We at Blu Jay Plumbing and Rooter specialize in the installation of new high quality energy efficient hot water heaters. We can also diagnose your current hot water heater to determine if repairing your unit would be cost effective. Keep in mind that the average life span of a hot water heater is 12-15 years. If you are experiencing problems with your current hot water heater and it is approximately 12-15 years old, it is recommended that you replace it rather than trying to repair it.

Common Problems with Older Hot Water Heaters

1. Water Leaks

Water leaks will begin to occur in older units as water will eventually begin to corrode your tank creating microscopic cracks or fractures. If you have water leaks at the top of your unit, it could be due to loose connections at your cold water inlet pipe and/or your hot water outlet pipe.

If you have water leaking from the bottom of your unit, it could be a condensation issue that could be solved by turning up the thermostat.

If water is spilling out from the overflow pipe or pressure relief valve, it could be indicative of water tank corrosion. If that is the case, you need to replace your unit.

2. No Hot Water

If you tank is full and there is no hot water, there could be a problem with your heat source. For electric water heaters, the heating elements and their electrical connections could be impaired.

For gas water heaters, there could be a problem with your pilot light or gas connection. If your pilot light is lit, the problem could be with your burner. If you have a newer unit with an electronic ignition system, check your electric panel to see if the circuit to your water heater has tripped. If so, just reset the breaker and see if that solves the problem. If you still do not have hot water, give us a call at Blu Jay Plumbing and Rooter and we will be right out.

3. Awful Smelling Hot Water

If you have smelly hot water from your water heater, there could be a buildup of bacteria. Turn up your thermostat to 140 degrees Fahrenheit which should kill  any bacteria in your tank. Be sure and turn down your thermostat and wait a couple of hours before running any hot water to avoid burning your bare skin.

If you still have smelly hot water, then you may need to clean and flush your tank with a chlorine bleach solution.

4. Tank Takes Too Long to Reheat

A water heater taking a long time to reheat could be due to a number of problems:

  • the thermostat could be set to low which means your burner is not putting out enough energy to heat your water fast enough;

  • there could be a problem with your gas connection resulting in poor gas pressure, a dirty flu vent or a dirty burner orifice which could be preventing proper gas flow;

  • or your water heater may be too small for the needs of the household which means the burner is trying to heat a tank that is constantly being refilled.

5. Water that is Too Hot or Too Cold

Water that gets too hot or too cold could be indicative of a faulty thermostat. Water that is too cold, could be indicative of a gas flow issue that is inhibiting your burner to adequately heat the water in your tank.

If you are having issues with your water heater that you cannot fix yourself, give the plumbing professionals at Blu Jay Plumbing and Rooter a call for a complete evaluation of the problem and our best recommendation on what to do.