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Why Is My Residential Water Heater Failing?

Home » Why Is My Residential Water Heater Failing?

Your water heater is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment in your home in San Diego. While it may not be visible to the naked eye or in the forefront of your consciousness daily, you rely on the hot water it provides practically every day. As a result, even little issues might cause major disruption. A water heater failure in San Diego can easily bring your home life to a halt if you rely on hot water for everything from cooking to cleaning to bathing and even utilizing other appliances.


That is why it is critical to learn a few of the most common and significant reasons why your water heater may cease operating. The more you know about these water heater problems, the better you’ll be at correctly diagnosing them and performing the necessary remedies on your own.


Before delving into the warning indications that your water heater is giving up, it’s a good idea to understand the components inside your device. A typical water heater comprises a tank of water surrounded by protective linings. A conduit runs through the centre, enclosing the burners that heat the water. They can be set differently depending on whether they are powered by electricity or gas. An anode rod draws corrosive particles, extending the unit’s life.


Water heaters have a normal lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Several circumstances can cause a water heater’s failure. Over time, anode rods degrade. Metal tanks are prone to rusting and leaking. Heating elements break down or stop working. Sometimes you can replace parts. If your water heater continues to fail, you could be better off replacing the complete unit, especially if it has been in service for ten years or more.


When it comes to water heaters, regular water heater maintenance service goes a long way. Don’t let yourself be left out in the cold! Learn how to spot the warning signs of a water heater failure.

9 Signs That Your Hot Water Heater Is About to Fail

Water damage is classified into three main categories based on the level of contamination. These categories are as follows:


This is one of the most common causes of water heater failure. Sacrificial anodes are rods that prevent the metal in the heater from deteriorating. The anodes, on the other hand, will corrode with time and need to be replaced. They often have a lifespan of several years. However, it’s also a good idea to verify the sacrificial anodes once a year to make sure they’re still in good shape. If the rods are worn, it’s time to replace them before the water seriously damages the heater.

A water heater tank frequently corrodes because the sacrificial anode rod deteriorates and is not replaced. This low-cost component is the most critical step in maintaining the longevity of a water heater. A sacrificial anode rod aims to lure corrosive substances away from exposed parts of steel inside the tank. Anode rods must be inspected regularly and may eventually need replacement because they are designed to rust. You can easily avoid water heater corrosion by replacing the anode rod as part of routine water heater maintenance, which is as simple as unscrewing the depleted rod and screwing in a new one.

The Heating Tank Is Leaking Water.

Leaks indicate that your water heater is failing. Water may be dripping from the tank or accumulating beneath the unit. You may also notice water dripping from pipes.

It’s conceivable that the valves aren’t completely closed or that the connections are loose. These components may require tightening or replacement, both of which are simple solutions. However, if the tank leaks, you will have no alternative except to replace your water heater by hiring water heater replacement services in San Diego.

Inadequate Water Pressure

Overly high water pressure can cause catastrophic damage to your water heater, appliances, and even the piping system. The simplest technique to detect this issue is to look for any leaks in the hot water system. Change the pressure if there is an overflow. In general, the highest pressure that should be used is 80 psi. If the problem persists, update the system’s pressure relief valve.

When the temperature or pressure in the water heater becomes dangerously high, the TPR valve opens to release pressure buildup, preventing an explosion. Mineral salt, rust, and corrosion can cause a TPR valve to freeze and stop working.

While it is uncommon, a faulty safety relief valve can result in catastrophic harm. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, if your water heater TPR valve fails, the water in the tank might approach boiling point, explode into steam, and propel the tank through multiple floors like a rocket. This has the potential to result in both personal injury and substantial property damage. So, call professionals for water repair services in San Diego to avoid such damages.

Getting Older

Water heaters can typically last up to 12 years. They normally begin to break down after this time. A flickering pilot light, rust concerns, and fluctuating heating levels are all symptoms that your heater needs to be replaced. Replacing a water heater is an excellent opportunity to upgrade to a more energy-efficient system, which will save you money in the long run.

