It is handy to have some idea of how to troubleshoot and perform basic water heater repair in the event that something goes wrong and you can't get help in a hurry. Even though there are a lot of different makes and models out there, they follow pretty much the same guidelines. Here are some useful ideas on how to handle the most common problems.
Water Heater Repair If You Have An Electric Unit
Always switch the power off before you start working on the service panel of an electric water heater. The shock that could result is potentially lethal, and you should exercise extreme care and caution before starting any work.
Sediment Build Up
After a while of use, sediment and hard water contaminants can line the bottom of your water tank. This can out more pressure on your water heater and shorten its lifespan. Try to soften the hard water and reduce the water temperature to 130 degrees to prevent this from recurring once you have cleaned it out.
Reset your tank and test the heating element and thermostat and check if they need replacing.
Water Coming Out Too Hot
If the temperature of your water is too high, reset your thermometer settings. Test both the thermometer and the high-limit cut off.
Test your pressure relief valve first; it may need to be replaced. Tighten the heating element's gasket mounting bolts as well. If your tank is rusty, it might need to be replaced. If it is making a noise, drain it and flush it out. Replace the element if there is scaling or mineral build-up.
Water Heater Repair For A Gas Unit
If you pick up the smell of leaking gas, always make sure you close the gas shut-off valve immediately and contact a professional for assistance. One of the biggest problems with gas water heaters is their size. You need at least 15 gallons of water for each member of your family, so if you are falling short here, you should consider purchasing a bigger one.
No Hot Water
No hot water could mean your pilot light has gone out, in which case it will need relighting. If your pilot light won't stay on, you will need to clean the pilot orifice and tighten the thermocouple connections or replace them if they are faulty. If the water is coming out too hot, you will probably need to have it serviced professionally.
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