Repairing Hot Water Heater Issues
Is your hot water tank temperature turned up to maximum but you’re only getting lukewarm water? Do you get a shock in the shower when someone else uses water in the home or flushes the toilet? Do you run out of hot water quickly? Do you feel that your hot water just isn’t hot enough?
Water heater problems aren’t hard to spot. Maybe you can’t get hot water out of a tap or the water isn’t hot enough. Maybe you notice dripping or puddling near the water heater. Or maybe the water tank is making strange noises or the water is discoloured or smelly. You can probably remedy most of these problems yourself. Try the following tips:
No Hot Water or Water Too Hot
The most common complaint with a water heater is that it doesn’t heat water at all. First, check to make sure that your water heater is actually turned on. If your water heater is a power vented model, make sure that the electricity outlet is live.
Make sure that the water heater thermostat is in the medium range, which is about 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s lower than that, it could breed legionella bacteria, which is dangerous to the home’s occupants.
Water that is too hot is another common problem with hot water heaters. Before you do anything else, adjust the temperature dial on the front of the water heater to a lower temperature. Wait a little while, and then check the water temperature at a faucet to see if the problem is solved.
Steam or excessively hot water shooting out of faucets or boiling sounds inside the water heater means that the appliance may not be shutting off at the set temperature.
Not Enough Hot Water
If it seems like you never have enough hot water in your home, an undersized water heater could be the problem. If you’ve increased your need for hot water by installing a new large soaking tub or a high-flow shower head, you’ll probably need to get a larger water heater. If you need to get a new hot water tank, look into buying a tank-less water heater. You’ll never run out of hot water with this type of water heater.
Then again, if you’ve always had enough hot water in the recent past, but your water heater is suddenly supplying less, first check the dial on the water heater, as mentioned above.
Note that, if the outdoor temperatures have dropped significantly, your water heater has to work harder to heat and maintain the cold inbound water. Also water cools more as it travels through pipes that run through unheated spaces. Adjust the water heater’s dial to a slightly hotter temperature. Insulating exposed hot water pipes will also help.
Look for Wet Spots
If there are any water marks or wet spots under the water heater, make sure the drain valve is tightly closed and check to see if there are any leaks on the water lines going into the tank.
Flush the Water Heater Tank
You may have to flush the water heater tank to clear out mineral deposits that reduce the heater’s efficiency. Attach a hose to the water heater’s drain valve and empty the tank.
Test the Temperature-Pressure Relief Valve
The temperature-pressure relief valve keeps pressure from building up too much. Test the valve by lifting or lowering its handle. If water doesn’t drain from the overflow pipe, the water heater temperature-pressure relief valve will need to be replaced.
Cracked Plastic Dip Tube
If the above measures don’t work, the dip tube that supplies cold water to the tank may be broken or cracked. The dip tube is a plastic tube that’s supposed to direct cold water to the bottom of the water heater tank. If it breaks or cracks, cold water pours in at the top of the tank and mixes with the hot water that’s on its way to the hot water pipes.
If this is the problem, have the dip tube replaced by a water heater repair professional. It could be that the water heater is out of warranty and showing other signs of age. If that’s true, you might want to consider replacing it with a new water heater that will operate more efficiently.
If you’ve checked all of these things and are still having problems, give us a call and we will try to walk you through troubleshooting your water heater. Alternately, call us to book a consultation. For more difficult problems, you’re better to call in a professional.
Other Hot Water Heater Issues:
Rust Colored Water
Water coming out of the tap that has a rusty color can indicate a bad anode rod. If the rod inside the tank becomes weak, then rust will begin to appear in your water. The rust color goes away once the bad rod is replaced.
Water with an odor of rotten eggs can be an indication of a bacterial infection in the tank. Bacteria feed on hydrogen gas being emitted from the anode rod. A professional plumber can easily resolve this issue by first draining the tank.
Popping noises can sometimes be heard coming from a hot water heater with build up of sediment. The sediment in the tank can cause an unbalance with the water and cause it to boil. This problem needs to be corrected by a trained plumber who will flush the tank.
Hot water tanks that leak water may indicate a problem with the pressure and temperature. Water that is pooling at the bottom of the tank can indicate a hole due to rust. If you are not sure where the water is leaking, then contact a local plumber to examine the tank and troubleshoot the problem.
Is your water heater acting up? Contact WaterWorks Plumbing & Drains for hot water heater repair in Toronto or surrounding locations today!