5 Common Water Heater Problems You Should Know About

When you wake up on a cold morning, and you have to get up for work or school, the first thing you’re probably looking forward to is a nice, warm shower. The thing is, when you jump in, the highly unpleasant shock of cold water hits you. Despite letting the water warm up, it’s still excruciatingly frigid, which likely means one thing: your water heater is broken.

Needing water heater repair in the middle of winter is the last thing anyone wants. Unfortunately, water heaters can break down often when they aren’t maintained or inspected often. The best thing to do is to call a licensed plumber to check the situation and resolve it right away so you can resume enjoying your hot showers, especially when it’s freezing outside. Here are X common water heater problems you should know about and how to fix them:

1. Water Temperature Fluctuations

Water temperature issues are one of the most common complaints of water heaters. They’re designed to provide water at a stable temperature, so when it ranges from too cold to too hot, taking a shower can become too stressful of a task. While you can simply adjust the thermostat on the tank to fix the issue, as it may have been accidentally tweaked, the fault may lie in the malfunctioning thermostat itself.

Apart from a faulty thermostat, water temperature fluctuations can also result from a leak in the water tank, a damaged gas control or burner assembly, mineral deposits that hinder the heater’s efficiency, and an issue with the temperature pressure relief valve. In any case, it’s best to leave this to a licensed plumber to fix these issues immediately.

2. Discoloured or Foul-Smelling Water

If discoloured water comes out of your faucets, you may have high mineral levels in your water, like iron and copper. These cause the pipes to rust, which will then change the colour of your water. You may also want to install a water softener system in your home to remove the minerals from your water.

On the other hand, if your water emits a strong odour, like rotten eggs or something reminiscent of sewage, there’s a good chance that bacteria is growing inside your tank. To address this, flush the water tank thoroughly. You may also want to replace the anode rod, primarily if it’s corroded. For a definitive solution to these problems, it’s always best to contact a water heater repair professional to identify the issue and resolve it immediately.

3. A Noisy Water Heater

A noisy water heater is the result of many different factors. Discoloured water, which often has an excessive buildup of minerals and sediment, may be the source of the clanging and rumbling. Flushing your water heater once a year can prevent this from happening. However, if you hear a type of boiling sound, the unit is overheating. In this case, it is crucial to call an emergency plumber right away, as this sound means that pressure is dangerously building up in your heater.

4. A Leaking Water Heater

If your water temperature has been too cold lately, there may be a leak in your water heater. To do this, you’ll need to figure out the origin and cause of the leak. These could be the heater’s age, possible bad installation of plumbing, poor maintenance, problematic pressure to the tank, and poor maintenance. If your water heater unit has pools of water around it, that also indicates a leak.

5. A Dirty Burner or Damaged Gas Control

Lastly, a damaged burner or gas control may result in a malfunctioning water heater. The unit cannot work correctly if the burner is dirty or otherwise damaged, which means the water won’t heat up properly. To fix this, hire a licensed plumber to replace the impaired gas control or burner assembly, who will do the job correctly and fix up your heater in time for your next shower.


No one wants their water heater to break down, especially when temperatures start to fall. However, by familiarizing yourself with the most common water heater problems and how to fix them, you’ll know what to do if your unit malfunctions.

Bromac Mechanical is a team of licensed plumbers offering a wide range of plumbing and heating solutions, such as water heater repair, emergency plumbing, leak detection services, gas fitting, boiler installation, and many more. Call us today for a consultation!

Share this post