Water Heater Troubleshooting Tips

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

I think we can all agree that one of the best things in life is taking a hot shower or bath after a long day out of the house. That’s why it can be a real disappointment when your water heater suddenly stops working. Your water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home, you use it every day, multiple times a day, so it’s normal to run into some problems eventually.



The good news is that most water heating systems are fairly simple to troubleshoot. You will be able to fix most problems that arise, so long as you have the right tools handy. Below, we will go through some of the most common issues homeowners might experience when it comes to heaters and hot water and how you might be able to fix them.


No Hot Water

The main cause for not having any hot water is a tripped circuit breaker, meaning you should check your breaker box first. If it isn’t the breaker, then the heating element may have failed and is in need of a replacement. It might also have to do with the thermostat, it might have tripped due to the hot water or failed, and needs replacement.


Water is Too Hot

This is most likely related to the thermostat where the temperature is set too high. Simply adjust it as needed. If you cannot lower it enough, then there may be an issue with your thermostat and it might need to be replaced or there might be a wiring issue, and then you would need to get professional help for that.


Water Heater Making Strange Noises

If you’re hearing strange noises coming from your pipes or water heater like popping, banging or hissing sounds, this is most commonly a symptom of scale build-up on your heating elements or sediment build-up at the bottom of your tank. Other causes include too much pressure inside the tank, or just the normal sounds of pipes contracting and expanding. Noises coming from your water heater are usually meaningless, but you should always get it checked out for peace of mind.


Something “Off” About the Water

If your water is discoloured or “rusty” in colour, this is a sign of corrosion of your pipes or your tank itself. Other things this might indicate is too much sediment build-up making its way into your hot water outlet. You might need to get a new water tank if it goes untreated for too long.


If your hot water is smelly or stinky, this is caused by bacteria in your water tank. One solution is to flush your water tank periodically. You can also increase the thermostat temperature to around 140 degrees to try and kill off any bacteria for a quick fix.


Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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