Simple Water Heater Troubleshooting You Can Do on Common Water Heater Problems

Water heaters are one of the most important appliances in a home. It is also one of those that gets the least attention and care. And because they are used every day, you should make sure they are properly maintained and cared for. Like any other appliance or equipment you use at home, problems may rise with your water heaters. These issues are usually self-evident. As soon as you spot one, get it addressed or the problem might get worse. The good thing is that a lot of these issues can be easily fixed without breaking the bank.

Here are some of the most common problems, as well as basic troubleshooting tips, that can be used for both electric and gas water heaters.

Electric water heater troubleshooting

No hot water

water heater
Water heaters need good maintenance

The first thing to check if your water heater is not producing hot water is the power. Check the breaker box to make sure that the breaker hasn’t tripped. If it has, switch it off first, then switch it back on. If it didn’t trip, make sure that the breaker is off before doing anything else. Next, remove the insulation as well as the safety guards. But be careful not to touch the electrical terminals and electric wires. Locate the red reset button above the upper thermostat and press it. After which, you can put the insulation, the safety guard and the access panel back. Then you can turn the circuit breaker back on. If that doesn’t work, try testing each element because they may have failed and may require replacement.

Water leaking from the top

 If there is a leak near the top of your water heater, it may be due to a loose fitting on the cold inlet or hot outlet pipes.  The inlet valve may be leaking or the T&P may have failed. These are the three things you to look at. If you find that the problem is due to a loose joint, you can try wrapping the joints with Teflon tape. You may also use joint compound and have them re-installed.

Not enough hot water

A problem with your heater’s thermostat is a possible reason why the water heater is not producing enough water. Don’t worry because it can be fixed by simply adjusting the thermostat according to your desired water temperature. If it is an electric water heater, you can find your thermostat on the side of the tank behind an access panel. Adjust the thermostat, especially during the cold winter months, because the water gets cooler quicker inside your heater.

Gas water heater troubleshooting

 Water leaking from the top

Like the electric water heater, the first thing to do is to look for loose connections. Also take a look at the hot water outlet pipe, as well as the cold water inlet.

 Water leaking from the bottom

 A water leak at the bottom of the gas water heater could be due to three things – a loose drain valve, condensation, or the T&P valve.  The T&P valve drains some water because of tank overpressurization. If these are not the problem and the issue is because of corrosion, it may be time to get your water heater repaired or replaced by a licensed plumber.

No hot water

 When a water heater doesn’t produce hot water, check if there is gas flow. Also, check that the pilot light is on. If it is, the problem may be related to the thermocouple. This means that it does not sense that the pilot light is on and it does not ignite the gas in your heater.

There are other water heater problems that can be fixed by simple troubleshooting steps. But if all else fails, reach out to a licensed plumber for help. Looking for a qualified professional to help you with your water heater problems? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Sparks licensed plumber.

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