Water heaters are an essential part of modern life. Aren’t you thankful that with a turn of a faucet, you can soak under the relaxing spray of a hot shower? Or, drink out of sparkling clean glasses?
You love the convenience, but how often do you pay attention to the one appliance responsible for your comfort when bathing?
It’s possible the water heater is the most ignored home appliance. It’s usually tucked in the basement, or behind the utility closet door. Out of sight, out of mind.
The day your tank refuses to dispense hot water is the day you need our hot water heater repair tips.
No need for panic when a hot water heater gets a little cranky! Instead, read our tips, grab your tools, and don’t be afraid to hire a professional if you can’t DIY.
Here is a suggested article worth reading, What Happens If a Geyser Is Left On? A Must Know for All Users
Shut It Off
Before attempting any water heater repair, make sure you shut off the following:
Whether you turn off power or gas depends on the type of water heater. You either have a gas or electric appliance. If you’re not sure about yours, it might be a good time to call a plumber.
If you’re working with an electric water heater, either switch off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse from the fuse panel or breaker box. You’ll look for the water heater circuit fuse.
For a gas water heater, turning off the gas is the easiest part of the troubleshooting process.
You may also need to shut off the water supply. Do this by closing the valve on the cold water pipe. Be careful to make sure the gas or power to the water heater is turned off before you shut off the water.
Now, let’s move on to water heater troubleshooting tips!
The Cold Shower Wake Up Call
Unless you live in the desert, you may not enjoy waking up with a cold shower. But that cold shower is often the first clue you have a water heater issue.
There are a few things you can do before calling a plumber.
First, if you have a gas water heater, make sure you have access to gas. If you find no evidence of gas coming into your home, contact your gas provider.
If you’re sure you have a gas supply, check your pilot light. It’s not uncommon for the pilot light to blow out, especially if you’ve had heavy winds.
Check out the thermocouple if there’s no problem with the pilot light. It’s a safety device designed to kick in and stop the flow of gas when the pilot light is out. The thermocouple sometimes needs a minor adjustment to get it back in line with your pilot light flame.
Using an electric hot water heater? You may need a quick reset. Here’s what you do:
- Turn off the water heater.
- Leave it off for a few minutes.
- Turn it back and wait about 30 minutes.
- If you still don’t have hot water, try a hard reset.
Hint: Although we’ve only talked about gas and electricity, you may also have a tankless water heater. In this post, we won’t wade into tankless issues.
Suggested Read: Difference between Instant geyser & Storage geyser
Lukewarm Showers and Cold Dishwater
When you have barely enough warm water for a shower with nothing left for washing your dishes, check your heating element. Although it’s not the only water heater component that fails, it’s often the culprit when your tank quits heating water.
The heating element is also an easy thing for a DIYer to investigate and repair.
Before pulling out your tools, or running over to the hardware store, check the thermostat. It’s possible you (or a family member) bumped it and unwittingly turned the temperature down. If that’s the case, turn up the thermostat to the 120-140 degree range.
The Bad Burner
If you can get down on the floor, you can check the burner on your water heater. While you shouldn’t attempt repairing a bad burner (unless you’re an experienced plumber), you can certainly learn how to know if it’s working.
The problem with burners is they either get too much or not enough gas. Burners are all about efficient combustion. If your burner flame isn’t bright blue with a yellow tip, you have a combustion issue.
You could also have condensation dripping onto the burner. Condensation can cause the pilot light to go out. A burner check is always part of your scheduled water heater maintenance.
If you haven’t set up your routine service appointment, consider doing this before winter arrives.
Why Is My Tap Water Brown?
It’s not that you’re spoiled, but when you turn on the tap, you expect clean water, right? What do you do when it’s rusty?
Rusty water isn’t something to stress out over. It usually means you have a build-up of sediment in your water heater. Sediment is a result of tiny dirt particles and rust in your water supply. Once sediment accumulates, it settles on the bottom of the tank.
Run the hot water and you stir up the sediment. The result? A blast of ugly, rusty water.
This is an easy DIY fix!
First, drain the water heater and flush the rust out. If you still have rust, it’s possible you have a faulty anode rod. You can change the anode rod yourself, or call your favourite plumber.
Did You Spring a Leak?
If you’ve discovered a small creek running in your basement or utility room, check the water heater for the following issues?
- Sediment Build-up
- Broken Drain Valve
- Bad T&P Valve
The source of water heater leaks matters! Make note of whether you have water coming from the bottom or top of the tank. These leaks have simple fixes, easily handled by your plumber.
The bad news about leaks? If your water tank is leaking (from the inside), that’s usually not a repair mission. It’s likely time for a new hot water heater.
Did Our Hot Water Heater Repair Tips Help?
As you can see, many water heater problems have relatively simple DIY fixes. With the right tools and a few reliable hot water heater repair tips, you should be back up and running with hot showers and clean dishes in no time.
When you can’t fix it yourself, there’s always a local service provider who you can call for help. One such center is Urban Service Plaza, a renowned geyser repair service in Kolkata, which also provides water heater service at your doorstep.
If you enjoyed this post, visit our archives for more home improvement ideas.