What Causes Your Water Heater To Stop Working?

What Causes Your Water Heater To Stop Working?

Most water heaters are either gas or electric powered. If the hot water is running out too quickly, you detect the scent of rotten egg, or see pools of water beneath, it is likely you have a mechanical problem. Below are some common reasons your water heater can stop working.

Sediment Build-up 

When water becomes heated, limescale will be produced within the containment area. Dirt will gradually build up as time passes and because it has a heavier weight than water it will fall to the bottom where an insulating coating will be produced which will gradually wear down the protection of the anode. The water heater’s bottom will then have a tendency to overheat in an attempt to remove the sediment, but this will damage the glass used to protect the unit which can result in an electrical failure. 

Sediment accumulation can also lower the overall effectiveness of your water heater, to the point where it might not produce hot water at all. You might notice limescale deposits along with hard water stains. To fix this problem, you’ll need to install a powered anode-style rode, which will prevent the build-up of sediment while stopping corrosion.


Rust can occur externally or internally. While neither is good, internal rust is more damaging. Most water heaters include magnesium-style anode rods which are designed to block rust. However, the anode is subject to wear as time passes and when not replaced in time it will start to consume other metallic components within the heater. Once they are destroyed the entire unit may become inoperable and begin to leak.

Generally, most water heaters come with a five-year warranty and you should consider replacing the protective anode within the same time span. However, those that use water softeners frequently because of hard water should consider replacing their anode earlier since water softeners tend to consume it faster.

The Fittings Have Become Loose

Water heaters are comprised of valves, knobs, and pipes which may loosen over time. When this happens their functionality can become compromised and must be addressed as soon as possible. A common symptom of a water heater that has a loose-fitting is the hot water taking longer than usual to appear. The best way to tighten the loose fittings is with a screwdriver. While this problem might seem minor at first, if left unaddressed it can cause flooding which can cost a small fortune in renovation costs.

Too Much Pressure

Those that regularly keep their water heaters set to high pressure are asking for trouble. While water heaters vary when it comes to the level of pressure they can handle, most experts agree that anything higher than eighty PSI is guaranteed to cause damage to your pipes and valves as well as the receiving appliances such as taps and showers.

Installing an expansion valve is a great way to alleviate pressure while protecting the heater from thermal-based expansion damage. Sometimes the water heater will attempt to self-regulate and will activate the closed system even when it’s not being used, which may be the result of a thermostat that has become faulty.