No matter the time of year, cold showers are not fun for most people. Keeping your water heater in tip-top condition ensures you can enjoy warm and comfortable showers daily. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for homeowners to experience different problems with their water heaters, from a lack of hot water production to issues such as rusting or leaking.

You should promptly address any signs of trouble to keep your water heater functioning properly. Prompt maintenance and repairs can prevent future repair costs due to water damage or appliance replacement services. Below are some common problems associated with water heaters and what to look out for.

1. Running Out of Hot Water

Running out of hot water is one of the most common problems associated with water heaters. It typically means that your heater is too small for your household needs or that your thermostat is set too low.

Having a new water heater professionally installed can provide you with the hot water you need. If your current tank is older than 10 years, replacing it with a newer model might be a good idea. The experts at Charleston Heating and Air can help you choose the right size water heater for your needs. You might also consider switching to a new tankless water heater.

2. Leaking

Leaking is a common reason why homeowners call in a repair service. This could be due to faulty seals or connections, but it could be due to a more serious problem, such as corrosion or rust on the unit itself. Sediment buildup in the tank can cause the bottom of the water heater to corrode. It can also reduce the efficiency of your appliance. That’s part of why it’s important to schedule regular professional maintenance of your water heater, including flushing the water tank.

If you notice water or mold around your water heater, it’s best to call for service immediately. Sometimes, it may be possible to repair small leaks without replacing the entire unit. If the leak is on the lower portion of the water heater, such as around a control panel, replacement might be your only option.

3. Strange Noises or Odors

If you notice strange noises or odors coming from your water heater, this could indicate an issue with sediment buildup inside the tank. Most standard tanks have an anode rod at the top that provides additional protection against corroded walls. Signs the anode rod needs attention include a rotten egg smell or slimy or discolored water from the tap.

Strange odors could also be caused by bacteria buildup inside the tank. Make sure only potable water is going through the tank. Flushing your water heater every six months is highly recommended, as this can remove accumulated sediment and bacteria from the tank and ensure that everything continues to function properly.

4. Not Enough Hot Water Pressure

If you’re having trouble getting enough hot water pressure from your tank, this could be caused by a few different things. It may be an issue with the main valve or regulator. It could also mean that you need to clean out any sediment buildup inside the tank to restore proper flow and pressure. A professional plumber can pinpoint the problem’s root and provide efficient solutions to get your heater back up and running.

5. Increase in Utility Bills

An increase in your water or energy bill could signify something wrong with your water heater. If it’s caused by the water heater, the most common reasons are a lack of insulation around the tank, an inefficient model, or sediment buildup inside the unit.

Calling a professional plumber to inspect the unit is recommended to address any underlying issues and ensure everything is functioning properly. Replacing your water heater with a newer and more efficient model can reduce your energy bills and provide you with hot water when needed. If you’re looking for additional ways to save money on your utility bills, consider installing a timer on your heater so that it only runs when necessary or adding extra insulation around it.

6. Fluctuating Water Temperature

If the water temperature from your hot water heater fluctuates, a few factors could cause this. If the thermostat is set too low, it can prevent the unit from heating up properly. There may also be corrosion inside the tank, affecting its performance.

But likely, the problem is the result of a faulty thermometer in the unit. For this, a professional plumber can replace the thermostat and get you consistent hot water again. If the water heater struggles with temperature fluctuations again, it may be best to replace the entire unit.

7. No Hot Water

Not having hot water at all does not necessarily mean that you need a new water heater. Several things could cause the water heater to switch off. The first thing to check would be the circuit breaker. Simply flipping the breaker switch could solve the problem.

Having the water temperature set too high could also cause the water heater to switch off. This is a safety mechanism for the water heater. Most water heaters have a reset button. Check the temperature setting on the water heater and adjust it if necessary. Then, try pushing the reset button.

If you have a gas water heater and suddenly have no hot water, this could be a more serious issue. First, check to see if the pilot light has gone out. If it’s out, that could have been caused by a clogged fuel line or other issues. With gas water heaters, it is safest to call a professional immediately.

8. No Water Coming From the Hot Water Tap

If you turn on the hot water tap and nothing comes out, something could be seriously wrong. An issue with the pressure valve or broken pipes can cause it. No matter what the cause is, having it inspected can help identify and resolve the problem quickly.

9. Longer Heating Times

When you rush to get ready in the morning, waiting a long time for hot water can be extremely frustrating. If this happens more often than not, your water heater may need an inspection.

A clogged or broken thermostat could prevent it from heating up properly, or there may be sediment buildup inside the tank. Replacing or cleaning these components as needed can restore efficient performance and improve your hot water production time. No matter the issue, having it inspected promptly can get your water heater back up and running quickly with minimal disruption to your daily routine.


If you are looking for a company in Charleston, SC you can trust with your plumbing issues, consider Charleston Heating and Air. We are experienced and dedicated to providing excellent results on your plumbing problems. At Charleston Heating and Air, we provide a wide range of installation, repair, and maintenance services for heating, air conditioning, and hot water heaters. We also offer electrical services. We are dedicated to providing excellent results for our customers. Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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