4 Possible Causes of a Broken Water Heater and What to Do About It

Posted on Dec 6 2022 - 11:00am by Paige Brown, Managing Editor
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By Brooke Chaplan 

You and your family are probably using your water heater every single day, and that appliance must stand up to quite a bit of abuse over the years. Here is a quick glimpse at four of the most common causes of a broken water heater and a few steps that you can take to get that unit back to perfect working condition.

Tripped Circuit Breaker
Those who have an electric water heater should immediately check their circuit breakers if they no longer have hot water. In some cases, a circuit breaker will trip simply because too many devices were being used at once and the system got overloaded. If the circuit breaker continues to trip, then you will need to speak with a technician about putting the water heater on a different breaker or upgrading to a better breaker box.

Problems With the Pilot Light or Burner
A gas water heater has a pilot light that remains on at all times so that the burner can ignite as soon as hot water is used. When the pilot light nozzle becomes clogged or the flame gets blown out entirely, you are going to lose all hot water. This is another common problem that can often be fixed on your own, but you will need to call a professional if the pilot light or burner continues to blow out or won’t burn consistently.

Sediment in the Water
Homeowners who live in a city with hard water might find themselves struggling with a wide variety of plumbing problems, and that includes a water heater that continues to break down. Regularly draining the water heater is a great start, but you might also want to consider investing in a water softener. Installing a whole-house water softener is going to extend the lifespan of your water heater, dishwasher and washing machine.

Blocked or Bent Exhaust Line
Issues with your water heater’s exhaust line should never be taken lightly, and you need to contact a water heater repair company right away if you think that line is clogged, bent or damaged in any other way. Water heaters have very specific exhaust clearance requirements, and a faulty exhaust pipe could result in premature damage to the system. An experienced plumber or technician should be able to install an exhaust line that adheres to all local codes and keeps the system working smoothly.

No one wants to turn on a shower or try to wash their hands only to realize that they have no more hot water. In addition to these few maintenance and repair tips, you should also have your water heater regularly serviced by a professional who can inspect the entire unit for any issues that need to be addressed.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She recommends looking more into water heater repair services if your water heater is not getting any better. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.