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How to Fix the Most Common Water Heater Issues

How to Fix Water Heater Issues

Most people don’t think about their water heater until it starts causing problems. When water heaters are acting up, don’t panic – your hot water heater problem may have an easy fix. Before you call a plumber for water heater repair, you may be able to fix your malfunctioning water heater on your own.

Mr. Plumber goes over some of the most common water heater problems and how to solve them. In this post, we’ll discuss how to fix common issues in electric water heaters and gas water heaters, including tankless heaters and models with a water heater tank.

Cold Water

If you notice that the cold water from your water heater is lukewarm or even cold, there are a few potential causes. In most cases, it’s due to either a lack of power, a faulty thermostat or a faulty heating element. If you’re not sure where to start troubleshooting, begin by eliminating power as a suspect by resetting any tripped circuit breakers and replacing any blown fuses. Next, check power switches to make sure they’re turned on and check power indicators to ensure they’re lit. Finally, take a look at the thermostat to be sure it’s receiving power.

Some gas water heaters have a pilot light that ignites the gas to heat the water. If your gas water heater is not producing hot water, one of the first things you should check is whether or not the pilot light is on. If it is not, relight it following the instructions in your owner’s manual.

If the pilot light is on but the water is still not hot, it may be because the thermocouple is not correctly sensing that the pilot light is on. The thermocouple is a safety device that tells the gas valve to remain open when the pilot light is lit. If it does not sense that the pilot light is on, it will close the gas valve, preventing any gas from flowinge into the burner. To fix this problem, you may need to clean or replace the thermocouple.

If you have a gas tankless water heater and you’re suddenly not getting any hot water, there are a few possible explanations. First, check to see if the gas valve has been turned off. If it has, simply turn it back on and wait a few minutes for the water to heat up. If the valve is already on, the problem may be an obstructed vent. The tankless heater needs clear intake and exhaust vents in order to work properly, so inspect all the vents from the inside of your home out to the exterior. Look for things like bird or insect nests that could be blocking the airflow. Also check for damage to the vents themselves – if they’re broken or damaged, they’ll need to be repaired or replaced before the heater will work properly again.

If all of these things check out and your water heater still isn’t producing hot water, then it’s likely due to a faulty heating element. Check the heating element for a reset button. Usually, these buttons are located near the heating element. If you find a reset button, press it to reset the element. If the heating elements do not restart, they are not working properly. Fortunately, this is usually an easy fix – simply have your plumber replace the heating element and you should be good to go!

Lukewarm Water

If you’re having trouble getting water that’s hot enough from your tap, there could be a few different reasons. First, check to see if your water heater is the right size for your home. If it’s too small, it won’t be able to heat enough water to meet your needs. Another possible issue is a crossed hot and cold connection. To rule this out, turn off the water supply and turn on a hot water faucet. If the water still flows, you most likely have a crossed connection. Finally, check the heating element or thermostat to see if they’re working properly. If they’re not, they’ll need to be replaced. With a little troubleshooting, you should be able to figure out why your water isn’t getting hot enough and get it fixed quickly.

Water Is Too Hot

When the hot water is too hot, this is likely caused by a thermostat that is simply set too high. Thankfully, this is an easy problem to fix – simply consult your water heater’s owners manual to find out how to adjust the thermostat temperature. As a general rule of thumb, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a setting of 120° F to keep hot water at a safe temperature and help the appliance run efficiently. Once you’ve made the adjustment, you should find that your water heater runs a lot more smoothly.

Water Tank Leaks at the Top

If you notice a leak from the top of your water heater, there’s no need to panic. Leaks at the top of the water tank often stem from loose pipe connections. The first thing you should do is inspect the two pipes located on the top of the heater. The inlet pipe supplies the water tank with cold water to be heated while the outlet pipe transports hot water throughout the house. If the fittings have loosened, you can simply tighten them.

Water Tank Leaks from the Side

You’ll notice a temperature and pressure relief valve on your water heater. It’s there for a good reason – to release pressure if the pressure in the tank gets too high. If you see water leaking from the valve, the first thing to check is the water heater’s temperature setting. If it’s set too high, simply lower the temperature to 120 degrees. If the leak persists, though, it’s likely that the pressure relief valve needs to be replaced.

Water Tank Leaks from the Bottom

Whenever you find water leaking from the water tank’s base, check the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. If it’s open, close it completely. If it’s still leaking, the next step is to check if the valve is loose. Tighten it slightly using a wrench, but be careful not to over-tighten as this can make leaks worse. If the leak does not stop, it’s time to replace the drain valve.

If the tank itself is damaged or corroded, this can also cause leaking around the base of the water heater. Water heater repair is not a solution to solve this type of leak. In this case, it’s time to install a new water heater for your home.

Rust Colored Water

If you’re seeing rust colored water when you use hot water, it’s probably due to corrosion of the anode rod or tank. If left untreated, this corrosion will eventually cause your water heater to leak and will need replacing. Replacing the anode rod is an easy project which can protect your water heater for many years. If you notice any corrosion on your tank, it’s best to replace it before it gets too bad and causes a leak. Doing so will save you money in the long run and prevent any inconvenience or damage that a leaking water heater can cause.

Hot Water Smells Awful

Do you ever turn on your hot water and notice an unpleasant smell? This is most likely due to bacteria that have built up in your water heater tank. If your home uses well water as its water source, you may be more susceptible to this issue. While a quick fix may be to increase the water temperature, this is not a long-term solution. Periodically flushing your water heater may help for a short time.

To eliminate the sulfur or rotten egg smell, you will likely need to replace the anode rod. This rod helps to prevent corrosion in your water heater, and over time it will become degraded. Replacing the anode rod is a relatively simple process, and it can help to keep your hot water smelling fresh and clean.

Low Water Pressure

Most people rely on hot water for showers, laundry, and dishes. However, over time, mineral buildup can lead to clogs in your water heater and hot water pipes, causing low water pressure. Water tanks and tankless heaters should be flushed regularly to prevent sediment and mineral deposits.

If you have a tank water heater, it is recommended that you flush it at least once a year. If you have a tankless water heater, you should flush it every six months. The process of flushing the tank helps to remove any sediment or mineral deposits that have built up over time. This sediment can reduce the efficiency of your water heater and may eventually lead to problems with the tank itself. While it is important to flush your water heater tank on a regular basis, you should not do so if you have not been regularly maintaining the tank. In such cases, flushing the tank can actually cause leaks, which will require new water heater installation.

Indianapolis Water Heater Repair

If you are experiencing any of the common water heater issues mentioned above, don’t wait to call for repair services. Waiting can often lead to further damage and even higher repair costs. Our team of experts is available 24/7 to help get your water heater back up and running so you can enjoy hot showers and baths again. Schedule your appointment with Mr. Plumber today!

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