Troubleshooting Your Hot Water Heater

It doesn’t take much to be made suddenly aware that your hot water heater is having issues. We have all been there and can agree that cold showers aren’t very fun.

Troubleshooting what is wrong with your hot water heater, or perhaps fixing it yourself, is possible. If you know how to troubleshoot and solve basic hot water heater issues, as discussed below, you can better stay on top of routine maintenance and prevent unexpected repairs.

5 Common Hot Water Heater Problems (Gas and Electric)

  1. No Hot Water – Ensure that the pilot light is on (Gas) or that there isn’t a flipped breaker or loose wire (Electric). Check the thermostat on the tank to make sure it is working and set to your preferred temperature.
  2. Not Enough Hot Water – Take a look at your thermostat, make sure it is working and the temperature is set to your preference. There may be sediment buildup requiring a flush and cleaning of the tank, a dirty burner needing to be cleaned, or your gas pressure could be low and you need to call your utility company.
    You may also need to consider the possibility that the size of hot water heater you have is no longer sufficient for your homes’ needs.
  3. Discolored Hot Water –  This is likely the result of sediment and rust build up and will require the tank to be flushed and cleaned.
    If this persists or water is turning to a black/rust color you may be facing a larger issue (dissolved anode), please call us.
  4. Odor – If a strange odor is emitting from the water in your home there is likely a build up of bacteria in the hot water heater. Chances are that this is due to sediment and requires the tank to be flushed and cleaned.It may also help to replace the anode- something we can help you with.
  5. Water around the base of your hot water heater – Whether you notice a little or a lot of water on the floor in your utility room, you’ll want to investigate. Check all valves (drain valve, relief valve, gas control valve etc), ports and the plumbing above your hot water heater.If you still cannot find the source of the leak it is likely the tank itself is leaking. Should it come to this point and that is the case you will need to replace your hot water heater.

We can help with that! Call us at (604) 946-1000.