There are a few different possible symptoms that your water heater is struggling in some way. One of the more obvious ones, of course, is if the system isn’t actually providing any hot water. If your water heater isn’t providing the level of hot water that it should be, there might be a couple of different reasons why. Have a look below for a list of issues that can cause this, and what can be done about them.
This is a common cause of low water heater output, especially in areas with hard water issues. Over time, sediment deposits can build up on the bottom of the water heater tank. If the tank isn’t flushed out often enough (like during a maintenance appointment) the buildup can eventually become so severe that the tank will actually become insulated from the burner assembly. The tank will need to be flushed out by a professional to resolve this issue. If the sediment buildup is bad enough, it may need to be manually scraped out to get rid of it all.
Heating Element/Burner Assembly Problems
Whether you’re using a gas or electric water heater, there is a possibility that the root of your issue is with the heating system itself. Burner assemblies in gas water heaters can become clogged with carbon buildup over time. If the assembly isn’t cleaned out often enough, it can eventually prevent the system from igniting at all. Heating elements are less prone to failure, but can develop dead spots over years of use that will decrease the system’s overall heating output. As far as burner assembly clogs go, having a technician clean out the jets should restore the system to proper working order. If you have a dead spot in your heating element, though, it will need to be replaced to get the output back to where it should be.
If your water heater doesn’t appear to be providing any hot water at all, it’s possible that the pilot light or whatever other ignition system your water heater uses is out. If your system uses a standing pilot light, you can check this by looking to see if the flame is still going. Otherwise, you’re going to need to have a professional check it out for you.
The Dip Tube is Cracked
If your water heater is providing hot water, but it’s interspersed with random spurts of cold water, then you probably have a cracked dip tube. This is a plastic tube that directs all fresh water coming into the water heater towards the bottom of the tank, where it can warm up the fastest. If the dip tube cracks, it can leak cold water from the water line into the hot water leaving the tank. Replacing the dip tube should resolve the issue.
Performance Plumbing provides full water heater services in St. Louis, MO. If you have a problem with your water heater, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert technicians. We’ll make sure that your water heater is restored to proper operation.