5 Common Causes Of Water Heater Malfunction And How To Fix Them

Posted on: 8 September 2023

Water heaters are an essential component of a comfortable home. A malfunctioning water heater is a nuisance, not only because it denies you hot water but also because it can lead to major damage to the home. The good news is that most water heater problems are not too complicated to fix, and you can troubleshoot the issues yourself. This blog discusses five common causes of water heater malfunction and how you can fix each of them with ease.

1. Sediment buildup

Sediment can accumulate in your water heater tank, leading to issues like clogged valves and reduced water pressure. The solution is to flush the tank to get rid of the sediment. First, turn off the water and power or gas supply to the heater. Next, attach a garden hose to the tank's drain valve, and then open the valve to let the water flow out. Repeat until the water drains clear.

2. Thermostat problems

If your water isn't getting hot enough, a faulty thermostat may be the culprit. To test the thermostat, power or gas should be turned off, the access panel removed, and the thermostat's resistance checked using a multimeter. If it doesn't show any resistance, the thermostat is faulty and needs to be replaced.

3. Pilot light issues

A pilot light that won't stay lit can be caused by a dirty or faulty thermal couple. To fix the issue, turn off the gas, remove the access panel, and unscrew the thermal couple. Then, replace it with a new one and reassemble the water heater.

4. Leaking tank

A leaking tank usually signals a need for a replacement. First, shut off the power and water supply to the heater, and then drain the water from the tank.

5. Faulty pressure valve

The pressure relief valve prevents water heater damage due to excessive pressure. If this valve isn't working properly, your water heater may malfunction or even explode. If you sense a problem with your pressure relief valve, turn off the power or gas supply to the water heater, then drain some water from the tank to relieve pressure. After shutting off the water supply, remove and replace the valve.

In conclusion, while water heaters can be a headache when they malfunction, most issues are relatively straightforward to fix. If you can't diagnose or fix the problem yourself, don't hesitate to seek the help of a licensed plumber. Contact a professional to learn more about water heater repair