Hot Water Heater Troubleshooting

by | Jan 5, 2018 | Plumbing Tips | 0 comments

Just like with all other home appliances, chances are you’re going to deal with some common problems with your hot water heater. Constant wear and tear over time takes its toll and there will be instances where your heater will need to be serviced.

Many of these problems are common though. With some help and guidance, a lot of these hot water heater issues can be solved with a little troubleshooting.

Whether you have a storage or tankless water heater, or if it’s gas or electric powered, these troubleshooting tips will allow you to handle some of these easy-to-fix issues on your own.

No Hot water is Coming Out

A common issue many run into, is noticing that the water coming out of your  hot water heater is not getting hotFortunately, there are some simple services you can perform to make sure your water is back to normal.

For gas hot water heaters, be sure the gas line isn’t off. There is a chance someone closed it and forgot to open it back up. All you have to do is follow the gas line down from the water heater and it will lead you to the shut-off valve.

 

If that isn’t the issue, check the hot water heater’s pilot light. Without the pilot light on, the burner is unable to ignite to heat up any of the water.

To re-ignite the pilot light, remove the cover on the hot water heater and read the instructions on the side of the tank. This should give you a full guide on how to turn the light on and restore hot water back in your home.


If the issue still persists, contact a licensed professional plumbing technician to take a look at it.

 

For electric hot water heaters, the easiest solution is to check the circuit board. There is a chance the circuit breaker in the water heater tripped, causing no power to heat any of the water. All it takes to reset the circuit is just a simple switch to the off position and then flipping it back on.

 

If you are still experiencing hot water issues, you can reset your water heater by opening the control unit inside the control panel. From there, press the reset button and wait a bit for the tank to heat all the water back up.

 

If issues still occur, the heating elements of the hot water heater may be out. If so, contact professional plumbing services to easily take care of the problem for you.

The Hot Water is too Hot

Nothing is more frustrating than a drastic temperature change while you are in the shower or even washing your hands. The instant burning you feel as your skin becomes exposed to the fire coming out of the faucet is beyond aggravating.

Luckily, troubleshooting for this matter is not as difficult as you would think. Many times, the issue has to do with the thermostat being set too high. The recommended temperature for a hot water heater is between 115º F and 125º F.

Make sure to give your water heater enough time to adjust to the correct temperature.  Usually, this only takes a couple of hours.

 

If you are still seeing an issue with intensely hot water or even steam coming out of the faucets, there may be a problem with the temperature-pressure relief valve causing the hot water tank to not shut off at the set temperature.

 

This should get looked at immediately by a trained plumber before running the risk of your water heater rupturing.

The Water Heater is Leaking from the Bottom of the Tank

Finding out your hot water heater is leaking from the bottom is actually a more common issue than someone may think. In fact, it just so happens to be the typical spot to find a leak in your tank. However, just because a hot water leak is a common issue, doesn’t mean it isn’t a serious concern. 


The culprit itself, could be a leak in the drain valve. Located at the bottom of the tank, the drain valve should be drained on a regular basis to remove any sediment that collects inside the tank. Usually, a quick replacement of the drain valve should provide the answer.

If you still notice a leak after you replace the valve, then the problem could come from inside the tank itself. Sediment build-up causes the tank to rust and crack, which can be the direct cause of a leak.

 

If this is the case, then the hot water tank will need to be replaced by a professional plumber.

The Hot Water Tank is Producing Different Color Water

There could be times when you notice a discoloration when you turn on the water. Don’t be alarmed, this is just a result of minerals such as iron and copper making their way into the water supply.

 

By installing a whole-house filter or a water softener in your home, you can easily filter out any minerals that make their way into your water supply and bring the color of your water back to normal.

Another cause of any discoloration can come from corrosion inside the hot water tank itself or even from the water pipes in your home. As rust and corrosion break off the interior of the tank, all that residue floats around in the water causing a dark brownish color.

 

To combat this, contact a licensed plumbing technician to properly treat your hot water heater or any of the water pipes in your home. They can clean out your tank, or if needed, replace your old one with any model you choose.


The Hot Water Smells Bad

If your hot water is giving off a strong pungent odor, there could be a number of different issues that are the cause.

 

For instance, the inside of your water tank could be ridden with bacteria or the water is high in sulfates and as a result, it gives off a strong pungent odor, similar to rotten eggs.  

At first, try letting the hot water run for two or three minutes. Eventually, the smell of rotten eggs should disappear when the tank runs out of water and the sulfates flush out.

 

To combat any bacteria inside the tank, try turning its thermostat to 140ºF. This temperature is hot enough to kill off any bacteria inside the water heater.

If this is a problem that’s persistent, there is a good chance your hot water heater may need a new flexible anode rod. An old anode rod leaves your tank vulnerable to rusting, which means that if left untreated, your tank could see years of its life shaved off.

 

As with any plumbing issue, if you need help solving these problems it is best to call a certified licensed plumber.  


Plumbing Services for Further Assistance

These simple troubleshooting tasks are a great guide to help perform some quick repairs and services to your hot water heater. However, if the problem is an issue that seems to be out of your reach, contact us at About Plumbing. Our licensed and experienced plumbing technicians can easily help solve any problems that you may face. Whether repairs or installations, our plumbing services cover all types of conventional storage and tankless hot water heaters.

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