Guide to Hot Water Heater Problems (Gas or Electric – Tank or Tankless)



A hot water heater is a specialized device used for regulating hot or cold water within your home. It is either a tank-type, a tankless or a solar device.

Different problems may be associated with different types of heaters. However, there are some common issues that you may experience, regardless of the type of tank you have.

No Hot Water

So you’ve finally installed a brand new hot water heater system and you are excited to use it. You turn on the device, turn on the water in your faucet…. and, to your dismay, the water is still cold!


How much new water heater installation costs?
Water Heater Repair
$150 - $300
New Water Heater
New Gas Water Heater Cost:$800 - $1100
Tankless Water Heater
$1500 - $2500+

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code


Lets take a closer look at these problems:

Before you grab your phone for a refund, you should know that this is actually a common problem and yes, it can be fixed.

If you have an electric device, and its not producing hot water after being turned on for some time, then maybe the electric heating element is not working. Try to check it out first. If it does have problems, you can replace it by buying a new one from your nearest hardware store.

Also See: Water Heater Replacement Price Calculator

Using this tool you can estimate the cost of installing new Tankless or Tank Water Heater. Gas or Electric, 40, 50, 75 gallon, Power Venting options, and even locally adjusted pricing. It takes 15 seconds to get an instant price quote!

If you have a gas heater, take a look at the pilot light, to see if its turned out. This is a safety feature on gas water heaters: When the pilot light is turned off, it does not allow any gas to be delivered, preventing the water from getting heated. If the pilot light is off, simply turn it on.

Another potential source of the problem in any type of a hot water heater could be the thermostat. Its purpose is to act as a monitoring device, but when it fails to perform its job, it becomes a real pain in the neck. A malfunctioning thermostat can cause water to be either too hot or too cold. Replacing the thermostat might solve the problem.


How much new water heater installation costs?
Water Heater Repair
$150 - $300
New Water Heater
New Gas Water Heater Cost:$800 - $1100
Tankless Water Heater
$1500 - $2500+

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code


Not Enough Hot Water

During the weekdays, you are always in a hurry, especially when you oversleep and are about to be late for work. You get in the shower, hoping wake up and get an energy boost for the day. While enjoying your warm shower, you feel the water suddenly becoming cold!

Annoying, isn’t it? A water heater that is not supplying enough hot water can change your mood and, worse, make you worst that something may be wrong with your heater.

This type of problem is usually linked to the device’s thermostat. A defective thermostat can change the temperature of the water dramatically. Thermostats are attached to the valve. Check if it’s working and compare the actual temperature of the water to what is shown on the gauge.

A clogged flue or vent could also be the problem. It may alter the normal flow of water from the tubing. A clog could minimize the pressure and can even cause an imbalance in the heating mechanism.

Pressure relief valve leaking

Pressure relief valve is an important part of any hot water heater, and if it’s not functioning properly, the tank can explode (no joke)!

Make sure you test your valve every 6-9 months. If it does not work properly, you will need to replace it.

To test the valve, you will need a small container, gloves and safety goggles.

Unscrew drain tube from the valve. Place water container directly under the valve and open it 1/3 way up (not fully). Water should start coming out under pressure, and you will hear a hissing noise. Release the valve handle.

If water stops coming out after you wipe the valve down, your valve is working properly. If there is a drip – you need to replace your pressure relief valve.

Black or Rusty-Colored Water

Safe water is a top priority in every household. Especially if you have children at home, you have to make sure that your water supply is clean. What if one day while washing dishes or taking a shower, you see black or rusty color water come out? Don’t panic! This issue can be fixed.

Usually rusty colored water is caused by a dissolved anode. This is a metal element in your water heater, and when it’s exposed to heat on a long term basis, it may rust and degrade. If this happens, it’s time to change the anode.


How much new water heater installation costs?
Water Heater Repair
$150 - $300
New Water Heater
New Gas Water Heater Cost:$800 - $1100
Tankless Water Heater
$1500 - $2500+

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code


Water is Too Hot

Taking a shower before you sleep can promote comfort and relaxation. Now what if your shower produces water that is too hot? If your water is hotter than what you normally expect, then your thermostat may not be working properly. It is a specialized part of the gas valve that is responsible for controlling and monitoring the temperature inside the tank. Be careful when checking it, because it may be really hot!

