Do you have a problem with a lack of hot water? With this detailed troubleshooting guide, you can quickly identify water heater repair issues. Videos, pictures, and easy-to-follow step-by-step DIY instructions will teach you how to repair your water heater.
This article will demonstrate how to diagnose and repair both gas and electric storage water heaters. Please read Tankless Water Heater Repairs if your tankless water heater isn’t working. Learn about a few water heater repair strategies to keep your property from incurring excessive water damage cleanup expenditures.
In addition, some routine maintenance is required to keep your water heater repair in good operating order.
What is the procedure for water heater repair?
When it comes to water heater repair, there are several possibilities. Some homeowners choose to do their own repairs. Others, on the other hand, contact a local plumber since water heater repair is dependent on the type of water heater and your level of expertise. As a consequence, we’ve put together a list of some of the most typical repair options.
However, we advise you to only try repairs that you believe you can complete without the assistance of a professional. Always be cautious while working on pressurized plumbing lines; poor repairs can fail hours, days, or weeks after completion, usually when no one is home, causing thousands of dollars in damage!
What Is the Difference Between a Gas and an Electric Water Heater?
Look for a flue to detect the difference fast. The exhaust fumes from a combustion device that consumes fuel such as gas must be vented to the outside through a flue (around a chimney pipe). The presence of a flue shows that the water heater uses gas or another combustion fuel, such as propane, to operate.
A gas water heater also has a gas line connected to it, as well as a pilot light and a burner at the bottom of the hot water tank. A tiny metal access panel or viewing door usually hides the burner. Unless the pilot light is out, you should see a flame if you peek through the access panel or viewing door.
Because an electric water heater does not emit combustion gases, it does not require a top-mounted chimney. It does, however, have a connection to an electrical panel through an electrical wire or conduit. On the side of the tank, there are one or two thermostats. There isn’t any hot water anywhere in the house.
The most typical water heater complaint is that there is no hot water throughout the home. This typically means that the gas burner or electric heating components in the water heater are not providing heat. Check every hot water faucet and fixture in your house to be sure there is no hot water. Skip to Hot Water Not Working In Part Of The House if one or more fixtures have hot water.
Other gas appliances in the house, such as a gas stove or furnace, should also be checked to verify whether they operate. If they don’t, your gas supply has been cut off, and you should contact the gas provider. Then, above the water heater, contact the temperature-pressure (TP) relief valve and the hot water output pipe.
If you don’t have hot water, you can use a gas water heater. A typical cause of a gas water heater not heating is that the pilot light has gone out. The gas valve, natural gas supply, or—more likely—the thermocouple adjacent to the pilot light might all be to blame. For gas water heater troubleshooting, the following training video for water heater service professionals is helpful. If you want to jump to coping with no hot water, fast forward to 11:15 in the video.
How to Relight the Pilot Light on a Gas Water Heater
Frequently, the issue is that the pilot light has gone out. This can happen if the gas supply is cut off, the gas valve is turned off, or the pilot flame is blown out by a gust of wind. Through the viewing glass at the bottom of the water heater, look for a little flame—the pilot light.
Try relighting the pilot light if you don’t see one. Although instructions are nearly always written on the water heater repair, the following basic instructions should suffice for the majority of water heater repair:
1. Turn off the gas shut-off valve on the water heater.
2. Allow 5 minutes for the gas from the water heater to clear.
3. Remove the pilot light’s access cover (under the gas valve).
4. Select “Pilot” on the gas valve.
5. To start the flow of gas to the pilot, turn the knob (or press a separate pilot button).
Continue to keep it in place.
6. Reach into the access and ignite the pilot with a long lighter.
Maintain your grip on the button.
7. Slowly release the knob or button after approximately a minute of holding it down.
Ensure that the pilot flame remains burning.
8. Turn the gas valve on the water heater to “On.”
You might hear the burner light up when you do this.
9. Replace the access cover in its original location.
To relight the pilot light on a water heater similar to the one seen in the video, follow these steps:
- Hold down the pilot switch and continually press the ignitor button.
- When you click the ignitor, a little spark should light the pilot.
- Continue to hold down the pilot switch for one minute after the pilot ignites.
- The thermocouple or thermopile is heated by the pilot flame for one minute.
When heated, this gadget generates the minuscule amount of power required to activate the water heater gas valve. Slowly disengage the pilot switch after one minute, making sure the pilot light remains illuminated. Repeat the technique if it doesn’t remain lighted.
Troubleshooting a Water Heater’s Burner
Turn the gas valve to ON if the pilot stays lighted, as it should when everything is operating properly.
- The burner must light.
- Turn the thermostat back to an appropriate heat setting if the burner ignites.
- Your hot water heater should now function properly.
- Set the thermostat to around 120 degrees F and switch on a hot water faucet if the burner does not come on.
- Check to see whether the water heater burner ignites after a few minutes.
- If the burner doesn’t light, turn on the hot water and lower it and then raise the temperature setting on the dial until it does.
- Turn off the hot water and continue reading if the burner still won’t light.
- It’s possible that the gas valve and thermostat on your water heater are broken.
- There are gas leaks.
Turn the gas valve control to OFF if you smell gas near it, such as rotten eggs or a garlic-like odor (you may have to push down to turn it). Natural gas has a distinct odor. Before relighting the pilot light, wait until the gas smell has gone away.
How to Recognize and Treat Water Heater Problems
Traditional water heaters are straightforward. The tank receives cold water that is heated by an electric element or a gas burner. A thermostat controls the temperature, which is normally between 120 and 140 degrees. The pressure within the tank rises as the water heats up.
When you turn on a faucet, the pressure pushes hot water out. Water heaters have a limited number of moving parts, so only a few things can go wrong.
- On the gas, ignite the pilot light.
- The water heater goes out.
- An electric heater’s circuit breaker has tripped.
- The heating element or the burner has failed.
- Thermostat malfunctions.
- The valve is stuck.
Any of those elements may be repaired or replaced at a reasonable price: a plumber can handle the work for $150 to $300. However, if your water tank is more than 10 years old or is leaking, you’ll most likely need to replace it. In a washing machine, there is a lack of hot water pressure. The hot water supply valve should be turned off.
Then, from the rear of the washing machine, disconnect the hot water supply hose. Check for a little screen on the hose and/or the water intake valve that the hose attaches to capture any debris in the water supply. Carefully pull out the screen using a little screwdriver. Rinse the screen well before reinstalling it and water heater repair.