Water heater symptoms

A water heater with a heating element that fails often or a pilot that won't stay lit can leave you without enough hot water or no hot water at all. Fix the problem by using our symptoms and troubleshooting advice to pinpoint the cause of the failure. Order water heater repair parts by using the search bar at the top of the page then follow the step-by-step instructions in our electric water heater repair guides to restore your hot water supply.

water heater

Symptoms common to all water heaters

Choose a symptom to see related water heater repairs.

Main causes: lack of power, no gas supply, thermostat limit switch tripped, bad element, bad thermostat, gas valve failure, bad thermocouple
Main causes: water supply needs chlorine treatment, anode rod too reactive
Main causes: thermostats need adjustment, water heater capacity too low, bad heating element, thermostat failure, excessive tank sediment
Main causes: thermostat temperature set too high, thermostats need adjustment, faulty thermostat, shorted heating element
Main causes: faulty pressure relief valve, water is overheating
Main causes: broken heating element, thermostat failure, excessive tank sediment, tank size too small, burner valve assembly failure
Main causes: loose water pipe fittings, leaky drain valve, bad temperature-pressure relief valve, leaky heating element, cracked tank

Symptoms for gas water heaters

Choose a symptom to see related water heater repairs.

Main causes: lack of combustion air, ventilation draft, bad thermocouple

Symptoms for electric water heaters

Choose a symptom to see related water heater repairs.

Main causes: excessive tank sediment, high voltage supply
Main causes: thermostats need adjustment, bad heating elements, faulty thermostats, tank sediment build-up, broken dip tube

Articles and videos common to all water heaters

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your water heater.

August 18, 2021

Wiring schematic symbols explained video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn some of the most common symbols found in a wiring diagram and what they mean.

April 10, 2020

Cleaning your appliances after a drinking water advisory

By Julie Riebe

Find out how to clean and flush household appliances once a boil water advisory is lifted.

August 1, 2015

Easy DIY water heater repairs

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Read about some water heater repairs that you can easily do yourself.