Water is Leaking

Water leaks are also a common problem for most water heater users. Leaking can either start from the top or from the bottom of the device. Leaks can be caused by a number of different problems including corrosion. When the water stays in the tubes for a long time, sediments and rust start to form. Eventually, they create cracks inside the tubing or the tank itself, causing leaks.

Smelly Water

While preparing dinner, you notice that something smells awful. You suspect some of the vegetables and eggs are rotten, but as you inspect them one by one, you discover that it has nothing to do with your food. Every time you open the faucet, that rotten smell diffuses in the air. It’s a sign of a probable bacterial or fungal infection.

Bacteria feed on the hydrogen gas that is emitted by the anode rod. Another bacterium is Legionella, which thrives in mildly warm water. These bacteria can cause health problems if your water supply is contaminated. To get rid of them, perform a yearly maintenance and flushing of your hot water heater.

First, drain all the water inside the tank. Next, fill it with 2 pints of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Let it stay in the tank for 2 hours before draining and refilling it with clean water. If the problem still persists, try replacing your anode rod with a zinc alloy anode rod.


How much new water heater installation costs?
Water Heater Repair
$150 - $300
New Water Heater
New Gas Water Heater Cost:$800 - $1100
Tankless Water Heater
$1500 - $2500+

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code


Popping Noises

Is your water heater making a strange-sounding popping noise? This may be related to excessive build-up of sediments in the tank, which cause the water to actually boil instead of being just heated. To get rid of these sediments, flush them out of the tank and refill it with new and clean water. An annual flushing and scrubbing of the tank, its tubing and other parts can prevent the recurrence of this issue.

What to do if your water heater is dead?

At some point all water heaters go bad, beyond restoration. The truth is, they are made to last only 10 years (15 if you are lucky). And sooner or later you will need to replace it. But, fear not! Water heaters are actually not that expensive, compared to many other big ticket items around the house. I had mine replaced for $950 total, including labor, materials and hauling away old tank! So the question becomes – what do you get if you need to replace the whole unit – gas or electric, storage tank or tankless, what brand, etc. We’ve created a detailed guide on water heater installation prices which answers ALL those questions and list material and labor costs for most types of units.


How much new water heater installation costs?
Water Heater Repair
$150 - $300
New Water Heater
New Gas Water Heater Cost:$800 - $1100
Tankless Water Heater
$1500 - $2500+

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code


78 thoughts on “Guide to Hot Water Heater Problems (Gas or Electric – Tank or Tankless)

  1. Linda Neufeld

    We have an electric hot water tank
    My husband thinks one of the elements is burned out
    How can I tell which one and how do I replace it

    Reply
  2. Eileen Keenan

    We have just tried to turn on the water at pour cabin after the system being drained and shut down for the winter. Water flows into the electric hot water tank but none comes out. we filled the tank until water came out of the overflow into the drip pan below. Is there any type of safety valve or anything that could be preventing water carving the tank? when we disconnected the exit pipe and put a screwdriver into the opening there is definitely something obstructing the exit connection. Any ideas what could be wrong?

    Reply
  3. DeBorah

    My mobile home has (nylon tubes?) Instead of pipes and the hot water tube is leaking where it attaches to the shower. I’ve no idea how to fix it. I am on a fixed income and can’t afford a plumber. Can you please help?

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Deborah, These tubes must be PEX … they are commonly used instead of copper, because they are flexible and don’t need soldering.

