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Common Water Heater Problems & How To Fix Them

Most homeowners don’t understand their hot water heaters too well. After all, the average person can’t put in a hot water heater on their own, and servicing one can be quite difficult. However, there are some common water heater problems that the average consumer can fix, or at the very least, diagnose on their own. Use this guide from Wolff Mechanical to help you identify and troubleshoot common water heater problems.

    • Boiling noise. Water shouldn’t actually be boiling in your hot water heater tank, and this could indicate a buildup of pressure and indicate overheating. If this happens, you’ll want to reduce the water temperature and call a service professional as soon as possible for repair or a new hot water heater.
    • Other strange noises. Strange noises are commonly caused by sediment buildup inside the tank, and the heating element inside the tank will actually cause it to burn. Draining your hot water heater fully will help to get rid of sediment, and it’s something you should do periodically if you live in an area with hard water.
    • Water is too hot. Water that’s too hot is usually the result of the knob simply being turned accidentally. However, this can occur when you install a new temperature gauge as well. To fix it, make a mark on your actual hot water heater tank and make sure the dial is centered against that mark.
    • Smelly or strange looking water. In most cases, this is due to the water itself, and installing a water softener will help. In other cases, you’ll need to flush the hot water heater because iron, copper and other minerals in your water have built up in the tank and are interacting with the anode rod, causing a sulfurous smell or brackish color.

Contact Wolff Mechanical for more tips on fixing common water heater problems. We’ve been part of the Tempe, AZ community since 1990, and we can’t wait to meet you and your family.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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