Monday, November 18, 2013

Common Water Heater Problems and How to Fix Them



You depend on your water heater for so many things in your home, like taking showers, cleaning dishes and doing the laundry, which is why it’s so important that your water heater is always in great working order.

However, water heaters, like any other appliance, can break or need fixing from time to time. Here are some of the most common problems our customers tend to have with their hot water units. Some of these issues can be resolved by the homeowner, while others should be tended to by a professional.

No Hot Water

One of the worst things that can happen in our homes, especially during the winter, is not having any hot water. If you find that your water just won’t get hot, there could be a defect in the heating element of your unit. This can be fixed by replacing the heating source by following the manufacturer’s guidelines, or call a professional to come out and see what can be done to fix the issue. 

If your water is slightly warm or doesn’t stay hot for long, check the thermostat to see if the setting is too low. Hot water heaters are typically set at 140 degrees, but most people are happy with their water around 120 degrees. If your thermostat is set lower than 120 degrees, this could be why you don’t have hot water.

Tip: Don’t make a habit of changing the temperature of the thermostat too often. You might forget the temperature you last set it to and accidentally burn yourself while doing dishes or showering.

Pilot Light Issues

If your hot water heater stops working, sometimes it can be because the pilot light has gone out. The pilot light is easy to re-light on your own, and often times this is the solution to get your hot water heater working again. However, if you re-light your pilot light and still can’t get hot water, the job may call for a professional. More complex reasons for your pilot light going can be a draft in your home or dirt that could be clogging the gas line.

Noisy Unit

If you hear hammering and banging noises coming from your hot water heater unexpectedly, don’t panic. A noisy water heater can be the result of the metal equipment expanding and contracting as the water heats and cools inside your water heater. Flushing the heater once a month can prevent this from happening.

Leaking Tank

The last thing you want to discover as a homeowner is a leaking water tank. If your hot water tank is leaking, call a professional right away for an inspection. If you have an older tank, the leak can be caused by corrosion, which causes your unit to deteriorate over time. Unfortunately, if your tank is leaking, the solution often is to get a new hot water heater. If a professional inspection leads you to buying a new unit, make sure it is energy efficient.

Tip: While a small leak may not seem like a big deal, don’t put off a professional check. Even the smallest leak can send your water bills rising, and that’s money just disappearing from your wallet.

A standard inspection of your water heater on a regular basis by a professional is the best way to keep it running smoothly. If you have questions or think your water heater needs inspecting or fixing, give us a call. You don’t want to get caught without hot water this winter!

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