Why Your Hot Water Heater Smells Like It’s Burning

Even in Florida, we rely on our hot water heaters all the time. After all, how would we take warm, relaxing showers without them? Hot water heaters are without a doubt one of the most underrated appliances in our homes, but like all appliances, hot water heaters aren’t exempt from experiencing technical difficulties every now and then.

One of the most common issues we find our customers run into is a burning smell coming from their hot water heaters. Since a burning smell is indicative of a potential fire, this is an obvious cause for concern. Luckily, in most instances, a burning smell coming from your hot water heater isn’t cause for concern. Still, no one wants their humble abode to smell. If your hot water heater smells like it’s burning, here are three potential reasons why.

1. Excess Dust

Over time, your hot water heater can accumulate dust and other debris from the air supply in your home. When the appliance is turned on, dust and other debris can burn up, causing a burning scent to waft through your home. While this is no reason to call the fire department, you should inspect your hot water heater

2. Electrical Issues

A burning smell coming from your water heater can also indicate a possible electrical issue. There are numerous electrical components within your water heater, so if one becomes overloaded, it can cause a burning smell. If you think you’re dealing with an electrical issue, don’t hesitate to call your local plumber or electrician.

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3. Burning Insulation

Does your water heater smell like burning plastic or burning rubber? It could be due to old insulation or insulation that hasn’t been properly packed. Typically, water heaters are covered with packed insulation to keep them from being hot to the touch. However, this insulation should never come near the flame. It’s possible that the insulation can come in contact with the flame and cause a burning plastic or burning rubber smell. If you think this might be the culprit, pull the bottom cover off the water heater and check the burner area.

How Does My Water Heater Work Anyway?

Traditional water heaters are equipped with a metal holding tank where the water is heated. This tank is typically made of steel because of the material’s strength. As the water heater starts to heat up, the pressure in the tank starts to rise. This is why it’s important to have a durable, high-quality appliance.

Water heaters are powered by either electricity, natural gas, or propane. While electric water heaters use a rod inside the tank to heat the water, natural gas and propane heater use gas to ignite a flame.

In any case, the water heater uses two pipes attached to the appliance to move cold water through an intake pipe, heat it up, and remove it through the exit pipe.

Water Heater Repair in South Florida

If your water heater smells like it’s burning, it’s always best to contact your local plumber or electrician for peace of mind. At Sansone, we have a team of HVAC technicians, plumbers, and electricians all under one roof. Our team can determine what’s causing your appliance to smell like it’s burning and fix the issue quickly and effectively without breaking the bank.

Contact us today to learn more or conveniently schedule an appointment online.

Broward: (954) 800-2858
Palm Beach: (561) 701-8274
St. Lucie: (772) 879-5656

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