Once a water heater starts to encounter problems, it can quickly devolve into the entire home being without a source of warm water. While this can be a serious problem to encounter, you may be able to make it easier to manage and correct by becoming familiar with a few of the issues that can be the most common source of significant water heater problems.
A water heater will have a series of vents along its sides and these vents will need to be kept clear. Otherwise, it could actually be possible for the water heater to suffer from overheating. If this were to occur, the unit will likely turn off in order to prevent damage from occurring as a result. In addition to regularly cleaning the vents so that dust can be removed, you should also make it a point to keep items at least several feet from the vents. If the unit gets crowded, its airflow can be decreased enough to lead to overheating.
The thermostat will be responsible for allowing you to accurately set the temperature of the water that the system is providing. Problems with the thermostat can lead to the water being either far too hot or cold for your needs. Thermostats can fail for any number of reasons, but the most common repair option will simply be to replace it. When choosing a replacement thermostat, you will need to be sure to use one that is compatible with the water heater. Otherwise, it may not be able to effectively control the temperature of the water it is providing.
Water Quality Issues
Over time, minerals and sediments can collect in your water heater's reservoir. When this occurs, it can actually lower the quality of the water in your home as these materials can be released back into the water that the water heater is supplying. While this problem can have a severe impact on the quality of your home's water, it can be fairly simple to repair. A water heater repair technician will be able to flush the water heater so that these deposits can be effectively removed. In most cases, you will want to have this preemptively done to the home every few years, but if you ever notice an increase in the sediment hot water, it will indicate that this repair is needed. Fortunately, flushing and cleaning the water heater is a repair that should only take a few hours to complete.