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Why Is Your Water Heater Not Working?

Why Is Your Water Heater Not Working?

There’s nothing quite like a hot shower. While you only need to turn your faucet to one side to get hot water, your hot water heater makes these soothing temperatures possible.

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Water heaters provide automatic heating for the water throughout your home. They may be tanked or tankless and come in electric and gas models.

When your water heater is not working, you’ll quickly notice that your morning shower isn’t quite as comfortable as usual. Without a well-functioning hot water heater, getting water above room temperature from any of your fixtures is impossible. Calling professionals from Eanes Heating & Air Conditioning for water heater services can help quickly restore these essential systems and the hot water in your home.

Signs Your Water Heater Might Be Broken

Diagnosing issues with your water heater usually doesn’t prove that difficult. After all, if you suddenly stop getting hot water in your shower or bath, you’ll quickly know there’s an issue. However, it’s important to note that there are certain signs your water heater is not working aside from temperature.

Knowing how to spot every indication of a broken water heater can save you frustration and home damage. The main signs that your oil, gas, or electric water heater is not working include:

  • No hot water
  • Inconsistent water temperatures
  • Stifled water flow
  • Strange noises or odors while heating
  • Leaks
  • Smelly or discolored water

Taking a second to perform some diagnostic checks on your system upon noticing these signs can help you call professionals only as needed. Try checking your circuit breakers, power source, pilot light, and water quality before calling experts. Minor issues like an accidentally flipped breaker or unlit pilot can make it seem like there is a problem.

7 Most Common Water Heater Problems

Like most home comfort systems, there are some common problems with water heaters that might contribute to a sudden breakdown. While professionals will need to inspect your system to diagnose these common water heater problems, having a general understanding can empower you to take a more active role in maintenance. The following seven issues are the most likely reasons your oil, gas, or electric water heater is not working.

1. Broken Gas Valves

If your gas water heater is not working, one of the more likely causes is a problem with the fuel source. The gas valve provides consistent fuel for your heater to operate as needed. Any loosening or disrepair of this valve will cause water heater issues and require professional repairs.

While checking your gas valve, turn off the power and call your gas company immediately if you smell any strange odors. Gas leaks in your home can be very dangerous. 

2. Sediment Buildup

Water heaters require flushing every year to work properly. As these systems operate, sediment, minerals, and other contaminants can gather in the tank, leading to operational issues and leaks. Thus, sediment buildup serves as one of the most common causes of water heater malfunctions.

Homes with hard water, which has higher magnesium and calcium levels, are more likely to experience sediment buildup. These heaters could also stop working from limescale within the tank. Water heater experts can flush your tank to remove sediment and replace any components with too much limescale buildup.

3. Rusted or Corroded Parts

Rust and corrosion on any part of your heater can disrupt normal functioning and lead to leaks and water damage within your home. Therefore, keeping an eye out for the signs ensures you call professionals in time to avoid major issues.

Discolored, smelly water is the top sign of rust issues with your water heater. Avoid consuming this water as it could be hazardous to your health. Call your local plumbing and water heater experts to inspect your heater when you notice this issue.

common water heater problems

4. Faulty Thermostat Control

Your thermostat is the hive mind for many of your home comfort systems. Water heaters typically have their own thermostat separate from your HVAC system, but it still requires proper calibration to function adequately.

In many cases, an electric or gas water heater doesn’t work simply because the thermostat settings are incorrect. Homeowners can check their thermostats and adjust the settings to mitigate this potential cause.

5. Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve Issues

As water heats up, it expands and builds pressure. Within your system, the temperature and pressure relief valve ensures this pressure doesn’t cause major issues for your heater. Problems can arise if the valve won’t open at the right temperature or allows dampness in the discharge line.

Malfunctions in this essential valve will quickly impact the functionality of your water heater. Turn off your system and check for dampness under the discharge line to see if this valve is causing the problem.

6. Defective Electronic Ignition System

Regardless of whether you have a gas or electric water heater, all these systems require electricity to function properly. Many of the fuel ignition and distribution mechanisms in a heater require electricity to operate.

Because electricity is a necessity, issues with your electronic ignition system will stop your heater from working. These components frequently have a sensor to measure voltage output. Blocks to the sensor will stop electronic ignition.

7. Damaged Burner Assembly and/or Pilot Light

Your burner assembly and pilot light provide the main source for water heating. Damage to these components will immediately stop your system’s heating function. While some pilot lights merely need a relight, more serious damage could require professional repairs.

Water Heater Repairs With Eanes

Whether you need assistance repairing water heater issues or general plumbing services, professionals from Eanes Heating & Air Conditioning serve as the best home comfort system maintenance experts. Our qualified experts can inspect your water heater and efficiently make necessary repairs when you notice the signs of disrepair. If you notice your water heater is not working and want to get to the bottom of it, pick up the phone and call 336-361-2937 to reach the experts from Eanes Heating & Air Conditioning.