There’s nothing more annoying than looking forward to a hot, relaxing shower only to be greeted by cold water once you step inside your bathroom. You can wait all you want for the water to warm up but more often than not, you have no other choice but to bathe in cold water. This is what can happen when your water heater malfunctions. You may need the help of a professional to find the cause of the malfunction and get it fixed. Here are some likely causes of water heater failures.

Broken Heating Elements

When the heating level of an electric water heater drops, there could be a problem with the heating elements inside the tank. One of them may have burned out, and if the other starts malfunctioning as well, you won’t be able to get any hot water at all. The heating elements might have also lost power due to a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. It’s necessary to inspect the fuse box to see what might have gone wrong.

Failing Burner or Pilot

Dirt or corrosion can damage a gas-powered heater’s burner unit. In this case, the burner cannot process the gas jets that heat the water because the dirt or corrosion has clogged the source of oxygen. A failure in the electric ignition system or standing pilot light may also prevent ignition.

Busted Gas Control Valve

The gas control valve is responsible for providing the gas supply to the burner so it can heat the water. If the valve fails, that supply is cut off, effectively disabling the heater.

Sediment Buildup

Water contaminants can also be blamed for a heater’s failure. These contaminants can collect and harden in the bottom of the heater after quite a while. This makes your heater work twice as hard to produce hot water. You can fix sediment buildup by cleaning the heater regularly and lowering the temperature to 130 degrees. A water-softening agent can also be used to deal with the buildup of hard water contaminants.

If, however, the tank itself has become rusty, a cleanup wouldn’t suffice. You will have to replace the heater entirely.
Water heater breakdowns can cause a lot of hassle, especially during cold seasons. That’s why it’s important to call a professional once you spot a problem so you can get it fixed before it can get worse. It’s also better to have a professional to do a regular check to keep the heater in good condition all year long.