Why Did My Water Heater Stop Working?

Water heaters are an essential appliance in many homes, providing hot water for daily activities such as showering, cooking, and cleaning. However, when your water heater suddenly stops working, it can be a frustrating and inconvenient experience. In this article, we will explore the various reasons why your water heater may have stopped working and what you can do to fix it.


Water heaters come in different types and models, but the most common types are electric and gas water heaters. Both work differently but serve the same purpose, providing hot water on demand. However, they can develop faults, which may cause them to stop working.

Common Causes of Water Heater Failure

Here are some of the most common reasons why water heaters stop working:

1. Sediment Buildup

Over time, sediment buildup can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, which can affect the efficiency of the heating element. This may cause the heater to stop working or produce lukewarm water. To fix this, you may need to flush the tank to remove the sediment buildup.

2. Faulty Heating Element

Electric water heaters use heating elements to heat the water. If the element is faulty, it may cause the water to be cold or lukewarm. A qualified technician can replace the heating element to fix this issue.

3. Pilot Light or Gas Supply Issues

Gas water heaters use a pilot light to ignite the gas and heat the water. If the pilot light goes out or there is an issue with the gas supply, the water heater may not work. You can relight the pilot light or contact a professional to check the gas supply.

4. Thermostat Issues

Thermostats regulate the temperature of the water in the tank. If the thermostat is faulty or set too low, it may cause the water to be lukewarm or cold. Adjusting the thermostat to the appropriate temperature or replacing it can fix this issue.

5. Leaking Tank

A leaking tank is a severe issue that requires immediate attention. Leaks can cause water damage to your home and increase your utility bills. You may need to replace the tank if the leak is significant.

Troubleshooting Your Water Heater

Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot your water heater:

  1. Check the power supply for electric water heaters and the pilot light for gas water heaters.
  2. Check the thermostat settings and adjust them if necessary.
  3. Inspect the tank for leaks and signs of corrosion.
  4. If you are unsure or unable to fix the issue, contact a professional plumber or technician to inspect and repair your water heater.


Water heater failure can be frustrating, but with the right knowledge, you can troubleshoot and fix the issue. Common causes of water heater failure include sediment buildup, faulty heating elements, pilot light or gas supply issues, thermostat issues, and leaking tanks. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can determine the cause of the problem and take the necessary steps to fix it.

If you are in Oxnard, CA, and in need of water heater services, Genuine Plumbing is the right choice for you. Their expert team of licensed and insured technicians offers comprehensive water heater services, including repair, replacement, and maintenance. By choosing Genuine Plumbing for your water heater needs, you can rest assured that your water heater is in the hands of skilled professionals who will provide high-quality and efficient services. Contact Genuine Plumbing for all your water heater needs in Oxnard, CA, and experience reliable and trustworthy service.


  1. How often should I flush my water heater to prevent sediment buildup?
    • It is recommended to flush your water heater once a year to prevent sediment buildup.
  2. Can I replace the heating element on my own?
    • It is recommended to contact a qualified technician to replace the heating element.
  3. How do I relight the pilot light on my gas water heater?
    • Check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific steps on how to relight the pilot light.
  4. How do I know if my thermostat is faulty?
    • If the water is not heating to the desired temperature or is too hot, it may indicate a faulty thermostat.

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