Sometimes there is nothing better than running your hands under hot water or taking a warm shower. After all, most people don’t really like to hop in a shower that is freezing cold. There is really no good time to find your home without hot water, but the fact is, it happens. The average lifespan of a water heater is around 10 years, so if yours is nearing that age, or there are other factors putting it at risk, you could have an issue. We are going to review what to do if your water heater stops working.
Signs That You May Need a New Water Heater
There are usually signs when your water heater is on its way out. By watching for these signs, you can avoid unexpectedly finding your home without hot water and with a water heater that has stopped working. These signs include:
Age of Your Current Unit: The average lifespan of a water heater is around 10 years. With the right water heater annual maintenance and upkeep, you can extend the life of your water heater by several years; however, like with all things, your water heater is bound to stop working at some point.
Rusty Water: When you turn on your hot water, if the clear water you are used to turns to a rusty color, not only is that not ideal, it is a sign that there may be issues with your water heater. Water, plus metal, will eventually equal corrosion.
No or Limited Hot Water: Perhaps the most telling sign that you may need a new hot water heater, is if you have no, or limited, hot water. This is usually caused by one of two things: your pilot light is out or the circuit breaker has tripped, or your hot water heater has reached the end of its useful life.
New Noises: If your water heater is making cracking and popping sounds, it may be an indication that the interaction between the heating elements and the inside heater has mineral build up on them. This is a sign that you need to get a new hot water heater, as its nearing the end of its operational lifespan.
Leaks Around the Unit: Another sign that you may need a new hot water heater, is if you notice leaks and puddling around your water heater. Slight fractures develop over time as the metal tank expands and contracts with heat, over and over again.
What to do if Your Water Heater Stops Working
While you can watch for all the signs of trouble ahead for your water heater, you may still find your home with one that is not working. When this happens, while we always recommend calling in a Phoenix plumber, if you want to try and troubleshoot on your own, there are some things you can do. Let’s review what to do if your water heater stops working.
Check the Warranty: The first thing you should do before you start troubleshooting a water heater that has stopped working, is check the appliance’s warranty. The issues with your tank may be covered or there may be verbiage that indicates that the warranty is only covered if a professional completes the repair. On every tank there is a rating plate with the model and serial number. These numbers detail the year the tank was made and will determine whether the tank has a prorated warranty that might offer a new tank or parts, either free of charge or at a discount (the spruce).
Make Sure the Unit has Power and/or the Pilot Light is Lit: A water heater that produces no hot water might not be getting power, might have a tripped limit switch, may have one or more failed heating elements, or the pilot light could have went out. If you have an electric water heater, check the water heater's circuit breaker in the service panel to make sure it hasn't tripped. If the breaker has tripped, switch it off and then back on. If your water heater has a pilot light and you notice it is out, if you are comfortable doing so, reignite it.
Look for Water Leaks Around the Unit: If your water heater stops working or is not performing as it should, check around it for any leaking water. Leaks from water heater tanks can be due to loose heating elements or tank corrosion. Inspect the elements for looseness, and if necessary tighten them. If you notice corrosion with your tank, you will need to replace it and can call a local Phoenix plumber to do so right away.
When it comes to your home’s hot water, you will not want to be without it for long, so if your water heater stops working and there are no visual signs to indicate why, you should call in a water heater expert right away.
At Arizona Comfort Specialists, your happiness means the most to us, which is why we’re not finished until you’re completely satisfied with our care. So, whether you need a new water heater installation or a simple water heater repair, contact our team today.