What Would Cause a Hot Water Heater to Stop Working?

Hot water heater and boiler

Can a Water Heater be Repaired?

Standard tank-style and regular tankless water heaters can be repaired. After all, water heaters are generally very reliable, but they can manifest problems over time. Water heater problems include little or no hot water, rusty or odorous water, odd banging noises, and leaks. When any of the following problems occur, homeowners are advised to turn off the power and the gas supply (if applicable) to the water heater before investigating further. Most of these problems can be repaired provided the water heater is in good overall condition. 

Who to Call for Water Heater Repair

For homeowners looking for a standard tank or tankless water heater repair, it will be important to schedule an appointment with a local, licensed and insured plumber. There are different tiers of plumbing expertise and no one plumbing company is entirely comparable to another. Homeowners are advised to select a plumbing company that not only specializes in water heater repair but has many years of experience and a staff that is comprised of licensed plumbers. A plumbing referral from a friend or neighbor can be very helpful.

How Often Do You Need to Replace a Water Heater?

Water heaters have a usual lifespan of approximately ten years. With regular maintenance, this lifetime estimate can be extended. If your water heater is at around the ten-year mark, it’s probably a good time to evaluate how much life is left in your water heater installation. If you spot signs of rust, either on the tank or in the water, it’s never a good sign. Noises, leaks, and the water heater failing to work are all straightforward signs of water heater failure as well. Scheduling a yearly water heater flushing can help immeasurably with built-up sediment in the bottom of the tank, and contributes to a longer life for your water heater.

Water Heater Repair or Replacement

Water heaters normally fly under the radar, stored away in a safe location, and left unnoticed. That is until finally, an icy shower blasts a home inhabitant out of nowhere. A broken water heater can have homeowners debating whether or not they need a repair or a replacement. There are a few factors that help homeowners eventually arrive at a correct conclusion. Getting a new water heater ultimately depends on whether it’s too old to be serviceable anymore. Over time, water minerals react with steel, corroding the inner tank of the water heater. When water heaters become corroded, the energy efficiency of the unit is impacted, until one day the unit fails completely. Has your water heater sprung a leak? If so, replacement is the only answer. 

The upside of water heater replacement is that they are always, without exception, more energy-efficient. This energy efficiency translates into lower energy bills for the homeowner. 

Is it Dangerous to Have a Leaking Water Heater?

Water heaters are usually very reliable parts of the inner workings of a home. They operate well under most circumstances with proper care, cleaning, and maintenance. However, whenever a water heater is leaking, either due to a corroded water tank, loose valves or simply condensation, problems can arise. If the leak is the result of a build-up of water, then it should be controlled by the temperature-pressure relief valve. This valve is designed to release extra water when pressure builds up in the water heater. When the water temperature is set too high, then the relief valve can be broken or damaged. Pressure may build up in the tank and cause it to explode!

If your water heater is leaking, please give a reliable, local plumber a call as soon as you are able. 

Water Heater Repair vs Replace

What are some possible problems with your water heater? At the end of the day, if homeowners can regularly schedule water heater maintenance or repairs in a timely fashion, they can avoid water heater replacement. Browse through the following list to determine what causes your water heater to stop working.

  • The pilot light. Check your water heater to ensure that the pilot light is still on. If not, homeowners should follow the instructions in their owner’s manual to help re-light it.
  • A leak in the gas line. If your gas water heater has stopped working, one of the reasons why could be the fact that there is a leak in the gas line. For such problems, it is advisable to contact a qualified plumber. Gas lines are very dangerous and should be handled by the experts.
  • Thermostat problems. If you have hot water, but not enough hot water, the problem may lie with your thermostat. You may need to adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature. If this does not work, you may need to replace the thermostat.

How Do You Know if Your Hot Water Heater is Going Bad?

One of the chief indicators of water heater failure is age. Homeowners are advised to find the age by locating the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker on the upper portion of the water heater. The serial number has the date that the water heater was manufactured. In addition to recognizing whether or not your hot water heater is going to need some necessary repairs, it’s also important to recognize when the cool breeze emanating from your air conditioner is growing warm. In such cases, it will be important to schedule air conditioning service in Severn, MD or in your area.  

Water Heater Repair Cost

Generally speaking, water heater repair costs have a range of $150-$300. If the problem stems from a blown-out pilot light, you can usually relight it yourself, providing that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. According to a lead plumber, the two most common forms of water heater repairs are replacing a thermostat or a heating element (or both). Most standard electric water heaters have two thermostats and two elements. To clean and repair the thermocouple, the cost can be $395, and replacing a thermostat or heating element can cost $150-$200. Leaks are not an affordable repair until the unit is still under warranty.

Water Heater Repair for Tankless Water Heater

What Happens When a Hot Water Heater Fails?

Unfortunately, in a worst-case scenario, it is possible for a water heater to explode. In cases where water heaters have sediment build-up, rust corroding the tank, and too much internal pressure, the water heater can explode. However, through education, research, and proper water heater repair and maintenance, this circumstance can be avoided.

Scheduling an appointment for your water heater repair has never been easier. Our staff at Service Force Plumbing are ready to take your phone call at 301-841-6284. Discover more about what a water heater repair in Rockville, MD can do for you!