common water heater problems and how to fix them.

Tank Water Heaters 

Tank water heaters are a common water heater type and can be found in most homes. There are a number of problems that can occur with this type of water heater, so it’s worth breaking down what can be done in order to help fix them.

There’s No Hot Water

When there’s no hot water at all, it’s usually due to a lack of energy supply. The first thing you should do is make sure your electricity is on and that your gas is functioning correctly. If the energy supply is fine, your problem may stem from the heating element or ignition. It’s worth seeing if anything has tripped and needs a simple switch back on. If these simple attempts don’t solve your problem, it might need professional attention.

The Water Is Too Hot

Is the water too hot? You probably an issue with the thermostat being set too high. If that is the problem, simply adjust it. If that doesn’t work, then you’ll want to get in touch with a professional for a tank water heater repair.

There’s a Low Level of Hot Water

A low level of heat is concerning, as your tank heater should always be frequently providing hot water. It might be the heater that has too low of a capacity and that you’ll need to install a larger one to meet your demands.

There’s a Buildup of Sediment, Minerals & Bacteria

If the water has a rust color, is cloudy, or there’s a weird odor, this might be due to a buildup of sediment, minerals, or bacteria within the piping or tank. This might need replacing or require regular flushing to keep your water clean and safe.

Tankless Heaters

Tankless heaters are a slightly newer model than tank heaters, but they’re becoming increasingly popular due to their energy efficiency. However, they can also have their problems, so let’s run through some common issues that you might find.

Overloaded Systems

Tankless water heaters have a flow rate capacity, and if you go over it, it’s known as an overload of the system. This could lead to the heater shutting down completely, so it’s good to understand its capacity so you don’t exceed it. An upgrade might be needed if you’re constantly reaching capacity.

Cold Water Sandwich Effect

You may not be familiar with the term “cold water sandwich,” but if you live in a home where back-to-back showers are frequent, you will likely be familiar with the sensation. 

This happens with back-to-back showers, so for busy households, the cold water sandwich effect is something to look out for. This occurs when one person showers immediately after another and the hot water runs cold before starting to heat up again. 

This is part and parcel of the design, so there may not be a cut-and-dry solution. However, if these cold spells are lasting longer than a few seconds, there may be other issues outside the norm.

Mineral or Sediment Buildup

Like tank water heaters, tankless water heaters can also build to mineral or sediment buildup. Look for the same signs as you would in a tank water heater, and if you suspect mineral or sediment buildup, contact a professional to help you flush it out or replace your unit.

Flame or Ignition Failure

If the flame or ignition fails, you could be facing an electrical or gas issue, so it’s good to check if these are still working properly elsewhere in the home. If it’s fine, then you might want to speak to a professional to take a closer look.

Keep your water heaters in check with these tips, and if you have any concerns, contact a professional.