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Troubleshooting 4 Common Hot Water Heater Problems

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Many people take having access to hot water in their home for granted until there is a problem with their water heater. Discovering that your water heater is not working properly can be very frustrating. Luckily, an experienced plumber can repair many water heater problems so you don't have to shop for a replacement. Some signs that your home's water heater needs to be serviced and repaired include:

Lack of Hot Water

One of the most common signs that your hot water heater needs repairs is a lack of hot water when you turn on the faucet. Bet case scenario, this issue can be remedied by adjusting the thermostat. But a complete lack of any warm or hot water can often mean that the heating element (in an electric water heater) or the gas thermocouple (in a water heater powered by natural gas) is broken and needs to be replaced.

Strange Noises

A water heater in good repair should not make a lot of noise. If you hear creaks, knocks, or groans coming from your water heater, it may be a sign that too much sediment has built up inside the tank. The noises occur when the sediment comes in contact with the heating element. In many cases, flushing the hot water heater can remove the sediment and take care of the noise problem. If your water heater continues to make strange sounds after you have it flushed, the problem may be that the heating element is slowly burning out and needs to be replaced. 

Water Smells Bad

When you run hot water in your home, it should not have any type of smell. But if you detect a rotten-egg odor when using hot water, it often means that there is bacteria in your hot water heater. This can usually be solved by having your water heater flushed and then filled with a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide. Your plumber will advise you to let the water and hydrogen peroxide to sit for several hours, and then your water heater will be flushed again.

Rusty Hot Water

If your hot water begins coming out of the faucet with a rusty or brown color, it is because of too much iron in the water. This can be due to an extreme build up of sediment in your hot water heater tank, which is discoloring the water before it enters your home's pipes. Having the water heater flushed to remove the sediment will usually restore the hot water to the proper color.