After installing your water heater and getting excellent services from it, suddenly it breaks down, and you are there in a dilemma. You can’t imagine a winter without a heater system. You ask yourself several questions. Should I install a new water heater system? Should I get a plumber and get the heater repaired? What is the cost of repairing compared to new installing?
Just calm down. Repairing your water heater system is a few simple steps away, and you are back to normalcy in your house. Seeking services of a plumber to repair for you may cost you a few bucks. Save the coins for other home expenses by following the following tips to get your heater working again.
1. Understand how the water heater operates
You cannot repair something you don’t know how it works. Whether it is a residential or commercial, a standard water heater is just but a tank and some source of water. Hot water comes from the tank by turning on the faucet; then it is replenished by cold water. If the reservoir temperature is down below the setting, the heat source comes in to warm things back.
2. Know your water heater type
It may be an electric water heater or a gas water heater. Electric heaters are simple consisting of only two elements; over temperature protection switch and a thermostat. Gas water heaters are a bit more complex comprising a burner, a controller, a thermal, exhaust flue, a thermostat and an electronic ignition circuit. Thus repairing it may be complex compared to an electric heater.
3.Identify the problem to be fixed
The last step to repairing is to determine the problem. The most common water heater problems include tank leaking, not enough hot water, too hot or not hot water, strange tank noises, smelly or discoloured water.
Follow these tips to repair each of the problems, in case your heater has any of them:-
Noisy water heater – The noise may be as a result of expanding and contracting metal parts. A scale is formed when heated, dissolved hard water minerals crystallizes. Reduce the scales by flushing out the tank after a few days.
Hot water is too hot – the first thing to do is to use the thermostat dial to turn down the temperature. Wait for a few minutes at that level and see if there will be changes. If it is not cooling off, this means+ the system is not shutting off at the set temperature. The problem then is with the TP relief valve which is set to release excessive pressure from the steam build up. Check the valve if it is correctly installed or replace if it’s faulty.
Not enough hot water – check around and make sure there are no leaks. It is advisable to flush the tank so as to clear out any mineral deposits. The other cause may be with the dip tube which may be cracked or broken. Consider replacing it if it’s the cause.
No hot water – a tripped circuit breaker, or faulty thermostat may be the cause in electric units. For gas units, the cause may be pilot light not burning. Check the circuit breaker and the thermostat and replace it by yourself following the manual’s instructions.
Smelly water – the bad smell mainly is as a result of bacteria growing inside the water tank or the reaction between the heater’s anode rod and the sulphates. This calls for draining the water tank regularly and sanitizing it.
Sometimes you may find the problem is too complex for you to repair, or maybe risky. The instructions on the user’s manual may seem not to assist you also. Never give up on your water heater system, go on and call a qualified plumber to do the work for you. Remember a small problem may turn to be an expensive and difficult task if not handled correctly.