      Fixing them is not difficult – i recommend watching a few videos on youtube how to work with PEX. you can buy a few parts and a crimper tool at home depot… you can later return the crimper… or rent it … it should cost no more than $30 – $50 to fix most leaks (in parts + tool rental)

      Good luck

      Reply
  4. Heavenly

    I just moved into a new house everything completely renovated and new at first one section of the house got hot water but the other two sections of the house had only cold water (house split into three sections for myself and my two sisters) the plumber came and set the water heater and we got clips to control the time. Only the sinks got hot water in all sections the shower only got hot water in the first section and Luke warm in the other sections the plumber moved around the knobs and changed a part on them because he said it was clogged now we get warm water in the middle of the day but cold in the morning and at night. What can I do at this point we really need at least warm water to shower in and I have tried everything from changing the times to turning it on without a timer even with it running all day the water is only hot once during midday. Landlord says it’s because of the solar but I thought that would help with the hot water please help

    Reply
  5. Jennifer

    We have tankless water heater that is not getting hot water to any of the sink faucets in house and we had to take shower heads apart to get hot water in the showers. This is a recent problem. Does that mean tankless is going bad? Pipes are clogged? Help!

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Jennifer, it could be many things.

      Is your tankless heater GAS or ELECTRIC?
      Does water heater get warm?
      Does ANY water flow when you turn on HOT water in faucets / showers?

      Try this – turn on HOT water in all faucets and showers, and if your heater is ELECTRIC, go outside and see if meter is spinning at an increased rate. If gas, turn off other gas appliances, and go listen to the gas meter – you will hear hissing sound of gas flowing, if your water heated is using much gas.

      If you don’t see increase in electric use or don’t hear gas flowing, something is wrong with either heating element / burner, or control boards.

      If water is not flowing, it could be either SUPPLY problem (water not getting to the heater) … perhaps someone shut off water supply … or pipes problem AFTER the heater. Honestly though, clogged water pipes is VERY RARE.

      You most likely will need a specialist to check it out.

      Good luck, Leo

      Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Jamie – it’s not good – water tanks are insulated, so it should not be hot to touch … I recommend contacting a specialist very soon.

      Reply
  6. Holly

    Hi! I have an electric water heater. It has worked fine until recently. There is enough hot water in the morning for two showers. But by the time we get home from work & school it’s only luke warm. There is no other water being ran for the whole day. I checked the tank & there are no leaks. What could be causing this?

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Holly,

      It could be bad heating elements. These tend to go out often. I think they are “made to die” after a few years, so you’d have to buy new ones…. Try replacing these. They are not expensive… and you can most likely return it (if it’s from Lowe’s or Home Depot)…

      Good luck

      Reply
  7. Renay

    Gradually it has been taking longer (like minutes) for our water to get warm to all of our faucets (kitchen, skins, and showers). Before it would heat up within a minute or so. It also seems like the water is not hot enough. What could be the problem? We have a gas heater, the pilot is on and the thermostat is at the max.

    Reply
  8. Deedee Lewis

    I’ve noticed that the water tends to be either too hot or too cold when I am taking a shower. I didn’t realize that it could mean that the thermostat is not working properly. It’s been a problem for a few weeks now so I will have to talk to my husband about it to see if it is the thermostat or something else.

    Reply
  9. vince

    Hi, we have an electric water heater installed under our stairs, I only noticed today that the exterior surface of the tank is quite hot, is this normal?

    Reply
  10. David Dennis

    My hot water heater is in the garage. The temperature has dropped to 25 degrees. We have already replaced the thermostats and element. Worked fine until the cold set in. The water is luke warm.

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      David,

      Try CAREFULLY draining some water from tank (from pressure relief valve) and measure the temp of the water (USE GLOVES to not burn yourself).

      This will tell you if water in the tank even gets hot… regardless of garage temp (25 degrees is not THAT cold) water in tank should be hot … not luke warm … so something is probably with thermostat / heating element … i Know you replaced them, but those new parts could be defective… try taking them back to store, and replace them.

      ALSO

      are your water lines INSULATED?
      specifically hot water pipe, going from heater to the house? You can be loosing temperature in those pipes.

      However, once water starts running, you shouldn’t loose that much heat…

      Reply
  11. Wayne

    After I’m away for a few days and return home my hot water is only Luke warm (at best) After i run the water for15-20 minutes it starts to warm up. It usually takes 2-3 day for it to return to normal. What’s my problem?

    Reply
  12. Evelyn Hutchinson

    Hey got a question I have a 40 gallon gas hot water heater water gets hot but takes like 4 or 5 hours after 2 showers could this be the thermostat we just put it in not long ago ???? Please help!

