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Performance Plumbing Blog

Common Water Heater Problems to Watch For

tank-water-heaterWater heaters are fairly solid systems, but they’re not immune to issues. Sooner or later, they will develop problems even with careful maintenance. In cases like those, it’s best that you be able to identify them as quickly as possible. The faster you can pinpoint issues affecting your system, the faster you can have them repaired and the better off your water heater will be. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more common water heater issues and their warning signs.


No matter their size or location, you should never ignore a leak you find in your water heater. Sometimes, the leak is large enough or placed in such a way as to cause obvious ill effects throughout the rest of the system. A leak in the storage tank causing the entire thing to rupture, for example. The issue doesn’t need to be that severe in order to cause problems, though. If you find a leak of any kind in your water heater, it’s a good idea to call for repairs as soon as possible.

Inconsistent Heating

If it seems like your water heater is not providing a consistent level of hot water, or is rapidly switching between hot and cold water, it might be because you have a problem with the dip tube. The dip tube is the part of the water heater responsible for guiding all new water from the water line to the bottom of the tank. This allows the system to heat the water more quickly, and keeps the cold water at the bottom of the tank separate from the hot water leaving the tank. The dip tube is only made of PVC, though, and as such can often crack as it ages. Cracked dip tubes leak cold water into the hot water leaving the tank, which leads to the fluctuations at the faucet. Replacing the dip tube should fix this problem.

No Heat

If there is no hot water coming from your water heater at all, there could be one of several different issues affecting the system. You might have a clogged burner assembly, which is preventing the water heater from combusting enough natural gas to generate heat. You may also have a lot of sediment buildup in the tank, which will insulate the water inside from the heat the system generates. Or the pilot device may not be working, in which case the system won’t be able to start at all. In order to find out which, of course, you’re going to need to have a technician check out your system for you.

These are just a handful of different water heater issues and their symptoms and is by no means a comprehensive list. If you have concerns about some behavior your water heater is exhibiting, even if it’s not mentioned above, you should really consult with a professional in person about it.

Performance Plumbing offers a full range of water heater repair services throughout St. Louis, MO. If your water heater is experiencing trouble of any kind, make sure that you call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our professionals.  

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