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3 Annoying Water Heater Problems and How to Fix Them

By September 27, 2017 May 7th, 2019 Heating and Furnace Tips

Water heaters fail for several reasons; inefficient thermostats, damaged water tanks, leaky valves, or malfunctioning spill switches.

For most homeowners, it’s nothing short of an emergency; akin to what governments declare after something terrible happens. They cannot use their dishwasher. The washing machine refuses to function properly, and showers become an exercise in asceticism. Terrible, indeed. This said you should not fall into the panic mode when your water heater breaks down.

With these helpful tips and ideas for water heater repair, you can fix several frequently occurring problems quickly. That means, no ice-cold showers on Monday mornings, and enough hot water in the faucets to flush your worries away.

Identify Your Heater

Is it powered by electricity? Does it run on gas or oil?

Although instant water heaters are making a headway, a lot of Salt Lake City homes are still equipped with either electricity or gas-powered traditional water heaters.

Troubleshooting Water Heaters

These tips are for you if you have a water heater at home.

Water Flowing out of Faucets is Too Cold or Hot

There are several reasons your heater isn’t warming water.

The Pilot Light has gone out or Extinguishes Frequently (GAS)

These are two frequent issues, and luckily the easiest to fix. Relight the pilot to resume the supply of hot water to your home. In case the pilot extinguishes quickly, make sure the gas controls are turned on and the thermocouple is firmly connected to the gas control unit and positioned near the flame.

The Circuit is Broken (ELECTRIC)

Electric heaters are considered more reliable than gas heaters, but they aren’t foolproof. A fault in them may repeatedly blow the fuses. If that’s happening, call an HVAC contractor. However, a simple reset does the job sometimes. You may want to press RESET before calling a plumber.

The Burner is Clogged (GAS)

It is usually a burner’s nozzle that gets covered with gunk and obstructs gas supply. Luckily, the nozzle is easy to clean. You have to remove it from the blast tube, let it soak in diesel or kerosene for a few minutes, and blow it with compressed air. That should fix the problem. If it doesn’t, call a professional from Manwill Plumbing.

The Thermocouple is Defective (GAS)

Suspect a worn-out thermocouple not doing its job when your water heater is on the Fritz. Like the nozzle, the thermocouple resides inside the burner. So you will have to turn off the gas and unfasten the nuts holding the thermocouple to take it out. Once out, you can use your screwdriver to fasten a brand-new thermocouple in its place. The job is more difficult than it seems. Don’t be shy of consulting a plumber if you don’t feel confident.

The Heating Elements are Defective (ELECTRIC)

The heating elements in an electric water heater can develop faults, or be covered with rust or sediments. In both scenarios, their efficiency is reduced. The faster way to fix the problem is to drain the water tank. If that doesn’t work, consider replacing the elements. You may need expert help in that.

The Vent is Blocked (GAS)

Most heaters are capable of supplying water between 120F and 180F. Too hot water is dangerous, especially in a home with children and the elderly. If the water coming out of your faucets is hot to the point of scalding, check your vent because it may be blocked. Cleaning the vent may solve the issue. If it doesn’t, call the experts.

There Just Isn’t Enough of Hot Water

Like the previous situation, this one arises because of three common causes.

Incorrectly Set or Defective Thermostat (GAS, ELECTRIC)

Many thermostats are set at 130F. That’s often called the factory set, and at this, setting the water heater produces sufficiently warm water for most everyday needs. In case you stop getting enough of hot water out of a sudden, turn the thermostat higher. If it doesn’t fix the problem, you can be all but sure your heater needs a new thermostat.

Insufficient Insulation (GAS, ELECTRIC)

Exposed hot water pipes lose heat. By the time water exists taps, it isn’t warm as it ought to be. Insulate the pipes to start getting hot water flowing again. Because insulating pipes is not easy, you may need to consult an HVAC contractor for assistance.

Small Water Tank (GAS, ELECTRIC)

Relatively speaking, tankless water heaters are new to the market. Most Salt Lake City homes have traditional tank water heaters. It often happens that water heaters fail to catch up as families grow. If your heater is not supplying enough warm water for your loved ones, you may consider replacing the existing tank with a bigger one.

The Water Heater is Noisy

(GAS, ELECTRIC) This could be a sign of aging. Water heaters are machines that, over time, begin to show their age. Consider a replacement if your water heater was installed before 2000. In case it’s new, try draining it after turning off the gas. Draining will flush out the sediments in the tank and lessen the noise. If the annoying sounds continue, consult Manwill Plumbing.

Takeaway

With some basic skills, you can fix the three most common issues most homeowners face with their water heaters. Give DIY water heater repair a go if you are confident. But if you have even a shred of doubt, speak to a professional HVAC contractor before you start any repair.

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