    Reply
  13. Katie Sims

    My water heater isn’t even a year old yet, and I don’t have any of the above problems, but I have a slight concern. My water heater feels warm, and it’s indoors, my AC/Heat is not on, but I can feel heat hitting my face from the water heater itself. Is this normal? I’ve never encountered this with any other water heater before. Should I be concerned?

    Reply
  14. Keith Rose

    I have a 2 year old hot water heater. Off warranty.
    Over the last 5 months, I have had to keep adjusting the temperature control valve hotter and hotter to get adequate hot water.
    If I turn the dial back to pilot and then bring it back to the hot temp setting this seems to work- but only for a few days- Then I have to do this again. If I got up a bit on the heat level this holds for a few weeks or a so, but then again the water is not hot enough. I have to reset it as above, but then a couple days later I either do that again, or o up a notch which buys e a few weeks. .
    I am now on the hottest setting- Nowhere else to go. I can keep resetting it, but the temp keeps dropping off.

    I’m guessing a thermostat problem?
    Replace the gas valve/thermostat piece?
    Advise would be welcome.

    Reply
  15. Ha

    Question: We just bought our home, so no experience with water heaters. The water takes forever to get hot (a good 5 minutes or longer). Doesn’t seem right and also very wasteful. How can we fix this or diagnose the issue?

    THANKS in advance for any help!

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Frankie, yes you can use washing machine on cold, no problem. In fact many recommend using cold water in washing machine. Its not going to damage your water heater

      Reply
  16. Larry Shimoda

    I installed a new 40 gallon electric water heater. After plumbing it in I opened the water to completely fill the tank. Left the tank to heat up for an hour, trouble is tap water is not hot maybe room temperature. The hot water tank outlet copper pipe feels hot 140f so I lowered it to 120f . I left the hot water tap open for a good 10 mins but no hot water. Except on one tap only the water did come out hot for a minute but after that nothing but Luke warm water. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  17. Zequek Estrada

    It’s nice to know that rusty colored water is caused by a dissolved anode. My mother-in-law mentioned something about that the other and was panicking. I’ll have to let her know what the problem is.

    Reply
  18. Cruz

    A week ago the hot water would so hot it made it hard to adjust the water when showering. Now there is no hot and humid water.
    Seeking HELP!

    Reply
  19. N Brown

    Installed new 50 gallon electric water heater two weeks ago. Used to be able to fill our garden style tub, but now get about half that. Or… a kid could bath in a smaller bath tub in a lukewarm bath, and there’s only minimal warm water left. It seems to heat up okay, but we have the thermostats set high – around 150! Just don’t have the AMOUNT of hot water we had from our old one. Also, I’ve had to hit the reset button twice during the past two weeks. Ideas?

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      N Brown,

      Maybe you got a defective unit? If you bought it at Home Depot / Lowe’s i believe you can return / exchange it. Try doing that or get a different brand…

      new heater should not work so crappy

      Reply
  20. Chuck Scaravilli

    Just installed an 80 gallon whirlpool electric water heater.

    Sometimes I’ll try a faucet and get hot water then later in the day or the next day I’ll try the same faucet and the water is cold and will not heat up.

    We had the plumber out and he can’t figure it out.

    Any ideas

    Reply
  21. Jenny

    We recently had repairs completed at home and I notice our water heater tank has a hairline crack on the side. There is not a leak, and the water heater continues to work well. Is this something I should be concerned about?

    Reply
  22. Sarah Smith

    My hot water heater isn’t working and I’m trying to get it fixed. Thanks for the advice about how too hot of water or too cold of water could be a sign of a broken thermostat. Another thing to consider is to get a plumber to inspect your hot water heater regularly to make sure it is running correctly.

    Reply
  23. Andy

    Hi,
    Would appreciate an advice a lot.

