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The 5 Most Common Water Heater Problems

For most homeowners, the breakdown of their water heater is nothing short of a disaster. After all, this single appliance provides hot water to showers, bathtubs, and all the faucets throughout a home. Depending on the nature of your other appliances, a water heater breakdown may even impact your washing machine and dishwasher.

As such, it can have real implications for your hygiene and health if it stays out of commission for too long. While we often think of winter when it comes to water heater breakdowns, spring is the time of year when you are most likely to experience sudden damage to this appliance. This occurs for a number of reasons and tends to manifest itself in a number of common ways.

Why Water Heater Problems Are Common in Spring

When we think of water heater problems, it is common to think of wintertime. Not because this is the most common time to have water heater problems, and certainly not because it is the only time at which they can break down. Instead, it’s because it is the worst possible time for these appliances to fail.

In truth, spring is the time when your property’s water heater is most likely to break down. That’s because of:

The Heavy Workload 

During winter, appliances like water heaters are used most often. This means they are subject to immense amounts of strain at these times.
This is why it’s most common for annual inspection and maintenance to be carried out in late fall. That will leave your property in the best possible shape for winter. The heavy workload over winter, however, can exacerbate pre-existing issues or small amounts of damage, leading to deterioration and breakdown in the spring.

Temperature and Climate Changes

Just as a snap freeze can cause serious damage to your property, the process of thawing can cause (or more often, uncover) damage in your home. The most obvious example of this is how pipes that have cracked during a freeze will burst when the ice inside them thaws.

Relieved Pressure 

As is often the case, the sudden relaxation of pressure or tension can lead to a breakdown, and when your water heater finally rests, the damage caused by wear and tear may lead to it seizing up or breaking down entirely.

Common Springtime Water Heater Issues

There are four main issues you might notice in your water heater when spring comes around. They can look quite similar, but there are many different potential causes and contributing factors. That’s why it’s important to call in a professional if you think there is a problem.

Total Failure

The total failure of a water heater (i.e., its failure to even turn on) can be caused by a number of issues, including gas or power failure, a clogged burner, damage or excessive wear and tear to internal components, or even simple age. All appliances have a lifespan and can succumb to age even when they are very well maintained and cared for.

Poor Water Pressure

Poor water pressure is a very general sign that something has gone wrong in your plumbing system or its attached appliances. Most often, poor water pressure occurs because of blockages, sediment buildup, or leaks in the appliance or plumbing system.

Temperature Fluctuation

If you are experiencing frequent or extreme temperature fluctuations, the issue is most likely inside the water heater itself. Of course, there is a chance that a larger leak, or a series of leaks, is the cause of smaller fluctuations, but sudden and extreme temperature changes are most likely to be a problem with the heating elements in the water heater.

Total Heating Failure

If the water heater in your property turns on, but it fails to heat the water passing through it, then the issue is most likely localized within the water heater itself. One of the most common causes of this is damage to the heating element.

Of course, real life is never straightforward. Most homes with water heater issues will find that there are a number of connected issues that all have an impact on the appliance and the wider property. This makes it important to consult a professional as soon as possible.

Get Professional Help for Your Water Heater Problems

These problems can occur at any time of year but they are most likely to occur in springtime. If you notice any of these issues, please contact a professional to have your home assessed. For properties in Virginia Beach, VA, A1 Sewer & Drain is one of the most reputable local companies. We have years of collective experience, and offer consultation appointments to homeowners with concerns.

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