3 Tips For Troubleshooting Hot Water Issues

water heater issueWater heater problems can be frustrating when they stand between you and a hot shower or clean clothes, but many common issues aren’t hard to solve. If your water temperature or color is off, or your hot water is running out too fast, a little water heater troubleshooting can help you correct the situation or provide your plumber with useful information.

  1. Check your thermostat – If your water is too hot or cold, or your hot water is running out too quickly, try adjusting your thermostat. Turning it down from 140 degrees to 120 degrees will solve your scalding-hot water problem without putting your health at risk. On the other hand, turning it up to 130 degrees will give you hotter water and let you take longer showers if you mix the hot water with cold. At this temperature, anti-scald devices are a must.
  2. Pay attention to signs of sediment buildup – Over time, the naturally occurring minerals in the water supply build up inside your tank. Signs of this include popping and banging sounds coming from the tank, brownish hot water, and gradually rising energy bills. If not removed, sediment buildup will cause leaks that permanently destroy the tank. In most areas, the tank should be flushed yearly to remove sediment. If you have very hard water, you might need to flush the tank twice a year. You can do the job yourself or have a plumber take care of it.
  3. Examine your water color – Brownish or rusty hot water suggests either sediment buildup or a deteriorating sacrificial anode that should be replaced. Greenish water is usually caused by algae or deteriorating copper pipes. Both can harm your health, so contact a plumber as soon as possible. If your water comes out cloudy, but clears up when left to sit, don’t worry. This temporary milky appearance comes from tiny and totally harmless air bubbles.