Homeowners can handle many plumbing repairs, but the water heater is not one of them. This complex and potentially dangerous unit should only be repaired by Water Heater Repair Denver.
The tank may have corroded if your water smells rusty or is discolored. A plumber can drain and flush the tank to remove rust buildup. An anode rod can be added to the tank to help prevent rust by drawing it to itself rather than the tank walls.
The thermocouple is a safety device that detects whether the pilot light is lit. If it isn’t, the water heater’s gas valve will close until the flame is relit. When this happens, it’s often due to a bad thermocouple. Fortunately, replacing this water heater part is not difficult, and it’s fairly inexpensive.
Thermocouples are made from dissimilar metals welded together. One end connects to the pilot flame, and the other attaches to the gas valve on the water heater’s outside. The thermocouple converts heat from the pilot flame into a small electrical current that the valve uses as a switch to control the flow of gas. When it senses that there is no flame, it will shut off the gas supply.
A thermocouple that is dirty will probably not work, because soot and other residue can prevent electricity from flowing. A dirty thermocouple is easy to fix, just wipe it down with a damp cloth. However, a broken thermocouple is another story. Thermocouples wear out and break down over time, or they can simply fail to transmit the right signals.
If your water heater’s pilot light keeps going out or doesn’t stay lit when you turn on the gas, the thermocouple may be broken. Before attempting a DIY replacement, first check the voltage of the thermocouple with a multimeter. It should read between 650 mV and 1000 mV.
Next, shut off the water heater’s gas valve by turning the top knob to OFF. Then, remove the burner assembly by unscrewing the nuts connecting the burner gas line and the pilot gas line with open-end wrenches. Then disconnect the old thermocouple from its terminal block, and install the new one.
The heating element is located in the bottom of the tank. Electrical current runs through the element, which heats up and then turns into hot water. If the element stops working, this will cause your water heater to shut off. If this happens frequently, you may need to replace the element or thermostats.
A leaking water heater is a major issue that can lead to property damage. If you notice any water leaks around your water heater, shut off the water and power source to the unit and call a plumber right away.
If your water has a strange smell or looks discolored, this could be a sign of rust or corrosion in the tank. A corroded tank will need to be drained and replaced with a new one. In some cases, you can try to prevent a corroded tank by replacing the sacrificial anode rod in your water heater. This rod attracts corrosive elements in the water, saving your tank from rust.
Another potential problem is a broken dip tube. The dip tube is what supplies cold water to the heater. If the dip tube is cracked or broken, cold water will mix with your hot water and make it less hot. A professional can replace the dip tube for you.
Many gas water heaters use an electronic ignition to control the flame. These are becoming more and more common, and they are more reliable than traditional pilot lights. However, the sensor that controls this can become clogged with sediment and needs to be cleaned out by a plumber. You can also try to relight the pilot light yourself, but only if you’ve read and understood the safety manual that accompanies your water heater. There are real dangers to playing with a gas water heater without proper training.
A faulty thermostat can lead to a number of water heater problems. Among other things, it may take longer to heat your water, or you may find that you’re running out of hot water more quickly than usual. The good news is that fixing a broken water heater thermostat is usually fairly easy and cheap. You can often get the part you need from a hardware store or home center.
Start by turning off the power to the unit. You can do this by turning the circuit breaker marked “water heater” off (or removing the fuses). Next, remove the upper access panel and carefully remove the insulation and plastic cover from around it. Once you’ve done this, turn the breaker back on and check for voltage on the top two screws of the upper thermostat.
If there is no voltage present on these two screws, the thermostat is likely defective and needs to be replaced. You can also try pressing the reset button on the upper thermostat, but this is not always effective.
The best way to test a thermostat is with a multimeter or voltage/ohm meter. Set the meter to RX1 and touch one of the leads to the left-side thermostat terminal and the other to the lower thermostat terminal screw. The meter should read 0 ohms of resistance if the thermostat is working properly.
Replace the upper thermostat and then reconnect the wires. Be sure to label the screws on the new thermostat so that you know which ones go where. If you’ve done this correctly, your water heater should be ready to use again. It’s a good idea to let some hot water run from a tap before turning on the breaker again.
There is not much more important to a home than hot water. It can be used for so many things, keeping a house clean and sanitary, and making life more comfortable. When the heater malfunctions, however, it can cause problems throughout the home. One of the most common causes of a lack of hot water is because of a faulty dip tube.
The dip tube is a piece of plastic that is inside the tank. It pushes cold water down into the bottom of the tank, and it is this that allows the heater to keep churning out hot water. When the dip tube fails, it can allow cold water to rise up to the top of the tank where it mixes with the hot water supply and makes it lukewarm.
Replacing a dip tube is not a complicated process. First, shut off the power to the tank by switching off the circuit breaker. Next, disconnect the cold water supply line to the tank. Finally, remove the inlet nipple using a pipe wrench. Be careful when handling the nipple, as it is made of plastic and could break if mishandled.
Once the nipple is removed, insert the new dip tube into the inlet opening. Be sure to align the new tube properly so that it extends all the way to the bottom of the tank. After installing the new tube, reattach the cold water inlet and turn on the water supply to the tank. If everything is in order, you should now have hot water.
The pressure valve on your hot water heater serves a very important function. It relieves the built-up pressure inside the tank if the temperature or the pressure inside your water heater reaches dangerously high levels, so that you don’t end up with a water heater explosion that could cause major damage to your home. This is one of the reasons that it is recommended to have your pressure valve tested annually.
The water heater tank’s pressure valve is a small metal lever that sticks out of the top of your water tank, with a tube that runs from it down to the water heater base. It is very easy to test, and we recommend that homeowners test it twice a year, right after flushing the water heater. Be careful, though: the water inside the tank is piping hot. Make sure that you wear gloves and goggles to avoid scalding yourself. To test the pressure valve, place a bucket underneath the discharge pipe and carefully pull the lever. If the lever “snaps” back into place, that means that it is working as designed.
If the lever doesn’t “snap” back into place, that is a sign that the valve needs to be replaced. This isn’t something that you should try to do yourself, because the valve can be extremely dangerous when it breaks, so it’s a good idea to call in a professional for this repair. If your valve is leaking, it’s probably time to have it replaced, too, as this can be a sign of serious problems inside your water heater that could lead to flooding and expensive repairs in the future.