Keeping a home running smoothly includes water heater maintenance. When it comes to home appliances, water heaters are the real MVP. They’re needed for almost every job in the home. Despite this, maintenance is often overlooked. That’s why we put together this easy guide to common water heater repairs.
Tip: Always use protective gear for your eyes and hands. Before you begin working, shut down power for the water heater on the main circuit breaker panel.
No Hot Water
A water heater’s purpose is to keep a supply of warm water on hand. A common issue with water heaters when cold water is coming out of the warm tap.
Cautiously attending to a tripped limit switch could repair the problem. The limit switch will promptly trip or shut down when a maximum temperature is reached.
Resetting it is a multistep process that requires caution. We also recommend staying away from any repairs if you have an electric water heater. Dealing with electrical work can be incredibly dangerous, so we beg you to leave this to the professionals.
You should begin this procedure by turning off the power to the water heater. There should be two thermostats on an electric water heater. Beginning with the upper, remove the access panel and protective elements.
Locate the red reset button and press to activate. After replacing the access panel, repeat the process on the second thermostat.
Once both thermostats have been recalibrated it is safe to turn on the power. The water should be tested to see if it is at the correct temperature. Hot water should not exceed 120 degrees. Anything higher and you run the risk of burns.
Alternatively, the problem could be with a faulty heating element or thermocouple. Whether you have a gas heater or an electric heater in your home, replacing the element is a complicated process and has the potential to be dangerous.
If you find that your water heater needs an element replacement, then it is best to contact a professional to handle the task.
Scorching Hot Water
On the other hand, you may have water that is scorching hot. If you need to use your water but it feels intensely hot coming from the faucet, don’t panic!
For an electric water heater, the solution may be very simple. Oftentimes incredibly hot water from the tap can be corrected by adjusting the thermostat setting.
If you are going to change the thermostat, be sure to find specific instructions for your water heater make and model. Then follow the necessary steps to adjust the thermostat.
Is your water heater leaking? When you notice leaking or pooling water that usually means the appliance should be replaced.
However, sometimes all you need is a thorough inspection of the plumbing connections. A plumber can locate the leak and tighten the weak spot to prevent water damage in your home.
In addition to being unsightly, rust colored water is dangerous to consume. Anode rods keep water heater tanks free from corroding by attracting corrosive elements.
Replacing the rod can be performed by homeowners with the aid of the right tools. However, when it comes to replacing any parts of your water heater, it’s best if you have plumbing experience, or a plumber friend on hand to help.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the corrosion could be coming from the water heater itself. This indicates the water heater has reached its limit and is no longer serviceable. A technician can determine if the anode rod should be replaced, or the tank be replaced.
Bad Smelling Water
Foul smells can develop due to a corrosive anode rod or bacteria growth. We covered what can be done with an anode rod above.
For bacterial problems, release the entire water supply before applying any disinfecting solution. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, schedule an appointment with a local plumber and they can provide you with the best options.
Noisy Water Tank
A water heater that pops or rumbles requires immediate attention. The noise is produced when sediment accumulates at the bottom of the water heater. The recommended course of action is to flush out the water heater. Water heaters should be flushed out yearly as part of a preventative procedure.
Water Heater Repair
When problems arise with the water heater, responsible homeowners don’t have to worry. Common issues don’t require extensive training to fix. For persistent problems, it is wise to contact a professional water heater technician for assistance.