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Because your water heater is normally tucked away unobtrusively, it's common that you don't realize you have a problem until something major goes wrong.
Like most things, it's better to arrest issues before they go wrong and require costly water heater repair. However, it can be hard to realize what's going wrong, especially if you don't know what you're looking for.
Here's the most common symptoms that your water heater might require repairing soon, and what you can do about it.
Troubleshooting Your Water Heater: How to Start
First things first, safety.
If you have an electric water heater, turn off the power. Whether it has a built-in power switch or not, the safest method is to turn off the power at the breaker or circuit box.
If you have a gas water heater, you will have multiple gas settings, including pilot only and gas completely off.
However, it's also far better to turn the gas supply for your heater completely off. To do this, identify the inline gas pipe. There will be a gas valve on this pipe. Turn this valve until it is completely perpendicular (in-line) with the pipe. This will shut off the gas completely.
If you're doing any water heater repairs except draining the water tank, make sure that you turn the gas completely off.
Understanding Your Heating: The Signs You Need Repairs
Some issues with your water heater can be solved simply without resorting to a water heater repairman, by just understanding what's going on, but others will require a water heating repair professional to fix. Here's what you should be looking for.
Your Water Heater isn't Putting Out Enough Hot Water
If your water heater isn't putting out enough hot water, it could be as simple as turning up the unit's temperature.
Be warned that you shouldn't turn up your temperature too high, as it could cause scalding.
However, if you increase your temperature and the water doesn't heat up enough, or you still don't have enough hot water, you might have a problem. If so, contact your local plumbers for water heater repairs.
Your Heated Water Smells Bad
If your water smells bad, that normally means you've got a bacterial problem in your water tank.
Generally, it will smell like rotten eggs, which is caused by sulphides in the water. Whilst the water will still usually be safe to drink, it can be an uncomfortable experience and not one that you have to deal with.
To fix this problem, flush the tank out, then refill it with water and one or two pints of hydrogen peroxide. Allow to sit for two hours, then flush it clear with clean water again.
Your tank may also contain a magnesium anode rod, which may cause discolored water or bad smells if it is corroded or failing.
This can be treated with the same hydrogen peroxide flush as above, but if the smell remains, replace the magnesium anode rode with one made from a zinc alloy.
If your water tank still smells after you flush it, you should call a plumber to perform water heater repairs as you may have deeper problems that aren't due to your water heater.
Your Water Heater isn't Heating Any Water at All
The simplest problem to diagnose for non-professionals, a complete lack of hot water is normally due to the heating part of your water heater failing.
For gas heaters, this means your pilot light has blown out, or you need a replacement thermocouple.
For electric heaters, the heating element may have failed, and needs replacing.
If you have absolutely no hot water, contact your us as local plumbers for water heater repairs, as the job is normally quick and simple to perform. If we have the correct parts in stock, we could be out to you and have you up and running with hot water within hours.
Your Water Heater Makes a Lot Of Noise
There are multiple reasons that your water heater could be making a lot of noise. First off, your water heater may have sediment in the bottom, caused by hard water or dirt.
If this is the case, you can drain your water tank to flush the sediment out. It is recommended that you do this yearly anyway, as it can maintain your water tank and lead to longer life and better efficiency.
The second reason for bangs and other loud noises is that the heating element of your appliance is starting to fail. If this is the case, contact us today and we can perform a simple water heater repair to replace the element.
Your Water Heater Is Leaking
This is the single biggest issue that can happen with your water heater, and it's a dire one.
If your water heater starts to leak, that's essentially, it's a sign that it's dead and time for a replacement.
If you see any signs of leaking around your water tank, contact us or another local Katy, TX plumber immediately. A minor leak can quickly develop into a major one, and the last thing you want is 50 gallons of water leaking into your property.
Booking Your Water Heater Repair in Katy, TX
Working on a water heater isn't something that we would recommend for most people. Water heaters are complicated pieces of machinery that are surprisingly easy to damage. In most cases, you're much better served commissioning a repair service.
Our local engineers are highly trained, able to travel to anywhere in Katy, TX or any of the surrounding areas. With regular booking time slots, as well as 7-day emergency call outs, no matter what's gone wrong, we have your back. Contact us now to get started.