    Just moved to the US couple of months ago and being around the world a lot I’m a bit surprised with the way a gas water heater behaves in my house here.
    Why does it turn on for COLD water? Is this the way it’s supposed to be or is this a malfunction?
    I actually like my cold water cold, not lukewarm. And I cannot think about any logical reason to make devices warm the cold water up, aside from getting more gas consumed 🙂 so what’s the point?
    Or is this some kind of a local US standard?
    If yes – how the hell can I turn this thing off and make my heater heat only HOT water and leave my COLD water cold?:)

    Thanks a lot))

    Reply
  24. Susan

    I tried to drain my heater but the sediment was so built up it was very slow. We finally just turned the drain valve off but then it continued to leak in small drips for several days. I discovered that the drain valve washer was cracked and replaced it. That stopped the leak but then when I turned the valve on and off again the leak started back up. Also, we noticed that the upstairs shower started leaking. This same thing happened when we first drained the tank a few days ago but the shower drip stopped after a few hours. Now it is happening again. Why does the shower leak as a result of our turning on the drain valve? Why does the drain valve still leak even after we changed the washer?

    Reply
  25. Hot Water Cylinders Rheem

    I agree with you that two of the most common problems with hot water heaters are that they produce water that is either not hot enough or too hot. Thanks for the great suggestion buddy!

    Reply
      1. Leo Post author

        Cameron,

        Do you mean some of your faucets get good pressure and some don’t?

        If so, something is wrong with your piping. Maybe there is a pressure reducer somewhere

        Reply
  26. Eric Bryant

    We just installed a new water heater. I’ve noticed that, with the new heater, I have to turn the shower faucet farther to the left to get the water hot. With the old heater, which was about 10-12 years old, I only had to maybe turn the knob 10 degrees to the left, and the water would be really hot. But with the new heater, 10 degrees left is only mildly warm, and I have to turn it, like 45 degrees left to get it the same hotness level as before. Is this normal?

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Check your connection of the hot water and the safety valve.. Blue cap is hot water outlet, red cap, safety valve… Or u need to adjust your temperature

      Reply
  27. Diego Pina

    Hello I have a gas water heater and makes a boom noise when we run hot water inside the house or when we wash close . I’m assuming it’s the heater turning on? Also the pilot shut off on it own.

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Diego,

      There is something wrong with the gas heater part. Usually when heater goes on, there is a sound, but definitely not “boom” … how old is your tank?

      I would recommend contacting a local plumber – repair would cost somewhere between $200 and $300 … maybe a bit more …

      If your tank is old, it’s probably better to replace it (costs $900-1300 depending on your location and type of tank u get)

      I would not want to risk flooding basement or even worse – fire .

      Good luck, Leo

      Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Amanda,

      Does it take long time to heat up the water?

      My guess is your tank has a lot of settlements on the bottom… I recommend connecting a water hose and draining the tank. If you cannot drain it outside, get a short hose and drain into 5 Gallon buckets. But be careful – water will be very hot.

      Before you drain the tank, make sure you put it on pilot, and let hot water run in sinks / bath tub for some time, so you don’t scald yourself when draining.
      Also SHUT OFF cold water intake before draining – otherwise your tank will be refilling.

      Once you drain, turn on cold water intake and put setting back to warm (i don’t recommend hot).

      Good luck and be careful.

      Reply
  28. Chris F

    I am having a problem with my water heater not producing cold water. When I turn my sinks or showers on the water is cold for a few seconds then heats up even though they are on the coldest setting . I have a electric heater in garage

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Chris,

      1) Hot water heater does not produce COLD water.
      2) Even on coldest settings, water heater still heats up water – but to a lower temperature.
      3) When you turn on HOT water, you get cold water for few seconds, because the water in the pipes between your sink/shower and the tank cools off, when not in use. Then harm/hot water starts coming in – this is normal.

      Other than that – I’m not really sure what your question is. Do you want hot water or do you NOT want hot water? If not, just turn off the heater (either switch on the heater or turn of the circuit breaker for the heater, in you electric panel.

      Hope this helps, Leo.

      Reply
    2. John McGinty

      My mom reported the same thing. She also said the floor was warm. It was a slab leak and the leaking hot water was warming up the cold water pipes.

      Reply
      1. Leo Post author

        John,

        Why does your mom have cold water pipes on the floor? They are usually attached to basement ceilings.

        Reply
        1. Jeanne Kirby

          If it was a slab leak, how did they determine that? What was done to repair it? How expensive was it? Is it covered by insurance?

