A well-maintained water heater can offer up to 15 years or more of reliable service but occasionally, water heater problems can occur that require immediate attention and repair. Although repairs and costs can differ depending on whether you own a gas or electric product, water heater issues are generally the same. Unless properly cared for with regular maintenance services, both types are subject to damaging rust and leaks. These water heater trouble shooting tips can help you locate the source of problems.
Water Heater Not Working
Lack of hot water is sometimes the first sign that there’s a problem with your water heater. When a water heater stops producing hot water, a lack of power is usually to blame. Because gas and electric water heaters use different energy sources, however, repairs are decidedly different for each type. Whatever type of tank that you have, you’ll want to be sure to take proper precautions before tinkering with the device. Begin by shutting off the water supply to the heater.
- Electric Water Heater Not Working. Check to see whether a circuit in your circuit breaker has tripped or if there’s a blown fuse in your fuse box. Other potential causes of lack of power include a faulty thermostat or heating element, both of which can be replaced by a professional technician.
- Gas Water Heater Not Working. Check to make sure that the gas pilot is working. Although you can safely relight your pilot yourself following proper procedures, don’t hesitate to contact a professional if you don’t feel confident about doing the job yourself, particularly if you smell a strong gas odor. Gas is a flammable substance that can cause dangerous explosions. Other possible causes for lack of hot water in a gas heater include a faulty control valve, pilot or thermocouple, which is a thermoelectric device used to measure the water’s temperature.
Rust in the Hot Water
The inside components of water heaters are constantly exposed to water. To prevent rust, heaters are equipped with anode rods, long bars made with magnesium or a zinc alloy that are suspended in the tank to attract rust that would otherwise corrode the tank. To protect the quality of your hot water, regularly cleaning and/or replacing the anode rod is a critical maintenance task.
Rotten Egg Odors
As anode rods decay, hydrogen gas is emitted. These emissions can lead to an accumulation of bacteria within the tank that can make the water smell like rotten eggs. Replacing the anode rod with a new product usually resolves the problem. The water can be safely flush with a peroxide solution to remove any lingering odors.
While water leaks caused by plumbing connections, faulty pressure valves or accumulated sediment can sometimes by repaired, leaks from the tank itself using require replacement. Since water heating accounts for around 18 percent of the energy used in the average American home, according to the Energy Information Administration, a new energy-efficient water heater can pay for itself through savings on monthly energy bills.
Whether you need an emergency repair for your water heater or a replacement, the professionals at Gartner Heating and Cooling have the expertise and experience to meet all of your water heating needs. Call us today!