When you have problems with your hot water heater, like noises, lack of hot water, or rusty water, call a licensed plumber. They are trained in all aspects of water heaters, including wiring, piping, heating elements, and anode rods.
Leaks should be addressed immediately. Only a professional can evaluate the situation accurately and quickly to avoid expensive or dangerous consequences. Visit https://www.hotwaternowco.com/ to learn more.
If you’re working on a new water heater installation, the first thing to do is verify that both heating elements are functioning properly. The best way to do this is to turn on a hot water faucet inside your home and see whether or not the tank produces consistent hot water over several minutes. This step is also a good time to check the temperature control settings. If you find that the setting isn’t close to your preferred setting, adjust it.
The next step is to ensure that power is connected properly to the heating elements. This is especially important for electric water heaters, as a loose wire or broken connection can cause the element to fail. Check for voltage in the field wiring compartment and the length of cable that feeds it, making sure the circuit breaker or fuses (if used) are not in the “Off” position or have been replaced with open ones. You can also perform ohms or resistance tests on the heating elements themselves with the power off by touching one probe of a multimeter to each element terminal screw in turn. If either one displays anything other than infinity, it is likely the element has failed.
Finally, if you have an electric water heater, make sure the high temperature switch has not tripped. This is a button, usually red or black, located directly above the thermostat with “RESET” printed on it. You can press this with a pencil or screwdriver, but be careful not to damage the mercury switch in the process. If it has tripped, a mechanical click will be felt or heard and a high temperature alarm will occur.
Those who have gas water heaters should check to make sure the pilot flame is lit and that the gas valve is open. If the pilot flame is out or the gas valve is closed, both will prevent your water heater from producing hot water. This is especially true for older units prone to rust that can form on the burner assembly or the thermocouple, which can both affect the flow of natural gas into your unit.
The pilot light on a gas water heater provides an important function. It keeps the flame lit, and the resulting heat from it allows the natural gas to ignite and warm up the main burners on the gas water heater when they’re needed for hot water. However, if this small flame were to blow out, there would be a potentially dangerous situation, since the gas escaping from the pilot light tube is not contained within your house, and it could quickly build up and explode in an uncontrolled manner.
A safety device called a thermocouple acts as an automatic shutoff in the event of the pilot flame going out, and it prevents the gas valve from opening until the flame is re-lit. If the thermocouple malfunctions or is covered in dirt and grime, it may take longer than usual for it to detect the absence of flame and react by closing the gas valve.
It’s possible to relight the pilot light on your gas water heater by following simple steps. First, make sure that you’re working in a well-ventilated area, and wear gloves and safety glasses to avoid burns and eye injuries from high temperatures. Next, locate the small access panel on your water heater (typically located beneath the thermostat) and open it. Once the gas valve is turned off, wait five minutes to allow any residual gas to clear out of the system.
Next, find the small pilot assembly, which is where a silver colored line and a copper line come together near the top of your water heater. Turn the pilot valve to the “pilot” position by twisting a knob on the side of the water heater. Then, use a long lighter to reach inside the pilot assembly and light it. Keep the lighter held down for one minute, which gives the pilot time to heat a sensor in the gas valve called a thermocouple or thermopile and let the gas valve know that it’s still lit.
A malfunctioning thermocouple is a common cause of pilot lights not staying lit. It is usually easy to clean or replace.
If you see small plastic flecks around your faucet aerators or aren’t getting as much hot water as usual, it could be time to replace your dip tube. This long piece of tubing is located near the bottom of the tank and allows incoming cold replacement water to enter the heater while keeping it close to its heat source. Without the dip tube, cold water would just float to the top of the tank and mingle with the hot water already there, leaving you with only lukewarm water.
Dip tubes are made of non-metallic, heat resistant materials that prevent them from interfering with your heater’s sacrificial anode, which is a metal rod that sits inside the tank to protect it from excessive rust. Because they are constantly submerged in water of various temperatures and acids, though, they can erode over time, especially with hard water buildup. You can buy a new dip tube online or at a hardware store, ensuring it’s made of heat resistant materials like crosslinked polyethylene (PEX).
Once the old dip tube is removed from your water heater, drain some of the water in the tank to get rid of any plastic flecks and then open the drain valve on the cold water line. Next, disconnect the new tube from its nipple and insert it into your water heater, making sure it extends all the way to the bottom of the tank.
Once the new tube is in place, turn the power back on and restore the water supply line to your water heater. Once the tank has refilled and the power is restored, check the water temperature from a faucet to confirm that you have a functioning dip tube. If not, it’s time to call the professional. We can troubleshoot the problem and replace your dip tube if needed so that you can enjoy a hot, satisfying shower.
The pressure-relief valve (also known as the T&P valve) is a water heater safety device that opens to release excess hot water and steam. It’s rated for up to 80 psi and it helps prevent damage to pipes, appliances, and fixtures installed downstream of the tank.
It works by using a poppet with an elastomeric seal or, in high-pressure designs, a thermoplastic seal to make a seal on a valve seat. The pressure of upstream water or steam against the valve seat presses on the poppet and the force of the spring keeps it seated. When system pressure rises above the relief valve setting the spring compresses and the poppet moves away from the seat, allowing a controlled amount of fluid to bypass to the reservoir. When the pressure in the primary circuit drops below the relief valve setting the spring re-seats the poppet and the valve closes.
Like all parts of your water heater, the T&P valve can get corroded over time, especially in a salt-water environment. This can cause it to no longer seat properly or even leak. A leaking T&P valve isn’t just annoying — it can also cause damage to your home and your plumbing system.
In some cases, the valve can be tightened by a homeowner if it’s not completely worn out. However, if the valve is leaking from the threaded opening in the tank it’s usually best to replace it with a new one. If you do decide to replace the valve, be sure to turn off the gas supply line and ventilate the area before starting. You should also use gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from any escaping gas.
It’s a good idea to test your valve at least once per year. To do so, position a bucket under the discharge pipe and gently pull on the handle. If water flows into the bucket, the valve is working as it should. This is a simple task that’s easy to do, and it can help ensure the safety of your plumbing and household members.