Most households use their water heater multiple times a day for showering, doing laundry, and washing dishes. Thus, when your water heater is not functioning properly, it can be frustrating and stressful. Luckily, just because your water heater isn't working right, it doesn't automatically mean that it has failed and needs to be replaced. In many cases, water heater issues can be repaired by a licensed plumber for a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire unit. Some common water heater repair situations include:
No Hot Water
When you are unable to get hot water out of any of the faucets in your home, it is most likely due to an issue with the water heater. If you have a gas water heater, the lack of hot water can be caused by a problem with the pilot light-- if the pilot light is not staying ignited, the water heater won't have an energy source to heat up the water. If you have ruled out an issue with the pilot light, or you have an electric water heater, not having hot water can mean that the heating element has failed and needs to be replaced.
Water Heater Makes Strange Sounds
A water heater in good repair should not be noisy or make a lot of strange sounds. Popping, cracking, and other loud noises coming from a water heater typically mean that there is a build up sediment in the tank that is being heated up by the heating element. To solve this issue, have your water heater drained and flushed to clean it out and remove sediment. In some cases, strange noises from the water heater can also be a red flag that the heating element is failing and needs to be replaced.
It can be quite alarming to turn on your hot water only to notice a foul odor, similar to the smell of rotten eggs. When only your hot water has a foul odor, it is probably because of an overgrowth of bacteria inside the tank. This is a quick fix-- just call a plumber to empty and drain the water heater tank and clean it with a strong cleaning solution. After the tank is cleaned and dried, the smelly water should be a thing of the past.
If you have water leaking from the drain or other valves on the water heater, the problem is usually fixable. An experienced plumber will be able to inspect your hot water heater and diagnose where the leak is coming from. Unfortunately, if your water heater is leaking water from the bottom, that usually means that the tank has cracked and you will need a new water heater.