Are you looking to DIY hot water repairs? No hot water, too low or too high water temperature, or a strange boiling noise coming from your heater tank? Water heater dysfunction can root in a whole variety of failures: a damaged heating element (which is fortunately relatively affordable and easy to replace), inappropriate settings, lack of regular maintenance, or an increased water pressure in your household. In the following, we are aiming to trigger the most common hot water issues and repair techniques, so none of these are going to find you unprepared in the future. For extra assistance, visit the following page about hot water plumbers.
Not Enough Hot Water? No Hot Water?
You’ve just turned on a faucet and it seemingly fails or struggles to provide you with hot water – an issue that, besides being seriously annoying, indicates the dysfunction of the water heater. Such problems often root in the energy source failing to produce heat, but you can DIY your hot water repairs if the problem is simple.
First, try adjusting the temperature dial (located on the front of the tank) to a slightly higher level, and a bit later, turn on a faucet to check the temperature. (Note that this method may also be essential if outdoor temperatures have decreased largely and thus your water heater struggles to provide you with enough hot water.) If this doesn’t seem to solve the issue, you want to make sure the heater doesn’t leak. Check in the base area of your heater: if you find signs of leaking, calling a pro should mean a safe solution. When none of the above seems to be the issue, mineral deposits might be the cause of a decreased hot water production. In this case, DIY troubleshooting and pro repair both include flushing the heater tank, attaching a hose to the heater’s drain valve to empty the tank. This way you can clear out any deposit that might have affected your water heater’s function – however, as such systems are under high pressure, and electric heaters are also high-voltage appliances, we recommend calling a professional for your hot water repairs.
Water is Too Hot? Follow this hot water repairs guide!
Obviously, the first thing to try in such cases is again, adjusting the temperature on the water heater. Turning the thermostat dial towards a cooler setting can easily mean a solution for this issue (note that your heater might need a couple of hours to cool down), but if it doesn’t, the next step is to check the temperature-pressure relief valve. If it doesn’t work properly and thus it fails to release excessive steam pressure, it needs to be repaired or replaced, as this condition can be dangerous both to people in your household and to the water heater itself. Issues indicating overheating or pressure build-up (for example, a boiling sound) require calling a service professional as soon as possible.
Gas or Electric Hot Water Heater?
In any of the cases mentioned above, the first thing to know is whether your water heater is of gas or electric type. These two look really similar at first: both of them use a steel storage tank jacket, with insulation between the storage tank and the jacket to prevent heat loss. Despite their similar looks, they heat water through completely different methods: gas heaters use a gas burner which heats the water beneath the tank, while electric heaters have upper and lower heating elements. If you’re not sure which type your household uses, just look for a chimney pipe (a so-called flue) at the top of your water heater. A flue indicates a gas-burning system, while if you can’t find one, it means you have an electric heater: these don’t burn fuel and therefore don’t exhaust combustion gasses. The reason why it’s essential to know which type you own is that each of these systems requires entirely different repair procedures. Calling the utility company could bring a solution if the issue is rooted in the heater’s gas or electricity supply. However, this often doesn’t solve other heater problems, and thus you either need to troubleshoot or call professionals.