A water heater is a vital appliance in any home, and when it starts to malfunction, it causes a lot of inconveniences. It’s frustrating when you want to take a hot shower after a long day only to find out that your water heater is not working. It can also be a safety hazard.

If you’re regularly experiencing problems with your water heater, it’s time to call a professional. Here are common reasons the water heater has issues.

Missing Servicing and Maintenance

Like any appliance, a water heater needs proper maintenance to function correctly. Over time, sediment and mineral deposits build up inside the tank, causing the unit to work harder and use more energy. This can lead to many problems, such as a shorter lifespan, higher utility bills, and noisy operations.

More to this, the sediment and mineral deposits can also damage the unit, resulting in leaks. Timely water heater repair and maintenance prevent these issues. Make sure to have a professional who understands how to service and repair your type of water heater do the job.


Water heater corrosion is often due to a reaction between the anode rod and the water inside the tank. The anode rod is made of magnesium or aluminum and is designed to corrode instead of the tank. This sacrificial process protects the tank from rusting.

However, if the anode rod corrodes too much, it can cause the tank to leak. If you notice that your water heater is leaking, call a professional right away. A leaking water heater can cause a lot of damage to your home.

Thermostat Issues

The thermostat regulates the water temperature. If it’s not working correctly, the water in the tank gets too hot or too cold. This can be a result of faulty wiring or a bad sensor. If you notice that the water temperature is not consistent, it’s best to call a professional to check the thermostat. Replacing or repairing the thermostat is usually a simple fix.

Valve Issues

There are several valves in a water heater, and they all have a specific purpose. The cold water inlet valve controls cold water flow into the tank. The hot water outlet valve releases hot water from the tank. The pressure relief valve releases water from the tank when the pressure gets too high. 

If any of these valves are not working correctly, you may experience problems with your water heater. For example, if the pressure relief valve is not working, the water pressure will build-up, causing the tank to burst.

Sparks and Flames

Sparks or flames coming from your water heater are serious problems that could be caused by several issues such as a gas leak, a faulty igniter, or a problem with the pilot light. It’s best to switch off the power to the unit and call a professional immediately.

You may also realize the water heater makes strange noises when in operation. It’s usually due to the sediment and mineral deposits mentioned earlier. The best way to deal with this problem is to have the unit serviced and cleaned by a professional. Other noise causes are a loose part or a problem with the heating element.

The Unit is Too Old

A water heater’s lifespan is about 8 to 12 years. If your unit is older, it will be less efficient, use more energy, break down often, and require more repairs. If your system is over 12 years old, it’s best to replace it with a new and better model.

Work With a Professional

If you’re experiencing any of these problems with your water heater, call a professional right away. A water heater is a complex appliance, and trying to repair it yourself can be dangerous. You’ll prolong its life and prevent further damage to your home by having a professional do the job.