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Is my water heater broken?

A water heater is a very important appliance you use every day in your home. It can last between 10 to 15 years and it is often not properly maintained because we forget that it can also get damaged.

How to know if your water heater is broken?


  • Water leaking from the top or bottom

Your water heater leaking may be due to a leaking valve or pipe. If it’s leaking from the top, it is likely due to a loosed hot outlet or cold inlet pipes or the inlet valve may be leaking. Leaking from the bottom could be caused by a leaking electric heating element or when the T&P valve releases excess pressure in the tank, expelling water through the overflow pipe.

Ø  No Hot Water

If your circuit breaker has tripped or the heating elements have failed and need to be replaced, you may likely not get hot water. It could also be as a result of limit or reset switch on the thermostat.


Ø  Dirty or Rusty Water

Corrosion of the tank or the anode rod could cause dirty or rusty brown water. If it is not attended to on time, the corrosion could result in your tank leaking water in the long run.


Ø  Strange noises from the water heater

You will hear some kind of strange noises like banging, hissing or knocking from your water heater if there is scale build-up on the heating elements or excessive sediment in the bottom of the tank.

Ø  Smelly Hot Water

The presence of bacteria in the tank could result in smelly hot water. Periodically flushing the tank may help but the best option remains changing the anode rod. The temperature of the thermometer can also be set to around 140 degrees to kill the bacteria.


Other ways to know if your water heater is broken is if the water is too hot, hot water pressure is too low or water is taking too long to reheat.


How to check your water heater and find out why it is not producing hot water


  • Turn off the circuit breaker to the water heater.


  • Check that the wires that are supplying power to the water heater are in good condition and the terminal where the power wires are attached to is not melted. If damaged, replace them.


  • Use a multi-meter to check to see if the heating elements and the thermostats are working properly. If not, you need to replace them.


  • Replace any bad parts, put on the access panels, close drain valve, refill the water heater completely with water, switch on the breaker, and test the water heater if it is working properly.


NOTE: Drain the water heater before removing any internal part and always remember to switch off the water supply to the water heater when you want to drain the water heater



It is an obvious fact that as a homeowner you will have to use a water heater one way or the other. What we discussed in this article are just tips that may be helpful to you and not the exact expertise needed and used to repair, replace and maintain the water heater.


Hiring a Professional

Though some plumbing issues may appear simple to fix but it is always the best option to hire professionals like First Burbank Plumbing to avoid complicating a simple problem.


About First Burbank Plumbing

First Burbank Plumbing is a reputable and reliable company that offers both residential and commercial services in Burbank CA and its environs. We remain your best hands for any plumbing service from water heaters, water pipe systems, automatic garden sprinklers, laundry units, drain clearing and leak detection. We guarantee customer satisfaction through our reliable and quality services.

Our Service Area

First Burbank Plumbing has served both residential homes and commercial buildings for years in Burbank Ca

Give us a call today at (818) 918-5655. We are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.


Common Plumbing Mistakes that you should Avoid

Your house is your biggest investment and you need to take care of it. Taking care implies that you need to maintain every part of your house. One of those important parts that are to be taken care of, is the plumbing system of your house. You need to maintain it regularly so that it runs in top condition. Plumbing demands simple maintenance and if you ignore it, there’s much more that you’ll have to face apart from the vulnerability to losing hot and cold water on demand. If the situation of repair arises, know that you’ll come under a major expense down the road. These repairs are more expensive than expected. You cannot avoid all plumbing problems and keep the system under you control completely. But you should do as much you can to save a handful of money.

Common Mistakes Regarding Plumbing to Avoid

Keeping your pipes and fixtures in good shape demands just a little care and maintenance. Avoiding common plumbing mistakes can help you cut cost and stressful situations. Here are some mistakes that most of the DIYers make that you need to avoid. Note them down so that you don’t repeat the mistake others have done:

  • Letting water flow during emergency: Whenever you notice that a pipe has burst or the water is overflowing or any other kind of plumbing emergency has emerged, your first step has to be turning off the water. All the primary water sources have a shut-off valve that you should turn off as soon as you notice the problem. The water will stop from flowing. Then you can call the plumber to handle the situation. The most common mistake people do is, they don’t turn off the valve and start cleaning the mess while water continues to overflow. This will create more mess. The best thing to do is to turn off the water, call the plumber and then clean the mess.
  • Using Drain Cleaners a lot: You’ll face clogs several times in your plumbing system. The way to deal with clogs that people find to be the easiest is to use drain cleaners. Basically, chemical drain cleaners break down or eat up the clog and dislodge the blockage. But extra usage of drain cleaners leads to eating up of pipes too. This results in corrosion of pipes and makes them more prone to leaks and breakage. You should instead call the plumber or snake out the shower drain whenever you feel there’s a clog.
  • Becoming the plumber: Many times, people think themselves as an expert when they’re handy. You should not do this. You might not have an exact idea of the problem that has occurred and its solution. At such time, handling the situation on your own can complicate things and make the problem worse. The resulted issue will demand long and expensive fix. So, it is better to leave the solution on an expert rather than being an expert. Let them handle your plumbing concerns until you’re trained for the best.
  • Turning heaters off in winter season: This point might seem weird. What relation do heaters have with your pipeline connections? You might have been advised to switch off the heaters when you go out of the house during winter. This cuts electricity cost, no doubt. But this can make complete adverse impact on your plumbing system. Pipes have a tendency to freeze and even burst when do not come in contact with hot water in winters. Houses in places that face very low temperatures are more likely to face these situations. So, if you also stay in any such country, be a little more careful and leave your heater on the next time you plan to move out for vacations.

These are some very common plumbing mistakes that you can make. Also, make sure you plan a plumbing service for your house at regular intervals. This will let you know any plumbing issue, that’s prevailing in the system. Keep the phone number of your plumber handy and dial it whenever you feel the need. Let them handle all the emergencies and maintenance issues regarding your home’s plumbing.