Water Heater Repair Tips
Your water heater has a simple, yet vitally important job: it keeps gallons of hot water ready to use at all times. It accomplishes this task by conducting heat through metal and warming up gallons of water. While most of the time your water heater performs this function flawlessly, there are occasions when it needs repair. A faulty water heater can leave you without hot water or cause scalding injuries in your home. Fortunately, you can perform a few basic water heater repair tips before calling in a plumber.
If you have no hot water, it could be a sign that the heating elements are burning out or your dip tube is corroded and needs replacing. Alternatively, a tripped circuit breaker or a faulty reset button may also be the culprit. To troubleshoot the issue, turn off the water heater and locate the switch in your breaker box that controls the circuit. Switch it off and then press the red button—the high-temperature cutoff reset button—located just above the upper thermostat. This should resolve the issue, but if not, it’s time to test the heating elements.
Before testing the heating elements, shut off power to your water heater at the electrical service panel and post a sign warning others not to turn it back on. Next, remove the insulation and plastic safety guard from each of the element access panels. Be careful not to touch the wires or electrical terminals. Once you have removed the insulation and safety guard, test the electrical wires with a dual-range non-contact voltage tester.
10 Water Heater Repair Tips You Should Know About
The tester will detect both low and standard voltage. If the test shows no voltage, it is safe to remove and replace each of the heating elements. Make sure each element is the same model, size and rating as the one it’s replacing. Once the replacement is in place, restore power to your water heater by turning on its circuit breaker. Replace the plastic safety guard, insulation and access panel and turn on the water heater’s circuit breaker. It’s a good idea to drain the water heater once a year. This will help reduce sediment buildup and extend the life of your water heater. You should also replace your anode rod yearly (see below).
Maintaining a functional water heater is crucial for a comfortable home. Here are ten essential tips to keep your water heater in top condition: Regular Inspections: Periodically check for leaks, rust, or corrosion on the tank, valves, and connections. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage. Adjust the Temperature: Set the water heater to a safe and energy-efficient temperature, typically around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This prevents scalding and reduces energy consumption.
Flush the Tank: Sediment buildup can reduce efficiency. Drain and flush the tank annually to remove sediment, ensuring optimal performance. Check the Pressure Relief Valve: Test the pressure relief valve by lifting the lever and allowing water to flow. If it doesn’t, or if it leaks afterward, it may need replacement. Insulate Your Tank: Wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket to reduce heat loss, especially if it’s located in a cold area.
Inspect the Anode Rod: The anode rod protects the tank from corrosion. Check it annually and replace if it’s heavily corroded. Maintain Proper Clearance: Ensure that the area around your water heater is clear of debris, flammable materials, and clutter to prevent accidents. Address Leaks Immediately: Any signs of water around the tank or connections should be investigated promptly. Leaks can lead to serious damage.
Check the Gas Line and Venting: If you have a gas water heater, inspect the gas line and venting system for any signs of wear, damage, or blockages. Schedule Professional Inspections: Have a licensed technician inspect your water heater periodically to catch potential issues early and ensure it operates safely and efficiently. By following these ten water heater repair tips, you can extend the lifespan of your unit, reduce energy costs, and enjoy consistent hot water in your home.