Common Water Heater Problems


As summer ends and the weather gets colder, the needs of your home’s maintenance change. One part of your home that needs special attention during the fall and winter is your water heater. There are a few different problems that can come up due to the colder weather and the way it affects your water heater. Most of these problems are preventable if you keep an eye on your water heater and perform maintenance as needed. Here are some tips for avoiding common water heater issues during the winter, as well as ways to make yours work more efficiently.

Cold weather problems with your water heater

Buildup of sediment

Over time, sediment and minerals will buildup on the bottom of your water heater. This sediment will absorb heat from the water in your water heater, making it have to work harder to produce the hot water you need. Before the cold weather hits, have your water heater descaled. This will give it a fresh reset so that it doesn’t have use even more energy during its busiest months.

No insulation

You may not think it’s necessary to insulate your water heater, but just like with your pipes, it can make a big difference. With proper insulation, your water heater won’t lose as much heat, so it won’t take as much energy to keep the water hot. Insulation can also make the water up to four degrees hotter, which reduces the time you have to wait for it to heat up. Neoprene foam is a good choice for insulating an electric water heater, and fiberglass wrap with aluminum foil tape works for a gas water heater.

Parts failing

As it gets colder, more strain is put on your water heater. You’ll use it more often, and it will take more energy to heat the water. If you have any components of your water heater that aren’t in good condition, this extra workload could put them over the edge. Be sure to have a plumber check your water heater’s pilot light, pilot control valve, thermocouple, and heating elements before winter.


This may seem counterintuitive since it’s colder outside, but water heaters are in danger of overheating during the winter months. You’ll be using your water heater longer and more often, and that can cause it to overheat. Make sure that your water heater is staying under 120 degrees. Once the temperature rises above that, it can break down the electrodes and cause the water to become acidic. The more acidic the water, the more it can corrode your water heater.

Aaron Swift Plumbing | Water heater maintenance, repair & Installation

The last thing you want in the winter is for your water heater to fail. The experts at Aaron Swift Plumbing & Sewer Service can check up on your water heater to ensure that it’s prepared for the months of work ahead. We’ll perform any repairs or maintenance work needed to get it into perfect shape so you can depend on it when it gets cold outside.

To schedule an appointment, give us a call at (586) 701-7851 or send in an online contact form now!

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