Broken Water Heater? Here’s What Could Be Wrong

hands under water in sink

From doing the dishes to washing clothes, you rely on your water heater to help you get through your daily routine. So if it is not working the way it should, it can be frustrating.

Identifying what is wrong with a water heater can be tricky for an untrained eye. But with some help from our team at VP's Plumbing, Heating & Air, you'll understand more about your water heater woes.

Common Water Heater Problems

Let's take a look at some of the water heater issues we see most often.

Water Pressure

There's nothing like a strong, hot shower after a long day of work. But if the water pressure coming from your showerhead is weak, it can make for a pretty unsatisfactory shower. This pressure issue might be due to a problem with your water heater. Sediment buildup is common in water heaters and can be caused by a variety of things, including:

  • Hard water: This happens when there is a high concentration of minerals in your water.Over time, these minerals will settle at the bottom of your water heater tank and prevent hot water from flowing through your home as it should.
  • Anode rod: This is a metal rod that's placed in water heaters to help prevent corrosion. If the anode rod isn't working correctly, it can cause sediment buildup and weak water pressure.

Having water pressure troubles? Contact your plumber for solutions.


Your water heating tends to make noises as it works. However, some sounds may indicate an issue. Sizzling, cracking, and hissing sounds are most likely due to sediment buildup breaking down in the bottom of your tank.

If you're hearing a ticking sound, a loose pipe or a change in water pressure may be to blame. Screeching or screaming sounds tell us that the water flow through a valve is blocked. And finally, that banging or hammering sound you hear is likely the cause of pressure surges.

Plumbers like us are trained to have a good ear for these issues! Give us a call, and we'll come to take a listen.


If you see water pooling around the base of your heater or notice a drip from the tank, it's time to call in a professional. These leaks can cause extensive damage to your home if left untreated.

Typical causes of water heater leaks include:

  • Faulty temperature and pressure relief valve
  • A loose drain plug
  • Corrosion around the tank
  • Overheating
  • Struck valves
  • Loose heating element bolts
  • Bad gaskets
  • An outdated unit

If you're dealing with a water heater leak, don't hesitate to reach out to our team. We'll help you get to the bottom of it and find a solution that works for you.

Water Temperature

This is one of the most common issues we see and is often the most frustrating for a homeowner. If the water coming out of your faucets is too hot or not hot enough, it might be due to a problem with your thermostat, a power outage, or a faulty heating element.

Your water heater's thermostat regulates the temperature of the water in your tank. If your water is coming out too hot, adjust the thermostat to a lower temperature. If the water is too cold, adjust the temperature up. If this doesn't solve your problem, there's likely something deeper going on with your system.

Schedule Your Water Heater Repairs

Most water heater repairs are not recommended for DIY projects. Your plumbing system is complicated and requires extensive knowledge and safety precautions in order to repair.

When you're dealing with a water heater issue, don't hesitate to call your VP's Plumbing, Heating & Air plumbing team at (914) 506-5752!