Author: Leslie Hay

Water Heater Repair Basics

Water Heater Repair

Water heaters store and heat incoming cold water so dishwashers, washing machines, sink faucets, and showers can produce hot water for use in the home. When these devices fail, they can be quite expensive to repair.Water Heater Repair

Shut off power to your water heater at the circuit breaker and wait for it to cool before working on it. Ensure that the heater’s metal plate covers are closed. However, if you need help from experts, contact Water Heater Repair Denver now!

Thermostats are used to control the temperature of hot water coming out of a gas or electric water heater. If the thermostat is faulty, you will have trouble getting your water to be hot enough for your needs.

You can fix the thermostat on a gas or electric water heater yourself as long as you know what the problem is. This can save you the expense of hiring a plumber, and it can be done quickly, easily, and at home.

Before doing any work on your water heater, make sure that the power to it is turned off by turning off the breaker at the electric panel that controls your hot water heater. This is very important as working with electricity can be dangerous.

After the switch is off, use a screwdriver to remove the screws on the access panel on the front of your water heater. This will expose the insulation behind the panel. Then you can open the panel and remove the cover on the lower thermostat of your tank. This will expose the wires and you should be able to see the dial on the thermostat.

Turn the thermostat dial to a different setting than the one that is currently on it. You should choose a setting that is either hotter or cooler depending on what your needs are.

If you have a newer electric water heater, you may be able to test the thermostat by disconnecting the wires and using a multimeter to check for continuity. This will indicate whether the thermostat is providing power to the element, or if it has shorted out. If the multimeter shows that there is continuity, it means that your thermostat is fine and the element has likely tripped. If it is not showing continuity, the element is bad and will need to be replaced.

Pilot Light

The pilot light is a small flame that ignites the gas that escapes from the water heater. It’s an important part of the system because if the gas were to escape without a flame burning it, it would collect in your home and build up to dangerous levels.

In order to keep the gas from escaping, most pilot lights have a valve that cuts off the flow of gas if the pilot flame blows out. This prevents a potentially deadly explosion. However, it can be a real pain to light the pilot light again if the flame keeps going out. In this case, you’ll need to contact a professional.

A plumber can help you solve the problem by relighting the pilot light. They can also check the thermocouple and the gas control valve to ensure they are working correctly. They’ll drain the tank if necessary and replace the anode rod, if needed.

If you’re comfortable relighting the pilot light on your own, here are some tips to make it go more smoothly:

First, turn off the water supply and power source to the water heater. Then, disconnect the hose from the water heater and drain it. This will remove any debris from the bottom of the tank that may be preventing the pilot light from lighting.

Next, turn on the power and water again. Lastly, apply pressure to the top of the pilot valve. This will make it easier to light with a lighter or match. Then, let it sit for a minute or so to give the thermocouple time to sense that the pilot is lit. Once the thermocouple is warm enough, it will tell the gas control valve to turn on.

Gas Control Valve

The gas valve on a water heater is used to control the flow of natural gas into and out of the water heater. If the pilot light won’t stay lit when you press it, the heat limiter trips or there is a gas leak, then the gas valve may be having issues. Fortunately, a plumber can quickly diagnose and repair a defective gas valve and get it back up and running.

To start with, you need to shut off the gas supply to the water heater. This is done by locating the valve on the incoming gas line that attaches to your water heater. It will either be a gate valve with a dial or a ball valve with a lever. Turn the valve to the “off” position by either turning the dial or lever until it is perpendicular to the pipe. If you are concerned about being exposed to a potential gas leak, use a bucket of water to fill up and then open a hot water faucet for several minutes to purge any outstanding gas.

Once the water heater is shut off, disconnect all of the lines connected to the gas valve using a wrench. Make sure you have the right size wrench and are familiar with your water heater’s manufacturer and model number. With the valve disconnected, close the incoming gas line by locating the gate valve (dial or lever type) and turning it to the “off” position.

Next, pull the variable resistor out of the probe section on the gas valve that extends into the tank. Depending on your model, there will be 2 plastic clips or 1 screw that hold the valve body to the backplate.

Dip Tube

A water heater’s dip tube helps to evenly distribute the incoming water within the tank so that it all gets heated. If a dip tube deteriorates or breaks it can keep incoming water away from the bottom of the tank and will prevent your home’s hot water system from functioning properly. A dip tube should be replaced every year to reduce the likelihood of sedimentation that can build up in a water heater’s tank and cause it to break down over time.

You can replace a dip tube yourself, but it is important to shut off the power and water first to avoid any electrical shock. Then turn off the cold water inlet and drain the water heater by connecting a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and running it outside or to a floor drain.

If you suspect your dip tube is broken, you can feel (carefully) the hot water pipe leaving the tank to see if it’s hot or warm. If the water is only warm after a few minutes of running, then you probably have a defective dip tube that needs to be replaced.

If you decide to replace the dip tube, it’s important to use a new one that’s made of heat resistant plastic instead of metal to avoid damaging the sacrificial anode rod. A sacrificial anode is a metal rod inserted into the tank that acts as a preferred target for corrosion, sparing the tank itself from excessive rust. Older dip tubes were often made of low-quality plastic and would break and disintegrate inside the tank, creating pieces of white plastic that could get into the hot water pipes and clog them.

Pressure Valve

The temperature pressure relief valve, often abbreviated as TPR, is an important safety device that protects your water heater from overheating. When it opens, the TPR valve relieves excess pressure that could otherwise cause the hot water tank to burst.

This water heater valve is located near the top of the tank and features a lever you can lift up or down and a discharge pipe that runs down to the base of the tank. If you notice a puddle of water near the TPR valve, it’s time to test the pressure valve.

Leaking: A small amount of leaking from the pressure valve is perfectly normal, as this is how the valve is designed to work. However, if the valve is leaking excessively or constantly, it may need to be replaced.

Rattling: If your water heater is making a loud, high-pitched whistling noise, it’s likely because the valve isn’t doing its job of relieving excess pressure. This can lead to rust or damage within your hot water tank, and it’s best to seek professional help right away.

Shut off the power to your water heater by flipping the breaker attached to an electric model or turning off the gas supply if you have a gas water heater. Turn on one of your home’s hot water faucets to drain the excess pressure from the T&P valve and into a bucket or other vessel. When you feel the need to open the T&P valve, make sure it’s opened a little at a time and never fully, so as not to spill any water. Once the water is drained, shut down your faucets and disconnect the discharge pipe from the T&P valve. Remove the old valve and replace it with a new one, making sure you match the pressure settings to the original. Before screwing the new valve into place, wrap the threads with Teflon pipe-thread tape and tighten it with a wrench.