Water Heater Troubleshooting
Before calling the plumber to repair your broken water heater, try these trouble shooting steps to see if you can fix the problem yourself.
Troubleshooting Steps for a Broken Water Heater
Broken Gas Water Heater
- Check the pilot light. Open the cover plate and look for the pilot light glow.
- If there’s no light but the water heater has an igniter, wait 20 seconds and then push down the red ignition button and hold it down until you see the glow of the pilot light.
- If there’s no igniter, make sure the gas is on and try lighitng the pilot light by hand.
- The pilot’s flame is not hot enough. This may be causing lack of hot water or failure of the water to become sufficiently warm.
- Normal Natural Gas Flame – Blue with a bit of yellow in the tip,
- Normal Propane Gas Flame – Mixture of blue and green with a tiny bit of yellow in the tip of the flame,
If step 1 doesn’t work, or if the pilot flame is weak call us at 410-967-6547
Broken Electric Water Heater
- If the hot water has a reddish color this may mean the tank is corroded, an indication that the sacrificial anode rod is not working. Call us at 410-867-6547 if you are not experienced in replacing sacrificial anode rods.
- Sulfur Smell in the Hot Water – This is probably coming from tank bacteria, whose growth is stimulated by chemical changes due to an insufficient sacrificial anode. The tank must be cleansed and disinfected with 1/2 gallon of 3% peroxide diluted in 40 gallons of water, and a good sacrifical anode, such as one made of a zinc alloy, must be installed.
General Water Heater Repair Problems
- Check to see if the breaker is on
- Open the circuit panel and check the hot water breaker. If it is down lift it up. If that doesn’t help call us at 410-967-6547 for additional help.
- Strange noises coming from tank – Sediment in bottom of tank sediment prevents dissipation of heat hence the bubbling sound. The tank must be drained. This is a home repair if you know how to do it, otherwise call the plumber. Don’t forget to turn off the electricity before draining the tank.
- Water leaking from the T & P valve. – Call the plumber right away and be sure not to close the valve as that could cause a fatal build up of pressure in the tank.
- Water leak – Check above the tank for signs of water dripping onto the tank. Check under the tank for signs of rust = long standing leak. Call us at 410-9676547 about getting a new tank.
New Water Tank Problems
- Check the tank capacity. It should be at least 3/4 of the home’s peak hot water demand. If it’s less than that, you may be getting cold water from the hot water tap when your demand exceeds your tank’s capacity. If this is the case call us at 410-967-6547 for a consultation
- If hot water is coming out of the cold water tap and cold water out of the hot water tap then pipes may have been cross-connected at the time of installation. Call us at 410-867-6547