          Reply
  29. Randy

    December, January and February my hot water tank pilot wouldn’t stay on, hence causing consistent cold water and no heat (because my forced air system uses hot water to heat my apartment); when I looked at me natural gas bills for the above 3 months, it shows that my natural gas usage increased by double. When the new tank was installed the gas usage went down again.

    How is it possible for my natural gas usage to double if I was getting no hot water and heat for 3 months?

    Thanks,

    Randy

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Randy

      My first question is why did you wait 3 months to replace the tank, if you had no heat and no hot water?

      As to increase in your gas usage – often gas companies ESTIMATE usage based on previous years data, and charge you for that. Now that you don’t use heat, the gas usage naturally goes down.

      CHECK your meter, and compare to billing statements. Gas companies OFTEN do not do meter readings and just estimate usage. Make sure you are not getting overcharged.

      Good luck

      Reply
  30. Hope K.

    My water heater is leaking hot water from an exhaust like pipe that comes out the side of the house, leaving a pool of water in the grass. My water heater is in my gargage on a cement platform. Also, my water bill increased $40 since noticing it. It used to drip now its a faint streaming leak. What is going on and is this a concern?

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Hope,

      Is it a valve in the middle or on the bottom?

      The bill went up, because hot water is leaking out, and tank needs to heat up more water than normally.

      The valve at the bottom is a drain valve.

      The valve in the middle (closer to top) with a hose or pipe attached to it is Pressure Relief valve. If middle one is leaking, the valve is broken (most likely) or your water is too hot (very rare occurrence).

      You most likely NEED to replace the valve and it costs only $15 at home depot/lowes, etc.

      Here is our guide on how to fix/replace broken pressure relief valve.

      Reply
  31. Jorge McMillan

    I’m a homeowner now and one of the things that I am wanting to figure out is how to work on my water heater. There are so many things that go into this and I have no idea where to start. This helped me a ton and I hope that I can figure this out before I have problem with it.

    Reply
  32. Tom Hazell

    I have a Britony iIT water heater in the upstairs shower room, and just recently the cold water inlet has blown the incoming Pushfit pvc pipe 3 times! Each time in exactly the same place! Just below the Pushfit connection that is attached to the copper tail! I have spoken to people and they haven’t got a clue! It happens shortly after the shower has been used, but it’s random, and I check the pipe every day and there is no bulging, and then bang! Its weird!

    Reply
  33. Jessie Harrison

    My water heater is stored up above in my attic. Recently I had water dripping down from the ceiling. It turns out that it’s the water heater. I’ve turned it off, but I need to get it back on. I’m just a little worried about it leaking again, I need it fixed.

    Reply
  34. Angela Kellum

    I have a gas hot water heater and all of a sudden I have no hot water pressure. The cold water pressure is fine. I have drained it twice to try and flush out any sediment, but that doesn’t seem to be working.

    Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Angela,

      Is cold water pressure “fine” out of the faucet, or going into your heater tank? Cold water out of the faucet is not connected to hot water heater in any way, so it should be fine “always”. Maybe something is wrong with pipes or valves after hot water leaves the tank.

      When did this issue start? Was it sudden or slow occurring?

      Reply
  35. Robert

    I have a gas tank, it’s leking around the shut off valve, when I turn the hot side off it don’t leak, what would be the best way to fix it

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      Hi Robert… off the top of my head – replace the shut-off valve (about $15), and use new silicon tape, to make sure that seal on the thread is good.

      Hope this helps.

      Oh, and don’t forget to turn the heater off, and draining the water prior to replacing the valve.

      Reply
    2. Leo Post author

      Robert – I’d say replace the valve… but it’s strange …

      Just to clarify – which shut-off valve? Cold water in?

      Reply
  36. Robert

    I have a leak around the pressure relief valve, on the hot side, it only leak when the hot water to the tank is on

    Reply
  37. FAYE

    my water heater is outside under my window normal outdoor temp is 70-90’s
    a low hum engine noise starts about 3AM and lasts for 4 hrs do you know what this is and can I change the timer? to come on at 8AM?

