Most of us can relate with the feeling of the hot water shutting off on us during a shower. If you’re using a tank water heater, then you know that you’ve simply used up all the water and will have to wait for some more.
But what if the hot water refuses to turn on at all, even after waiting for more hot water? At that point, you might have an actual problem with the water heater itself. Here are 6 possible explanations as to why that’s happening.
1. Water Heater Pilot Light is Out
If you’re using a gas water heater, it’s likely using a pilot light to heat the tank. Check it out to see that it’s properly lighting. If not, it could need cleaning or replacement. Your best bet is to get an overall maintenance check to have the problem fixed.
2. Water Heater Heating Element is Broken
Or, if you’re using an electrical water heater instead of gas, the issue might be the heating element. In fact, this is one of the most common causes of water heaters that fail to heat. The element will simply need to be replaced by an expert of water heaters in Santa Barbara, CA.
3. Sediment Buildup
In a tank water heater, you’ll have to deal with sediment build up. As water becomes heated, the minerals in the water will separate and fall to the bottom of the tank. This creates a barrier of insulation between the water and the heat exchanger, and that will slow down the rate at which the water heaters.
If the sediment has had too much time to build up, the loss in heating power can feel substantial enough to decrease hot water output. As long as you have the tank flushed of sediment frequently enough, it shouldn’t cause any damage.
4. Limescale in Tankless Heaters
Tankless water heaters don’t have a tank, so you won’t be seeing any sediment buildup issues. However, hard water can create a buildup of scale on the heating elements. If the scale gets out of hand, it’s enough to prevent the water heater from heating. A thorough tank flush will help.
5. Water Heater Thermostat Malfunction
If the water isn’t as hot as it should be, it’s possible that the thermostat is beginning to malfunction. That can cause it to read the wrong temperatures, thus outputting water at the wrong temperature. After all, the water heater is only as effective as the thermostat. Simply having it replaced should fix the issue.
6. Tripping Thermal Switch
Gas water heaters use thermal switches to prevent the heater from overheating. When the temperatures get too high, the thermal switch will force the system to shut off. As long as your thermal switch isn’t malfunctioning, there’s most likely an underlying cause as to why it keeps tripping—have a professional investigate to make sure that your water heater is running properly.
Does your water heater have you stumped? You can count on us to get to the bottom of the issue. Contact Husted Plumbing today to speak with an expert.