Any building depends on hot water for a number of tasks from perhaps bathing to providing clean laundry to sanitizing the hands and utensils, so your water heater not working can pose both an inconvenience as well as a health risk. Not to mention, if your building utilizes a gas hot water heater, it can allow gas to escape into the air if the pilot is not lit, which can ultimately cause an explosion. Therefore, it is important to take water heater issues seriously.

Your building’s water heater not working or not working properly, can be caused by various reasons, including an insufficiently sized water heater. Sometimes installing, high flow appliances can cause a decrease in your hot water supply if your current hot water heater is not large enough, in which case you may want to look into installing a larger unit to increase the hot water supply.

5 Reasons Why the Water Heater Is Not Working

Water heater not workingSome other reasons your water heater may not be working or fail to function properly include:

Deterioration of Parts

The water heater consists of many parts, including the hot water outlet, cold water intake, the drain valve, the heating element, the anode rod, and the dip tube, which is responsible for providing hot water upon demand.

Any deterioration or damage of these parts can result in your water heater not working properly, in which case you may require new parts in order to get it back up and running.

Water Source Problem

If the water heater is emitting a strange odor only when using the cold water, there could be a problem with your water source. However, if the problem persists only when using the hot water, there could be an issue with the anode rod.

Sediment build up can also cause the water heater to smell bad. Minerals, such as copper and iron and high amounts of sulfates can not only cause your water to become discolored, but they can also emit a rotten egg smell as they burn up or become heated by the water heater’s anode rod. Excessive sediment can also cause low water levels, as it takes up space where more water should be.

Many sediment and odor issues can be resolved simply by flushing the system or by installing a whole building water heater filter or/and a water softener.

If the water heater is emitting a strong gas or garlicky smell, most likely the pilot light has gone out, in which case you should immediately turn off the gas supply valve, air out space, and contact your local plumber or gas utility company for emergency service from a safe location.

Water Temperature Issues

Water heater not workingOne major cause of water heater temperature issues is a faulty thermostat. The thermostat is part of the gas valve and when it is improperly set or defective, it can prevent the water from becoming hot. If you are having water temperature issues, try adjusting the temperature on the thermostat to get it back functioning properly. If this does not solve the issue, the thermostat may need to be replaced.

A faulty dip tube could also be the cause of your water heater not working properly. The dip tube transports cold water to the bottom of the water heater tank and hot water to the top to supply hot water upon demand. However, if the dip tube breaks or cracks, it allows too much cold water to enter the top of the tank where it mixes with the hot water and causes it to become cooled.

Sometimes the pilot light on gas water heaters will not light or refuses to stay lit, in which case the pilot light could be to blame for your water heater not working. The pilot light can malfunction for a number of reasons, including a faulty gas valve, a partially clogged or fully clogged gas water heater vent, or the thermocouple may be faulty.

In the event there is no hot water at all, your electric water heater not working or your gas water heater not working could be caused by a faulty heating element.

A Leaking Hot Water Tank

A hot water tank can leak for a couple of reasons, including a loose or faulty drain valve or a crack in the tank itself. Sometimes the temperature and pressure relief valve can leak indicating too much pressure in the tank, in which case it should be addressed immediately.

Pressure Build-Up

A boiling sound coming from your water heater is never a good sign as it can indicate a dangerous pressure build-up, which can result in water that is too hot, and if left untreated, cause your unit to burst. Otherwise, your unit could be making noises due to a number of other issues, including expanding and contracting metal parts or the explosion of sediment build up as it comes in contact with the tank’s heating elements, which can be resolved by flushing the tank.

What Are the Benefits of Water Heater Repair?

A properly functioning water heater provides safety and peace of mind, especially when dealing with dangerous gas leaks, gas lines or water heater pressure, which can occur in both gas and electric units and cause the unit to explode, causing severe damage to both the building as well as its occupants.

Hot water heater repair also ensures the building’s occupants enjoy consistent, quality hot water, which goes a long way towards meeting their expectations and daily demands.

Finally, hot water repair helps keep your unit running efficiently, which in turn helps lower energy and water costs.

How Much Does Water Heater Repair Cost?

Water heater repairs vary based on location, service and rather you require emergency service for your water heater not working or not. However, according to recent reports, the cost of general water heater repair, including the service call, averages around $100.

Sometimes the water heater is beyond repair, in which case you may require a new one, which typically costs anywhere between $550 to $5,100, including parts and installation.

Your water heating not working properly could be due to a minor issue. However, in the event of electrical wiring or gas water heater repair, it is highly recommended that you hire the services of a professional plumber who can repair your unit safely and efficiently.