Can water heaters be repaired?

water heater system

Water Heater Issues

When it quit working, your water heater, repair or replace it? Or is there even an option?  Most people are of the thought when a water heater isn’t heating water anymore, it has to be replaced, but that isn’t always necessary. Depending on some different factors, water heater repair may be possible, and that is what we’re going to discuss today. 

Keep reading as we go over common hot water heater repair questions that will tell if you water heater repair is a probability. Or, if your only option is to replace the unit, and with that in mind, we’re going to give you some tips on how to get a longer lifespan from a new water heater. 

What would cause a hot water heater to stop working?

When there’s no hot water or the water heater quits heating water in mid-shower, it is aggravating and inconvenient. There are multiple possible problems, and we are going to provide a general list of those here. As we go further into this article, we’ll chat about how to troubleshoot these problems and provide general instructions for water heater repair you can do yourself:

  • No Power – Electric or Gas: If your water heater is electric and quits producing hot water, it could one of the several things like blown fuse, tripped circuit breaker, thermostat safety switch, or simply the unit came unplugged. For a gas powered water heater, repair could be as easy as relighting the pilot light. 
  • Thermostat: A thermostat issue can a little more difficult to diagnose because they aren’t as likely to fail as a heating element. 
  • Pilot Light: If you have a gas water heater, it requires a pilot light to heat the water and the pilot light needs a thermocouple or thermopile. If these quit working, you won’t get hot water. 
  • Electronic Ignition: There is an electronic-ignition system on gas water heater that utilizes a solid-state circuit to control flame ignition and maintenance. 
  • TPR: TPR is the Temperature and pressure-relief valve that provides a safety feature that releases excess pressure if the water temperature overheats inside the tank. 
  • Water Pressure Loss: If a water heater isn’t getting enough water pressure, it will quit working and there are several things that can cause this to happen, some may not be water heater repair issue, but a water supply issue. 
  • Loose Parts: If there is any leaking from the water heater, this can often indicate loose connections or parts. This could be an easy and fast water heater repair. 

What are the signs of a failing water heater?

Remember these signs that your water heater is on the edge of failure, and you won’t’ get caught in cold water: 

  1. Hot Water Isn’t Hot: When your shower water only gets lukewarm or takes forever to get hot at the faucet, this a lack of hot water in the tank. The typical water heater tank is between 30 gallons and 50 gallons. Mineral deposits separate as the water heats up and settle in the bottom of the tank. After a while, those mineral deposits are built up, creating a barrier, making it harder for the heating element to work. 
  2. Popping, Creaking, and Rumbling: A water heater shouldn’t make loud noises, so if yours is  are another common culprit of water heater failure. If your water heater is making popping, creaking, or rumbling sounds, it may be past water heater repair, but you can flush it and see if that stops it. If it doesn’t it is time to call your plumber.
  3.  Cloudy Water: If the water is coming out of your faucet cloudy, has an odor, or taste different, these are indications that that mineral build up is coming out of the faucet now. They can start clogging the water flow elements too. Water heater repair may be too late.
  4. Faulty or Leaking Pressure Relief Valve:  The TPR valve is an important safety feature that you should always pay attention to water leaking around it. That is an indicator that the water temperature or the pressure are getting dangerously high. 
  5. Water Heater Tank Leaking:  Wen you start seeing water puddling under the water heater tank, that is often indication the tank has a leak and water heater repair leak could be from a loose connection at the water line.

What is the most common problem with water heaters?

The most common problem that plumbers find when called for water heater repair service is the drain valve is broken. This happens when the water heater tanks has filled up with mineral sediment, causing the tank to corrode and rust inside.  

water heater system and boilers

What to do if water heater stops working?

When you get up one morning and realize there isn’t enough or maybe no hot water, these steps can help you do a quick diagnose and possible your own water heater repair:  

  • Raise the thermostat a few degrees.  The average setting is between 120 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Move it up in 2 degree increments until it reaches a level you desire. 
  • If your water heater is gas, check the pilot light. If it doesn’t stay lit, the thermocouple may be faulty and need to be replaced.  This is something you’ll want to call a plumber to repair because they will have the right water heater repair parts on hand and the knowledge to install them. 
  • A water heater that dispenses lukewarm water could be the ratio of gas to air is off, indicated by a yellow flame in the pilot light.  This is a dangerous due to the gas that is escaping. Gas is colorless, odorless, and toxic. Check for any drafts coming up around the floor or from the ceiling where the water heater is located. If the pilot is getting any type of breeze, it can cause it not to work as efficiently as it should.
  • On a gas water heater, check the gas line to see if disconnected or loose. If the line is connected and the valve is connected to the water heater and is open, call the gas company.
  • On an electric water heater, it may need restarting. Turn the power off at the breaker and wait 5 minutes, then turn it back on and try the water heater.

When Will Your Water Heater Need Replacing? 

We covered issues here that a water heater repair could get you back in hot water, but there will come a time that replacing the unit is the only solution. So, what is the lifespan of a water heater? An average lifespan for a water is heater is 10 to 12 years, however, if you’ll flush the tank annually, add a water filter in the line before it reaches the water heater, you could get up to 20 years life from your water heater. Call (570) 903-3199 today!