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Hot Water Heater Not Working ? Here’s 9 Reasons Why!

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why my water heater is not working

Hot Water Heater Not Working Well?

We work so hard all day, and getting home to a great shower is our little slice of heaven. If your hot water heater is not working then you’re getting none of that.

Either powered by electricity or gas, neglecting it may create certain casualties that you are not ready for.

There might be a few different causes, let’s confirm this with the following symptoms.

Hot water heater not working
The water heater tank is one of the most important things in a home.

Your Hot water heater not working properly if:

  • You turn on the hot water tap and get cold water instead.
  • You notice pools of water around the hot water tank. (water heater leaking).
  • Your water gives off a foul smell.
  • You will notice rusting either at the top or bottom of the hot water tank.
  • It makes clunking noises or other unusual sounds.

Let’s go further to see why your hot water is not working as it used to. Hot water heaters like most other appliances in your home require proper maintenance, we often forget to get it checked out. This article will help you avoid costly water heater repair.

Here’s why your hot water heater not working.


Like mentioned earlier poor maintenance leads to a bad water heater. Hence it is important to get someone to check it out from time to time. Most people just buy water heaters and ignore it for the first few years, and this takes a toll on it.


A water heater is made up of two important pipes. One that brings the water in (cold water supply) and the other that gives out heated water. The water entering the tank contains debris, sand, and sediments. These accumulate at the bottom of the water heater. This can be a reason why your electric or gas water heater is not working as it should.

To prevent this situation, you should drain your hot water tank at least once a year. If you never drained these sediments, it will blend with other elements in the water heater.

Buildup of sediments

Each time the water is heated, limescale is created in the water heater. It builds up and accumulates and as it is heavier than water, it drops to the bottom of the water heater. It creates an insulating covering that wears off the anode’s protection.

The bottom of the water heater overheats and destroys the glass covering meant to protect the water heater. Those sediments will also affect the drain valve.

In addition, sediment buildup will reduce the overall water heater efficiency and you may have not hot water anymore. The gas burner (gas water heater) or the heating element (electric water heater) will use way more energy to heat your water.

If you want to reduce limescale buildup inside your water heater, you can install a Corro-Protec powered anode rod. This powered rod reduces limescale buildup inside your tank and completely stops corrosion.

Constant High Pressure

Water heaters can be damaged by high pressure settings. High pressure acts as silent killers that slowly and steadily wear it out from the inside all the way out.

Any pressure above 80 can damage your water heater. It can damage its valves, pipes, and the receiving appliances like showers and taps. To control the pressure, every tank has a pressure relief valve.

An expansion tank can also reduce the workload of the water heater. The expansion tank will protect your water heater from heat damages.

High pressure can be caused by a faulty water heater thermostat (upper thermostat or bottom thermostat).


This could either be internal or external. External rusting isn’t immediately as detrimental as the internal.

Each water heater comes with a magnesium anode rod that prevents it from rusting. Over time, the anode wears out. If it is not replaced, it will start to corrode the other metal parts of the water heater from the inside. This will cause internal rust.

This internal rusting renders the internal metal parts of the water heater destroyed and gives way to leaks and growths.

It is important to note that, under normal conditions, the warranty of your water heater is 5 years. Therefore, you may need to wait for this time to go by before replacing your anode. Water softeners constantly used in hot water tanks will require replacing the anode before the warranty expires. This is because water softeners eat up the anode faster and lead to more rusting.

If you want to prevent water heater corrosion for the long run, you can install a powered anode rod.

Corrosive fumes for gas water heaters

This is not typical behavior. Gas water heaters draw air from the gas pipes into the burner during combustion.

The air around the gas pipes can be corrosive. If it is, it will cause the water heater to wear off. This leads to rusting and eventual failure of the hot water tank.

Materials that do not produce oxygen or are corrosive when combined with combustible gases should be removed from hot water tanks. Hot water tanks should not be exposed to certain materials. These materials include bleach, insecticides, perfumes, and fumigation sprays. Those materials do not give off oxygen.

Never store corrosive materials together in a restricted space. Doing this accelerates the corrosive combustion process, resulting in a faster destruction of the water heater. Quick tip: Avoid this!

Improper and loose fittings

If the fittings on the pipes, knobs and electric/gas valves of the water heater are loose, it may not work as well as it used to. This is easy and should be fixed immediately. Using a screwdriver, tighten these loose fittings and get your hot water tank in optimum condition. The looser the fittings the longer it takes for the hot water to come on.

Loose fittings also guarantee flooding of the environs of your water heater or your entire house. You do not want to spend a fortune on renovating that entire floor, hence tightening all loose fittings with a screwdriver.

Poor capacity measurement

The capability to store a large quantity of water is essential. Neglecting the water heater’s capacity can lead to overusing it. Be mindful when choosing how much water to use.

This will help ensure the appliance is not overburdened. The hot water tank will be overused and eventually break down due to its inability to handle such heavy usage.

Electric water heater not working because of poor capacity is more frequent than gas water heater. This is due to their lower capacity compared to gas water heaters. They are much quicker at heating water.


Your water heater may not be fully functional if you notice either gas leaks (for gas-powered water heaters) or water leaks. Over time the rubber washers attached to the water heater reduce in size and start leaking. However, if you’re away while this happens, then you’ll need to prepare yourself to purchase a new hot water tank or call a professional to get it replaced.

Hot water heater leaks cause rusting on the outside which eventually finds its way inside the tank, reducing the integrity of the water in the tank and also the functionality of the water heater. Hence all flex lines and union fittings need to be tightened at least twice a year.

About Corro-Protec

If you want to avoid hot water heater problem, we suggest installing a Corro-Protec powered anode rod. Corro-Protec guarantees the ultimate protection of your water heater.

These anodes are energy efficient and prevent corrosion. The Corro-Protec offers different model anodes; they render your water odorless and tasteless, they are very easy to install.

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