Water Heater Troubleshooting for Homeowners

plumbingManufacturers design high quality water heaters to last, but every once in a while, they might stop working. While experts are always the best choice for repair jobs, you can start with troubleshooting easier problems yourself, if only to find out if you should be preparing to buy new equipment.

Case 1: Gas heaters not producing hot water

The most common problem is a water heater that fails to produce hot water. What you do with the problem depends on the kind of appliance you have, whether it’s a gas or electric heater. For a malfunctioning gas water heater, make sure the gas is on.

When you notice the pilot light turned off, relight it. Next, replace the cover of the burner, with the thermostat set to around 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Case 2: Electric heaters not working

Expert Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical from Salt Lake City shares water heater repair tips for electric heaters, which have lower and upper heating elements. If these heating elements don’t work, try following these steps:

  • Remove any sediment in the tank. Make sure that the water heater is clean before you replace the lower heating element.
  • The replacement for the heating element must have the right voltage.
  • Put the new gasket onto the heating element and screw it in properly. Secure the heating element.
  • Close the drain valve and open a faucet so you can fill the tank with water. Do this for at least three minutes, just enough to keep the water flowing and the sediments coming out of the faucet. Watch out for the color of the water — if the water is rusty or black, it’s not safe for use.

Don’t forget to check for leaks and replace the cover of the thermostat, as well as the cover panel.

It doesn’t take much to repair simple water heater problems, but don’t attempt to do it on your own if you have no clue how the system works. Always stay safe when doing repairs.