Water Heater Repairs

Your water heater is probably the most important appliance in your home. We all use water every day for dishes, laundry, bathing, and cooking! When you are in need of water heater repairs, it can turn your day into a nightmare.  Fortunately, you can depend on our fast service and knowledgeable plumbers to get you on your way with a water heater repair, installation, or replacement.

Below is a list of the most common water heater repairs.

Common Repairs

Burner or Pilot Light

A common water heater repair issue could be a faulty burner or pilot light. In a gas-powered water heater, the burner unit below the tank has jets that will light and transfer heat to the water. It will have a hard time igniting if the burner is dirty or corroding.  Over time the jets will not be able to turn on and the water in the tank will not heat. The flame from the pilot burner is directed onto the thermocouple, which enables it to gauge the temperature of the flame. If there is not sufficient heat from the pilot burner, that could cause the thermostat to keep shutting off the
gas supply. 


The thermostat can be a cause for water heater repair.  If you have an electric water heater, it uses one or two resistive elements to heat the water. Each element is controlled by a thermostat that turns it on when the water temperature falls below its cut-in setting and turns it off when the water temperature exceeds its cut-out setting. If you do not seem to have enough hot water for a shower or the water never gets hot enough to be comfortable, it could be that one of the thermostats is faulty. Gas water heaters use a different type of thermostat system. On gas water heaters, the gas control valve includes both a thermostat and a heat limiting device.
If the thermostat on a gas water heater goes bad, you will have to replace the gas control valve component.

Heating Elements

Another common reason that you may need a water heater repair is faulty heating elements. If your electric water heater becomes slow to heat, runs out of hot water faster than it used to, or doesn’t deliver any hot water, there’s a very high chance that replacing one or both of the heating elements will solve the problem.  Heating elements can burn out. Sometimes only one element can fail thus causing the other element to work overtime. If the heating element is not burned out, it may just have
flipped off because of a tripped circuit or a blown fuse, so check the fuse box as well.

Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve can be a common culprit of needed water heater repairs. Also called a T & P valve, it is particularly important to make sure the water heater can relieve the pressure inside. It is vital that you do not touch the valve in any way that will block or break it.  A pressure relief valve can leak, make a loud whistling noise, or the valve can split and leak. If you find problems with your valve, you will want to call in a professional because repairing the valve correctly is vital to the function of the water heater and safety of your family.

When to have a Water Heater Replacement

Old Age

The first thing to assess is the age of your water heater. If you are going to invest money for repairs, you should consider a potential replacement if the water heater is older. We do not recommend spending money on a water heater older than 10 years old.


Lime/calcium buildup in hot water heater
Calcium buildup in hot water heater tank due to lack of water softening

Older water heaters tend to develop a large amount of sediment that builds up in the tank. Sediment can harden and reduce the efficiency of the water heater eventually leading to a water heater repair or replacement. A water softener may be used to avoid sediment build up.


If you notice a change in taste or smell in your hot water, it could be an indication that your heater is rusting from the inside. Rust-colored water can also be an indication that a water heater repair or replacement is necessary.  If you notice a rusty discoloration when running hot water, it may mean that corrosion is inside the water heater, which may begin to leak. However, rust colored water could be due to galvanized pipes. To determine if the water heater is corroded or if the problem is with the pipes, drain about 10 gallons of hot water into multiple five-gallon buckets. If the water still looks rusty when you fill the third bucket, it’s time to look for a new water heater. 

Thanks for reading!

When you’re in need, we’re already on the way! 1 Tom Plumber is a licensed and insured company here to help with all your water heater repair and replacement needs. We have 24/7 emergency response available with plumbers who will guide you on what is best for your situation.

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