A Defective Electrical Connection

If you suspect that your heater isn’t operating properly, determine the source of the problem before you replace it. In many cases, the problem isn’t with the heater, but it would be with the electrical connection. However, with an electric water heater, blown fuses or broken power cords can be a source of connection problems. Alternatively, if you have a gas heater, you may be out of gas.

Loose Parts

If any nuts or bolts are loose, a hot water system may not function properly. One technique to verify this is to see whether water leaks from the heating element’s bolts. To begin, tighten the bolts and nuts. However, if the problem persists, it is critical to contact a specialist as soon as possible. Most major problems can be avoided if they are detected early.

A Faulty Thermostat

If your system’s heating elements are in fine repair, but the hot water isn’t operating, examine the thermostat. This or the cut-off switch may be faulty. Although getting a replacement is straightforward and inexpensive, it’s still a good idea to have a professional check and then install the thermostat.

Mineral Deposition

If there is a mineral buildup in the heating system, heating elements can gradually fail. However, this is because mineral deposits can harden, encasing the elements and requiring them to work harder to heat the water. It causes gradual wear and tear, resulting in a shortened life of the heating system. To avoid this, switch off the heater and drain the tank every couple of months. It is a simple approach to keep the heating system healthy and effective by avoiding mineral buildup.

Except for a few exceptions, all water has a certain amount of mineral content. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium are commonly found in this composition. Hard-water minerals are those that are present in concentrations equal to or greater than 60 parts per million.

Hard water is distinguished by the presence of whitish deposits on sinks, tubs, and plumbing fittings. These deposits might become a concern as they accumulate over time. This is especially true when it comes to water heaters. Even in areas with reasonably soft water, mineral buildup can cause problems if not addressed regularly.

The high temperature inside a water heater hastens the mineral buildup process. A coating of solid mineral sediment will form on the tank’s bottom over time. This silt absorbs heat that should be warming the tank’s water. As a result, your water heater will have to run for much longer to reach the appropriate water temperature.

It increases the total wear and strain on the heater, frequently resulting in early failure of the heating element. The good news is that you can avoid sediment-related problems by having your water heater professionally flushed once a year or so. Moreover, this will not only extend the life of your heater, but it will also help it to do its job more efficiently, reducing your energy use.


Mineral deposits separate and settle to the bottom of your water heater tank when it is heated. Sediment accumulates over time and lowers the effectiveness of your water heater that eventually causing damage. This is especially problematic if you have hard water.

Scale and sediment build up as a result of continually boiling “hard water.” If not removed regularly, they may eventually prohibit the anode rod from protecting the unit from corrosion. Another consequence of failing to clear scale and sediment in electric water heaters is the downfall of one or both heating components.

What Happens If Sediment Accumulates in Your Water Heater Storage Tank?

Electric Water Heater: Sediment can accumulate and reach the lower of the heating element. This causes it to burn out, hampering the water heater’s ability to heat water and tripling its recovery time when heating incoming water.


Gas Water Heater: Sediment buildup covers the tank’s bottom (the burner is below the tank). The water heater must now heat water through a layer of silt that acts as “insulation,” reducing its efficiency. It also lengthens the recovery period when heating the entering water.

Take Away

Although you can examine and repair some things yourself, hot water systems are risky. They are pressure tanks filled with boiling water and should only be inspected and repaired by a qualified specialist. The best approach to keeping your system in good condition is hiring top-notch water heater maintenance services in San Diego. The professionals will identify the leaks and rusting and make minor adjustments to keep it running smoothly.


Aside from that, if there is a severe issue, it is critical to consult with a specialist as soon as possible for water heater repair in San Diego. Water leaks and heating issues can quickly move from bad to worse. EZ Leak Detection offers full-service plumbing maintenance, repairs, and replacements for all of your home’s plumbing components in San Diego.


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I recently had water leak issues. I first called a nearby plumber to fix the problem, but the leak still persists. I was frustrated with the constant dripping sound. So, finally, I called EZ. The team showed up on time and gave a precise repair solution for water leak. They fixed it right the first time. Thank you for your help!

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