Water heaters are a necessary part of a home, but they can cause a lot of strife when they are not working properly. Before you jump to the assumption that you need a new hot water heater, you will want to check out common solutions to the problem you are having. Not all of the water heater problems people encounter require a complete replacement. Some will require the homeowner to possess a few tools and a little free time.
No Hot Water
If you have discovered you have no hot water coming out of your tap, you will want to check a few things. If you have a gas water heater, the first place to check is the pilot light. It is a common problem for pilot lights to go out and need to be re-lit. You may need to replace the gas thermocouple if your pilot light is on though. If you have an electric water heater, before you replace the entire unit, check the thermostat, and upper electric heating elements to make sure they are both running properly.
If you suddenly have a problem with rust-colored water, then your anode rod will need to be replaced. The anode rod, or sacrificial rod, slowly dissolves preventing rust from collecting inside the tank. When it becomes too weak, the rust will show in the water. Simply replacing this rod will get rid of the rust.
If you notice that your water begins to smell like rotten eggs, you most likely have a bacterial infection growing inside your tank. The bacteria feed on hydrogen gas that the anode rod emits. Taking care of this problem will take a bit of work but is possible. You need to flush the water completely from the tank and then fill it with two pints of three percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Leave this solution to set for two hours before refilling the tank. If you develop the problem frequently, you can replace the anode rod with a zinc alloy anode rod.
Excessive sediment building up on the bottom of a hot water tank can cause the water to boil. This will leave you with popping noises or a high-pitched whine. To take care of this problem, you will want to flush out the water and then refill it a little, then flush again. After filling it completely, check what the condition your water softener is in.
If you have a water leak, you may have problems with the Temperature and Pressure, T&P, relief valve releasing. This can happen if the water is overheating. To see if this is the problem, lower the thermostat setting. If not, then try replacing the valve completely. However, if you notice the leak is coming from underneath the tank, then odds are your tank has developed a hole in the bottom due to rust. This is when replacing your water heater will be necessary.
Before running out and buying a new water tank, make sure to check for a solution. The amount of money you will save can be worth the work in the end.