    Reply
    1. Leo Post author

      FAYE
      There should be no engine noise coming from water heater. In fact there isn’t even a water circulator on water heaters … those are on boilers, for baseboard heat. That is – unless you have power vent… but being outside, you don’t need power vent at all.

      The only sound you should hear is the burner going on and off, and it should not be that loud.

      Maybe noise is from your neighbours?

      Or maybe that is infact sound of gas burner. But it should not go on for 4 hours. Water heaters have no timer. There is a temperature setting, and burner goes on/off automatically to keep temp more or less equal. Try lowering your temp setting a little.

      Reply
  38. JIM

    I have a brand new power vent gas water heater. Ever since it was installed over a month ago the water temperature has been scalding hot. The installation guy said the thermostat setting is where he always sets it at and he’s done hundreds. I’ve had to turn it down several times and it’s better but still very hot. Now we’re having an issue with it running out of hot water. The old one had neither problem. The pilot kept going out which the new one does not.

    Reply
    1. levab Post author

      Jim

      Try calling the manufacturer to see what’s going on. Could be some kind of defect.

      Also try adjusting temperature control dial. There is a WHITE mark on the dial, that indicates default temp. Put temp dial in default position and see what happens.

      Water heater temperature control

      Don’t run your heater TOO hot – it will shorten tank life significantly.

      Reply
  39. Frances

    The hot water coming from our new electric water heater smells like a petroleum product. We are on a well. The water from the well has no odor or taste. It is something in the tank. Does anyone have experience with this?

    Reply
  40. James

    Burners won’t stay on. I pushed the reset button, lit pilot , moved button from pilot to on, moved temp gauge on required setting, 1 notch past warm between warm and hot. Burners start up and run for about 15/20 min. before shutting down again. What would cause this? Could it be the thermocouple? , dirty burners? Any suggestion?

    Reply
  41. mikel delifus

    Water heater keeps going out it will light and stay lite for a day some times 3 days and sometimes a week but sooner are later it goes back out.

    Reply
  42. Susan

    It takes a long time to get hot water from our taps – several gallons. We live in a house on a slab with in floor heat, so I am surprised that the water takes so long to heat up.

    Reply
  43. Paul

    I had a sooting problem and after I cleaned the burner orfice and burner the soot problem stopped. However, when the burner is not on the orifice is still weeping gas and there is a yellow flame from it. The pilot light is also lit. When I shut the gas off from the thermostate it takes about a minute for the gas to run out or t/c at the pilot light to react and shut the gas off. Is the orifice suppose to support a flame or is the control suppose to cut the gas off? Is this the source of the soot? This Sears water heater is about 18 years.

    Reply
  44. Michele Weishaar

    Electric Water Heater: 02-28-15

    In my 3-adult household ( 2 showers taken an hour apart before 8:00 a.m. and 1 shower after 7:00 p.m.). Our 5yr. old 40-gallon electric water heater has went from 20 minutes (standard manufactures temperature settings) to barely producing 5 minutes hot water (with water temperature at maximum settings) within this past year. When making my morning coffee today; “sulfur odor” coming from faucet (all faucets are producing).

    I live in the country, so I checked with my neighbors (6 homes) to see if their water was secreting the “sulfur odor” as well. No odor smell but could be camouflaged by water filter systems (we do not have this item). After extensive internet researching/reading, I found most highly recommend contacting both my PWS – Public Water Supply (PWSD #2) as well as my local counties Health department.

    In hopes of a quick response and spend all day on the hold; with PWS and Health department; Monday; I wanted to ask the following.

    Is it possible, that all my water issues; stemming from the lack of hot water production as well as causing the faucets to secret the “sulfur odor”; from the electric water heater (whole system) breaking or just corroded with “hard water calcium deposits”?

    Reply
  45. Klaus Ellenberg

    Our domestic water coming into our electric hot water is very cold well water.Does this cause the water heater to work harder?

    Reply
  46. Jeff Patterson

    I have very low hot water pressure coming out , nothing is leaking or popping nothing .. So what can I try to do>???

    Reply
    1. Frankie Smith Carradine

      My hot water heater stopped working so I shut it down. Can I use the washing machine on cold water without destroying something else?

      Reply

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