2 Ways To Troubleshoot Faulty Water Heaters

Posted on: 10 December 2019

Have you ever tried to take a nice, hot shower only to discover that the water isn't hot? Most of the time this is due to other people in the house using the available supply of heated water, which means you just need to wait a few hours for the tank to refill. However, if you check later and the problem is still not fixed, it points to an issue with the water heater. There are multiple things that can cause a lack of warm water, and this guide goes through some troubleshooting tips for some of the most common causes.

Heating Element

The number one reason that the unit stops producing hot water is a faulty heating element inside the appliance. The majority of these appliances will have a top and a bottom heating element. Some units are so small that they only have one, which is easier for you since you know it's faulty. When the water heater has more than one, a complete lack of hot water signals that the top element is bad. A very small amount of hot water means that the lower element should be replaced. This guide goes over step by step how to change heating elements.

Leaking Water Heater

Another issue that is common is water leaking from the appliance. There are a few different areas that it can leak from.


Leaks coming from the bottom of the appliance usually comes from the drain valve. The valve is located at the bottom of the tank because it is used to drain the tank for removal of the unit or when you need to clean the inside of the tank. The first thing you should check is that the valve is completely closed by turning it counterclockwise as far as it will go. This might stop the water from leaking out. If it doesn't, you most likely have a faulty valve and need to get it replaced.


The top of the tank also has a valve that can cause leaks. It is called the temperature and relief pressure valve and is a safety measure to protect against overpressurization in the tank. Unfortunately, if this valve is leaking, it also needs to be replaced immediately. Failure to fix it can cause very serious issues with the entire appliance.


Plumbing contractors can assist you with any problems that you cannot troubleshoot on your own. They can replace or repair any parts on the water heater that is faulty. They can also recommend and install new appliances if necessary.

For more information on water heater repairs, contact a contractor.