Your water heater is one of those home appliances that you don’t even notice until something goes wrong- and whoops! You shower is running ice cold. The water heater in your home works non-stop, around the clock, and is always ready at your beck and call.

The sad part is that water heaters are often neglected because of how easily they’re overlooked. We often don’t think to check up on them. This can lead to a host of problems, the least of which is no hot water! Here are four common water heater problems to look out for…

What’s the Issue? Four Common Water Heater Problems

Your home is fitted with either one of these common residential water heaters: electric or gas-operated. It’s important to understand how each one functions and what could be the potential cause of water heater problems.

Fortunately, electric tank-type repairs are simple – it’s usually a basic component that’s causing the problem. But if there’s a problem with the entire tank itself, it may need to be replaced completely. Here are four of the most likely causes of water heater issues:

1. A Glitchy Heating System

This is common in water heaters that are older than 10-15 years. If you neglect yearly maintenance of your water heater, like flushing it out, this can also lead to heating system issues. Some glitchy areas in the system could include the thermal switch, thermostat, and heating element. Or, you could simply be out of gas for gas-powered heating tanks. Check out propane cost per gallon if you need to stock up!

If you have any of these heat tank issues, it’s best to call in the expertise of a licensed plumber.

2. A Faulty Dip Tube

The dip tube is an important component that delivers cold water into the heat tank. A dip tube that functions correctly shoots cold water to the bottom of the tank, where it’s heated up. If you have a faulty dip tube though, it will only deliver water to the top of the tank. This means that cold water could be escaping out into the hot water outlet before it’s had the time to heat up.

3. Sediment Buildup

Another common cause of warm or even cold water coming from a heat tank is the buildup of sediment. The water that enters your heat tank carries minerals and small amounts of debris. This mineral buildup and debris sinks to the bottom of the tank and can buildup over time. The element that heats up the water is found at the bottom of the tank, and with enough debris buildup, this can hinder the efficacy of heating up the water.

4. Anode Rod Corrosion

If the hot water coming from your tank is a red/rust color, this could be a sign of anode rod corrosion or corrosion of the tank itself. If this issue is neglected, this could lead to serious tank erosion, tank leaks or even a burst tank. Replacing the anode rod is a simple fix and can also tack a few more years onto the lifespan of your tank!

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