Few things are better in life than going home at the end of a long day at work and enjoying the luxuries of a hot shower. But what do you do when you discover a broken hot water heater has taken your spa-like experience away, leaving you at the brink of catching hypothermia? Here are 5 of our top water heater troubleshooting tips.
1.) Water Heater – No Hot Water
Easily, one of the most common complaints you get as a professional water heater repair technician is that your water has no hot water. If your water heater isn’t heating your water, check your power source (the connection) or see if you have a blown out pilot light.
Both of these things in the clear? Then check to see if you have a tripped circuit breaker.
2.) Bad Smelling Water
Another fairly common issue homeowners run into with their hot water heaters is that there may be a rotten egg smell, or bad smell in general to the water itself. This is usually caused by anaerobic bacteria in your water, which reacts with the magnesium and aluminum inside the hot water heater. This in turn, produces hydrogen sulfide gas causing the rotten egg smell.
So how do you get rid of it?
There are a few quick and simple solutions; first off, try to flush out your system and the plumbing. If this doesn’t work, consider using a hydrogen peroxide or bleach solution to clean the tank but be extremely careful as we highly recommend bringing in a professional to do this!
3.) Leaking Water Heater
A leaking water heater could be caused by a various range of problems including a faulty temperature T&P relief valve, T&P valve leak from extensive pressure and/or heat, a leak from nearby plumbing, or a leak from the water tank itself (amongst other things).
Depending on your situation, you may need to replace the relief valve, plumbing, reduce your thermostat, or replace the tank altogether. When doing your inspection, always check the bottom of the tank and surrounding vicinity for watermarks or heavy rusting. When in doubt, consult a professional.
4.) My Water Heater is Making Noises
Water heaters tend to make a lot of noise if there’s a large amount of sediment buildup. If you find yours is creating a low rumbling or popping sound, it could be caused by the excessive buildup of sediment at the bottom of your tank, resulting with boiling water inside.
Simply remove the excess sediment by flushing the water heater.
5.) My Water is Not Hot, it’s Warm or Cold!
There’s nothing worse than losing hot water mid-way through a shower. This could be caused by an undersized water heater unit not meeting the demands of your home, a broken or damaged dip tube, faulty plumbing installation, or gas supply/control issues.
You could do a number of things to fix these issues once you narrow down the problem and find a solution. First off, make sure the water heater is not being overused (otherwise you’ll need to upgrade to a larger system). Undo your cold water inlet and pipe nipple to check if the dip tube needs to be replaced. If neither of these things work, check for a crossed connection in your system as well as a proper flame burner to ensure your water has a source for getting hot.