February 6, 2023
By Mark Paup

5 Common Water Heater Problems in Iowa Homes

Updated January 22, 2024

With the winter weather squarely keeping everyone in Iowa nice and frozen, the last thing anyone needs is their water heater going out. Not only is your water heater one of the more expensive parts of your plumbing to fix, but waking up to find out your only option is an ice bath is unpleasant. Luckily, many water heater problems are simple to diagnose and even simpler to fix. While our experts are always on hand to help you out if you run into trouble, we also want to prepare you to face obstacles on your own—if you choose to do so!

In this article, we’ll dive into the most common water heater problems in Iowa homes, including
  • The water heater makes a loud popping or banging noises
  • You run out of hot water too fast
  • Your home’s water is lukewarm
  • You have no hot water at all
  • Your water heater is leaking

Need a Bit of Professional Help with Your Water Heater? We Can Help!

For over 20 years, we’ve helped solve all kinds of plumbing issues, from water heater repairs to pipe leak repairs, for Des Moines Metro homeowners. As a family-run business, we know how important it is to treat everyone how we want to be treated, which is why we provide reliable and prompt service.

Schedule with us today at 515-393-4526, and you’ll see why thousands of Iowa homeowners rate our plumbers five stars!

Your Water Heater Makes Loud Popping or Banging Noises

Excessive noise is one of the most noticeable signs that your water heater might have an issue. If your hot water tank starts to bang, creak, or whine, it could indicate sediment is building up inside the tank. When this sediment touches the heating element, it creates a lot of noise and burns the sediment away. Iowa water is infamously hard, so this is a problem that many people face.

Flushing the tank is a quick and easy way to resolve the issue. However, if you still hear noises after doing so, the heating element may be burning out. If so, the part needs replacing.

You Run Out of Hot Water Too Fast

Is there anything worse than hopping in a warm shower, only to be greeted with a blast of cold water after just a few minutes? This is another indicator that something is wrong with your water heater. Most water heaters have two heating elements—one at the top and one at the bottom of the tank. If one of these parts goes out, you must rely on a single heating element to warm the entirety of the tank. You’ll run out of hot water much more quickly. Replacing the broken heating element is the best way to address this issue.

You Have No Hot Water at All

One of the most distressing signs that your water heater is on the way out is not having any hot water. After all, this must mean the entire unit is broken, right? Not necessarily! Usually, this is due to a busted thermostat. Try clicking the reset button on your water heater’s thermostat to see if anything changes. Usually, the thermostat’s location is pretty visible, but you can also look in the manual to find it.

If you still have no hot water after resetting the thermostat, you’ll need an expert to diagnose if it’s just one faulty part or if the whole system needs addressing.

Your Home’s Water Is Lukewarm

Sometimes, your water might never reach “hot” and will sit at a lukewarm temperature. This typically indicates your water heater’s dip tube is broken. A dip tube is an integral component of water heaters that pushes cold water to the bottom of the tank. If the tube breaks, cold water mixes with the hot water inside the heater. Of course, this results in lukewarm water.

Keep an eye out for small pieces of plastic in your shower heads, filters, and strainers since the remains of the broken dip tube still travel through the pipes. Thankfully, dip tubes are pretty simple to replace on your own, though you can always ask for an expert’s help if you’re worried about doing so.

Your Water Heater Is Leaking

Sometimes, you might check on your water heater and find it wet—or worse, a puddle on the floor. Sometimes, the water heater sits in a cold room and develops condensation. If the liquid looks even across the tank’s surface, it’s probably not a leak.

If your water heater is visibly leaking water, shut off the power to the appliance at the circuit box. Gas water heaters usually have dedicated gas shutoff valves at the tank’s base. Also, shut off the cold-water supply controlled by a blue valve.

Try to identify where the leak originates. For example, something as simple as tightening a connection can fix the issue if it’s from a pipe. When water leaks from the sides or bottom of the tank, there could be a problem with the pressure relief valve. Water pooling at a tank’s base may result from a crack.

Because of the potential severity of these problems, it’s usually best to reach out to a plumber you can trust to perform an extensive repair on your water heater system. At Golden Rule, our skilled plumbers can quickly address your water heater problems. Plus, we offer a one-year labor warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Is Your Water Heater Going Out? Need an Expert’s Opinion? Call Golden Rule!

Our plumbers have unmatched skills, quality, and professionalism in the Des Moines Metro area. We’ve spent decades ensuring homeowners in Iowa get the plumbing repairs they need as soon as possible. Golden Rule has more trucks on the road than anyone else, so we have the fastest response times.

Call us today at 515-393-4526 to schedule with us, and we’ll show you outstanding 5-star service that’s true to the Golden Rule.

Contact Us Today for Plumbing Service!

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