How To Troubleshoot The Top 4 Water Heater Issues

Water heaters are something most people don't think about until they are having problems. While water heaters seem complicated, there are some issues you can troubleshoot yourself. Here are the top four issues you can troubleshoot:

1. Water heater going out

If your water heater keeps going out, this means the burners in the heater can't get enough heat to keep your water warm. Troubleshooting this issue depends on the type of water heater you have.

Gas Water Heaters

Check the gas supply to your water heater. An insufficient gas supply will cause the pilot light to burn out prematurely. Ensure that all the gas lines going to the heater are open and clean. If the gas lines are open, but the pilot light keeps going out, you may need a new water heater.

Electric Water Heaters

If your water heater doesn't heat the water, or it runs out of hot water prematurely, this is a sign of a broken thermostat or heating coil. If either of these two elements go out, these parts can easily be replaced by a technician. There is no need to replace the entire water heater to fix this problem. Most warranties cover these parts for no cost.

2. Water Heater Knocking

The most common cause of a knocking sound in a water heater is sediment buildup. This sediment occurs due to minerals in the water accumulating in the bottom of the water heater. In order to get rid of this sediment, your water heater needs to be flushed once every six to twelve months. Here are the steps to flushing your water heater:

1. Shut off the electricity to your water heater.

2. Connect a hose to the drain valve. Place the end of the hose in a bucket, or if the hose is long enough, in your bathtub.

3. Open the relief valve and run water out the hose until the water that is coming out is clear.

4. Close the relief valve. Close the drain valve.

5. Run water in your sink until the bubbles in the pipes are out.

6. Turn the power to the water heater back on and unhook the hose.

3. Water Heater Tripping the Breaker

If your water heater is tripping your circuit breaker, this is a serious issue. This can be a sign of an electrical problem. Due to the risk of electrocution, only a technician should be called to check this issue. Don't try to fix this yourself. The most common cause of a tripping breaker is a thermostat issue in your water heater. The thermostat can be replaced by a technician. If this doesn't fix the issue, a leaking gasket may be the culprit.

4. Water Heater Valve Leak

A leaking valve can be common with water heaters, especially after you flush one. When valves are not open for a long time, they will leak water. This is normal, and nothing to be concerned about. However, if the issue continues after a few days, the valve may need to be replaced. A plumber or technician can replace this part for you.

These are four issues with your water heater that you can troubleshoot. If you're having any of these water heater problems, call a technician today.