What's the Most Common Problem with Water Heaters?

What's the Most Common Problem with Water Heaters?

A water heater is an essential appliance in every household, especially during the winter months when a hot shower is a must-have. However, like any other machine, a water heater can also malfunction. And if you've ever experienced a cold shower on a winter morning, you know that it's not a pleasant experience. We often take our water heaters for granted, and we only think about them when they stop working. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common problems with water heaters and how to fix them.

Sediment Buildup in the Tank

Sediment is the most common issue that plagues water heaters. Over time, minerals settle at the bottom of the tank, forming a sediment layer. This buildup reduces the efficiency of the water heater and can lead to rusting and leaks. Regular flushing of the tank can prevent the sediment from accumulating and prolong the life of your water heater. You can do this yourself by turning off the power supply, attaching a garden hose to the drain valve, and flushing out the sediment.

Burnt Out Heating Element

A burnt-out heating element is another common problem with water heaters. An electric water heater has two heating elements, one at the top and one at the bottom. If one burns out, the water may not heat up correctly or not heat up at all. The good news is that you can easily replace the heating element yourself by turning off the power supply, draining the tank, removing the old element, and installing the new one.

Thermostat Malfunction

The thermostat controls the temperature of the water in the tank. If the thermostat malfunctions, the water may be too hot or too cold. You can troubleshoot this problem by adjusting the thermostat settings. However, if the temperature fluctuates or the water heats up uncontrollably, you may need to replace the thermostat. You can do this yourself by turning off the power supply, draining the tank, removing the old thermostat, and installing the new one.

4. Leaking Tank: A leaking tank is a severe problem with a water heater that requires immediate attention. The most common cause of a leaking tank is corrosion due to old age or sediment buildup. If you notice water pooling around the base of the tank, it's time to call a professional plumber. A leaking tank can lead to water damage, mold growth, and even a rupture.

Pilot Light Troubles

Gas water heaters have a pilot light that ignites the burner. If the pilot light goes out, the water will not heat up. The most common causes of a pilot light going out are a faulty thermocouple or a clogged pilot orifice. You can try relighting the pilot light yourself, but if it goes out again, it's best to call a plumber to diagnose and fix the issue.


Regular maintenance and cleaning of your water heater can prevent the most common problems and prolong its lifespan. However, if you encounter any of the issues mentioned above, don't hesitate to call a professional plumber to fix them. Delaying repairs can lead to more significant problems and costly replacements. A well-maintained water heater is the key to a happy and warm home.

If you experience any issues with your water heater, contact Mike's Plumbing of SWFL. With over 25 years of experience and the latest technology, they are well-equipped to assess and resolve any plumbing problem you may have. The team is committed to providing top-notch customer service and delivering superior workmanship.