Water Heater Problems You Might Experience

August 16, 2022
Water Heater Problems in Orchard Park, NY

Unlike heated air that allows you to live in your home during a cold winter, water heaters aren’t essential to the functioning of your household. Yet, think of how aggravating and inconvenient it would be to live without one. A well-maintained traditional water heater should last about 10 years, and a tankless heater lasts even longer. But like any other appliance, a water heater is subject to breakdowns, often when they are least expected and most inconvenient. Here are some of the more common things that can go wrong with your water heater.


Leaks can be caused by a variety of problems with your hot water heater. Corrosion inside the tank that has become bad enough to actually breach the tank can cause it to leak. If this happens, the tank needs to be replaced.

Fluctuating Water Pressure

Fluctuating water pressure is a problem that is caused by a host of other problems. One of the main reasons is that the water heater was incorrectly installed. Other causes are clogs caused by limescale. Limescale should be suspected if the water pressure is unusually low. Water pressure that’s too high can damage the heater, too. Another problem with water pressure could be that the tank’s water valves are in a partially closed position or are even broken. The pressure regulator might also be broken. Water pressure issues should be tackled as soon as practicable, for the problems that led to them can lead to other issues.

Broken Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

To be blunt, if your temperature and pressure relief valve fails, your water heater tank can explode. The PRV regulates the pressure from the water coming into your tank. It should be tested at least once, but preferably twice a year. Pull the lever, and let the water flow into a bucket. Then let the lever snap back. If the leak continues, the valve needs to be replaced.

Faulty Heating Element

You might suspect that a heating element is no longer working the way it should because you’ve noticed that your water takes longer and longer to heat. The tank may run out of hot water faster, or it simply won’t deliver hot water at all. After checking to make sure that the power is still on and there’s nothing wrong with the red reset button on your water heater, you should call in our plumber to check your heating element, and replace it if need be.

Broken Gasket

Water heater gaskets are most often installed in heaters powered by electricity. They’re made out of rubber and their number corresponds to the number of heating elements in the heater. Each heating element has its own gasket to prevent leaks. If a gasket is broken, a leak can be a few drops or a devastating flood. The leak can also damage the electrical connectors of the heating element. Besides a pool of water beneath your water heater, areas of rust on your tank may be a sign of a broken gasket.

Overheating Tank

Discovering an overheating tank is simple. The water from your fixtures comes out too hot, even to the point where it scalds you. This is most likely a problem with an electric water heater. The culprit could be a stuck pressure release valve, a thermostat that’s not working properly or whose temperature has been set too high, sediment in the heater or a heating element that’s beginning to ground out or fail.

Damaged Drain Valve

One sign of a damaged drain valve is a pool of water round the bottom of the water heater. You may worry that the tank itself has sprung a leak, but if you look near the bottom of the tank, you’ll see that the drain valve itself is leaking. This happens if the valve becomes loose, stuck or damaged. The best solution is to have a plumber replace the drain valve after flushing and cleaning out the tank.

Though these problems can’t be staved off indefinitely, timely maintenance helps your water heater stay in good working order throughout its lifespan. Our plumbers at Vastola Heating & Cooling are highly skilled in the installation, maintenance and repair of water heaters. We also install, repair, and maintain heating and cooling systems, as well as generators. We proudly server Erie County and surrounding areas of New York. Don’t hesitate to visit our website or give us a call today for all your water heater needs!