We rely on our water heaters year-round to provide our homes with a steady stream of hot water. Just as with any home appliance, things can go wrong that prevent your water heater from working properly. Below is a list of common water heater problems and the possible explanations behind them. Some of these can be fixed on your own, while others will require the assistance of a professional plumber.

Common water heater problems in San Francisco area homes

  • Water heater is leaking. If your water heater is leaking you’ll first want to check that the drain valve at the bottom of the tank is completely closed. If it’s even slightly open, it could be dripping water out of your tank. Also, if the temperature of your water heater is set too high, it could cause a leak out of the temperature-pressure relief valve. It’s best to keep your water heater at around 120 degrees.
  • Water is not heating enough. If your water isn’t getting hot enough, you might have a buildup ofmineral deposits at the bottom of the tank that is reducing its heating efficiency. You can fix this bydraining your water heater. Another possibility is that there could be a crack in your water heater’s dip tube. This tube carries cold water to the bottom of your tank to be heated. If there is a crack in the tube higher up, cold water could be mixing with hot water before it’s sent to your drains.
  • Water is too hot. The most obvious reason for excessively hot water is that the temperature of your water heater might be set too high. As mentioned above, it’s best to keep it around 120 degrees. If the temperature looks correct, there could be a problem with your water heater’s temperature-pressure release valve, which you’ll want to have serviced by a professional plumber as soon as possible.
  • Water heater is noisy. A noisy water heater is another symptom of mineral deposit buildup at the bottom of your tank. When these minerals get heated up, they can make a popping or banging sound. However, if your water heater is making a boiling sound it’s possible that it is overheating, in which case you’ll want to contact a plumber as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about water heater problems, or if you’d like a water heater serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your San Francisco plumbing, heating and cooling company. We service the San Francisco area and surrounding cities like Lafayette, Orinda, Portola Valley and Daly City.