How often when we’re enjoying a nice warm shower (and I include myself in this) do we think about where it came from? That poor old water heater (tank) sits hidden away somewhere in the house dutifully providing that oh so precious hot H20! If however, some problems arise with it, what to do? Some thoughts!
If you are suddenly getting little, no, or semi-warm hot water and your heater operates on natural gas, it could well be a dysfunctional gas valve or a possible issue with pilot light control or thermocouple (although pilot lights on hot water heaters are rare these days). If it is an electric unit, the culprit is likely a malfunctioning heating element or thermostat.
If you seem to run out of hot water prematurely, make certain that you have the temperature turned up high enough to meet your needs (safely). The other possibility is that the tank itself is quite simply sized too small for your requirements.
Popping or crackling noises being emitted by the tank typically point to a build up of sediment on the bottom of the unit. This can cause an overheat (boiling) situation and should be checked into ASAP.
Finally, if you find leaks, the boilers operational life may be finished as a result of corrosion (rust) and will require replacement. Leaks can occur at many different water connections to the tank, so make certain to rule them out before going any further.