At Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air we always do our best to fix our customer’s water heaters, but sometimes a unit is beyond repair and we encourage customers to purchase a new one. Check out our list of some common water heater problems that are repairable and those that may require a replacement. Thanks to Horizon Plumbing, Heating & Air for these suggestions.

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Temperature Problems

If your water is too hot or won’t get hot enough, fixing the problem can be as easy as adjusting the unit’s thermostat. The ideal temperature for hot water is usually between 120 and 140 degrees. This is a fix you can do yourself!

If there is no hot water coming from the tank, you could have a broken heating element (or gas thermocouple, if your device is powered by natural gas). These components are replaceable and once fixed, should restore your hot water supply right away. We encourage you to call Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air if you need this done.

Noise Problems

Nothing is more annoying that a hot water tank that bangs, creaks, knocks, or whines. Usually noise issues are caused by sediment that builds up inside the water tank. When the debris comes in contact with the heating element it makes noise as the element burns the sediment away. Flushing the tank will likely correct this problem.

Another reason hot water heaters make noise is because the heating element may be burning out. If the tank has been flushed out and the sediment removed, but you are still hearing strange noises, it could be time to replace the heating element. Flushing tanks and replacing heating elements are usually best performed by a professional.

Time to Replace?

Here’s how to know when it is time to replace your hot water heater.

  • Usage and Water Quality: Hot water heaters that are used a lot won’t last as long as those that are only used sparingly. If you have a growing family this will impact the life of your hot water heater. And if you live in an area with hard water, the mineral buildup inside the tank can clog plumbing lines and may shorten the life of the unit. If either of the above applies to you and you have been experiencing trouble with your hot water heater, it may be time to replace it.
  • Age: Most residential water heaters are sold with a 5-year or 10-year warranty, so a new heater should last at least that long. But if you live in an older home with an aging hot water heater, even common problems could be an indication that it is time to replace it. A hot water heater that is more than 15 years old and is clanging or knocking, failing to produce hot water, unable to produce hot water consistently, or unable to maintain a constant water temperature has probably reached the end of its life.
  • Leaking: Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy fix for a leaking hot water tank. If you notice standing water anywhere near the unit, call Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air right away – you will need to replace the tank as soon as possible to prevent flooding or other damage to your home.

Don’t let a noisy, dripping, or non-functioning water heater ruin your day. Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air is the San Francisco Bay Area plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractor you can count on!


Knowing how to quickly and properly resolve various water heater issues is what separates Bellows from other plumbing and heating companies. In Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Marin Counties, Bellows Plumbing, Heating, & Air is the leader when it comes to speed of service, quality of install, and the ability to take on all your water heater repairs.

Our team is here to serve you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you’d like to schedule a Winter tune up for your heating or plumbing systems please consider calling Bellows at 877-477-7151. Bellows Plumbing, Heating, & Air services, repairs, and installs plumbing, heating, and air conditioner equipment in: Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Scotts Valley, Felton, Watsonville, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Campbell, Saratoga, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Tiburon, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, San Anselmo, Ross, Fairfax, San Rafael, Marinwood, Terra Linda, and Novato.