The mechanism of a hot water heater is such that, it stores water and heats it. This appliance requires a heat source like electricity or gas, a thermostat which regulates water temperature, a supply source of cold water, and a hot water outlet.
For the heater to function effectively, there's an anode, a dip tube that takes the cold unheated water to the bottom of the heater, a metal rod which corrodes to protect other metal components, besides a drain valve. If any of these parts fail to function properly, the hot water heater gives rise to problems.
Electric Water Heater Problems
No Hot Water
If you find that the water does not heat at all, the chances are that the high limit switch button has tripped. If this is the cause, you need to repair it as soon as possible.
Moreover, if there is no power supply to the thermostat, the chances are that water won't get heated. In such a case, you need to check the circuit breakers and the wiring of the device. If there is a problem with the upper heating element, you need to replace it.
Leakage may either be due to high pressure or high temperature. If the leakage is due to high pressure, you need to install a valve which can reduce the pressure. On the other hand, if the temperature is too high, you need to set the temperature on a slightly lower side, but don't forget to check the thermostat levels.
Water Not Being Hot Enough
If you find that the temperature of the water has reduced over time; and you don't get the same levels of heating you once got, it may be due to some fault in one of the thermostats.
The upper thermostat transmits power to the lower heating element, so if it's faulty, water would not be heated enough. Check the power supply in both of them and make the required changes. Moreover, if the dip tube is broken, you won't get hot water.
Gas Water Heater Problems
No Hot Water
If the thermostat temperatures are set low, water won't get heated. So you need to check that. At times, the dip tube may come off, thereby causing cold water to come out directly without getting heated.
Cold Water from Hot Water Tap
If you find that there is no hot water at all, check the pilot light. If it does not light up, try following the instructions in the manual and then try lighting it.
However, if you still can't light it, it may be due to chocking of the pilot line. Moreover, there may be chances that the gas does not reach the heating tank. Additionally, defect in the control valve may also be the reason for no hot water.
Noise and Stink
If the appliance makes a peculiar noise, it may be due to sediments getting accumulated in the tank. It may also be due to formation of layers on those parts of the heater which help the water to heat up.
Cleaning the heater regularly and flushing can solve this problem. On the other hand, stinking may be due to the reaction of bacteria in the water with the anode rod. In such a case, the anode rod needs to be replaced. Moreover, it's advised that you clean it with chlorine from time to time.
Tankless Water Heater Problems
Tankless heaters use burners with high power, so as to heat water quickly while it runs through a heat exchanger. The problems of this device are similar to the gas and electric water heaters and the remedies are also the same.
Water heater problems are very common. You need to take good care of your heater, so that it doesn't need to be taken to a repair shop. You can apply the above-mentioned methods whenever you find a fault with the appliance. It's always better to try solving the problem yourself, so that you save a lot of your time and money.