What's Wrong with My Water Heater

If you’ve had your water heater for 10 years or more, chances are you’re accustomed to unsubtle tips that trouble is brewing in Denmark, so to speak?  You see a big puddle of water around its base.  That’s a problem!  And so is the sudden loss of hot wat when that’s never happened before.

But not all water heater problems are that clear…unless, of course, you know exactly what to look for.

So, to help you get the problem – any problem – fixed quickly and before it can’t get worse, Plumbtastic is pleased to present the following clear indications of water heater trouble.

Not Enough Hot Water

The first indication of eroding hot water capacity is usually water cooling down while washing dishes or taking a shower.  Wait an hour or two, and you probably have what appears to be a fresh and bountiful supply. 

There are a few possible explanations:

  • Your water heater is too small for your current needs
  • Faulty water heater thermostat
  • Burnt-out heating element

Fortunately, none of these problems are difficult to fix provided you act on them quickly.

Water is Too Hot

If you think your water is too hot, start by finding your heater’s thermostat and mark its position with a pen. Turn the thermostat to a cooler setting. Wait a couple of hours to see if the problem is solved. If it isn’t, listen for boiling in the tank and turn on one or more faucets to see if the water comes out steaming. If it does, your temperature-pressure relief valve may be malfunctioning. Act quickly before someone gets hurt.

Discolored or Smelly Water

If all household water looks rusty or smells weird, the problem no doubt stems from inside your hot water pipes. On the other hand, if it’s just the hot water that looks or smells bad, your water heater is probably at fault. Hot water discoloration comes in several varieties. It could look orange or brown-ish, taste rusty, or feel grainy. It could also look yellow or greenish and taste gross or feel slimy.


Water heaters can leak from several different places, and each leak signifies something different. If the leak is coming from a pipe above the heater, it’s possible the tank itself hasn’t been compromised.

If water is leaking from the bottom of the tank, further investigation is required.  If, for example, the leaking is coming from the drain or your T&P (temperature & pressure) valve, the valves can be replaced.  On the other hand, if water is leaking from the tank, that probably means the tank is corroded and needs to be replaced. 

Whatever may be causing concern about your water heater or hot water supply, Plumbtastic is the company you can rely on for prompt service, expert diagnosis, and exactly the right solution.  Contact us today for help with your water heater or any other home plumbing problem.

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