Water heater problems are usually self-evident: your shower is cold, a puddle forms around the tank, or you hear strange sounds coming from the appliance. While you should leave serious problems to a capable heating and cooling technician, it’s useful to know a few troubleshooting tips for simple problems. If your water heater is giving you trouble, try these tips before calling in the pros:
Tank is leaking
- Tighten the drain valve.
- Tighten water pipe fittings. Replace the fittings if leaks continue from this location.
- Check for and clean out any obstructions in a gas water heater’s vent.
- Check the heating element gasket on an electric water heater. If water is leaking from here, contact a contractor.
- Inspect the tank for corrosion. If you find any, the tank may need to be replaced.
Water starts hot, but cools off too quickly
- Check for leaks, a problem made obvious by water pooling around the tank.
- Have the dip tube replaced, a device that pushes cold water to the bottom of the tank so the hottest water can be directed to faucets first.
- Flush the water heater to ensure mineral deposits aren’t reducing efficiency. This fairly complex process may require the knowledge of a technician.
Water is too hot
- Turn down the temperature setting and allow the water to cool off.
- The pressure relief valve may need to be replaced.
- Turn the temperature back to normal and wait an hour.
- Call a repairman if the problem persists.
Water is discolored or smells of rotten eggs
- Run hot water for two or three minutes. If it smells bad, the anode rod may need to be replaced, which means you should call a contractor.
- Run cold water for two or three minutes. If the cold water smells, the source water is the problem, not your water heater.
Water is cold
- If your water heater isn’t doing its basic job, it’s best to contact the pros because the necessary repairs can be fairly complicated or dangerous to do yourself.
For more tips on efficient water heating, please contact Cool Power, LLC in Long Island today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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