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How to Tell If Your Water Heater Needs Repair

Water heaters require regular maintenance to keep them working correctly. This includes flushing and draining the tank at least once a year and replacing the anode rod, also known as a sacrificial rod, every three years.Water Heater

Some repairs are best left to professionals, especially those involving gas lines. Attempting DIY repairs can lead to fires or explosions and pose significant risks for you and your family. Contact Denver Water Heater Repair for professional help.

A leaking water heater can cause significant damage if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are several things you can check yourself before calling in a professional. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what the problem might be and how much the repair is going to cost.

If you notice a pool of water near your water heater, the first thing to do is shut off gas/electricity and your cold water supply to the tank. This will stop further damage and prevent a flood in your home if the leak is caused by the tank itself.

Next, check the inlet and outlet connections on your water heater. These can corrode or loosen over time, causing leaks. You can tighten these with a pipe wrench. If you’re unable to fix them, it might be time for a replacement.

Another common cause of leaks is the temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P). This valve is designed to release excess pressure within your water heater, but can become faulty. If this is the case, it’s important to replace the T&P valve immediately.

Leaking from the top of your water heater is usually a sign that your tank is beginning to crack or rust. This can be caused by sediment buildup or if the water is too hot. Draining and cleaning your tank periodically and regularly flushing the drain valve can help reduce this problem.

If you have a gas water heater, it’s also important to have your anode rod replaced when needed. This sacrificial component attracts corrosive materials away from the tank itself, preventing corrosion and increasing your water heater’s lifespan.

If you cannot find the source of your leak, it’s a good idea to call in a plumber. They will be able to inspect your water heater and determine if it needs replacing or just requires some maintenance. Having your water heater repaired promptly can prevent more expensive problems in the future. Contact a reliable plumber today to schedule your appointment. The sooner you call, the sooner your water heater will be fixed and back to working properly.

Temperature Issues

If your water heater’s temperature is too high, it may be due to mineral or sediment buildup. This can be prevented with regular cleaning and descaling. If the problem persists, it may be time to replace your unit. Other causes include a faulty thermostat or temperature sensor, or the pilot light could be blown out. These are all repairable by a professional.

If the water heater is gas, it can also be a sign of a faulty pilot or thermocouple. This should be handled by a professional since there is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

A water heater that makes a loud whine or rumbling noises may be boiling sediment in the bottom of the unit. This can be fixed by shutting off the power to the tank, opening the temperature pressure relief valve on the top and draining it. Once the sediment is drained, it’s a good idea to flush the tank every year or so.

Lukewarm water coming from your shower or tub is a sign of low hot water temperature. This can be caused by a faulty thermostat, sediment or a cross-connection. It’s important to get the issue fixed quickly, so call us right away!

You can sometimes fix a low or inconsistent water temperature by replacing the dip tube. This pipe extends into the tank and draws cold water in at the top, while drawing hot water out of the bottom (since hot water rises). It can break off, corrode, or develop holes at any point along its length, resulting in lukewarm or inconsistent temperatures. Alternatively, you can have a professional install an anode rod to help prevent rust and corrosion on the tank itself.

The temperature controls on a gas unit are hidden behind a panel fastened to the tank body with 2-4 screws. Using a screwdriver, you can remove these, then carefully peel back any insulation that’s blocking the access panel. Be careful not to rip or tear it, as the insulation helps keep your unit running efficiently. Then, you can use a multi-meter set to the ohms setting to check continuity on the lower heating element. You should measure around 13 ohms of resistance.

Banging Noises

Your water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home. Because of its heavy workload, it’s not uncommon for it to make some noise, but if you hear anything new or strange, don’t ignore it! Identifying the source of these sounds can help you determine whether or not your water heater needs repair.

Banging or rumbling sounds often point to sediment build-up in the water tank. The sound is created when steam bubbles encounter the layer of mineral deposits and sediment in the tank, causing them to explode. You can help reduce this risk by draining the tank and removing the sediment. This is something that should be done at least once per year to help prevent sediment build-up.

Another common sound you may notice coming from your water heater is a ticking or tapping sound. This is a normal result of pressure fluctuations throughout your plumbing system, and it’s often caused by the inlet and outlet nipples creating what’s known as a heat trap. This can also cause clogging, but a plumber can easily replace these nipples to remove the sound.

A hissing or sizzling sound is a sign that your water heater is overheating. Overheating occurs when the water in your water heater starts to evaporate, and it can lead to significant damage to your home’s plumbing. You can reduce the risk of overheating by resetting the pilot light, draining the water, and installing a water softener.

You may also notice a rusty smell near your water heater, or a rotten egg taste in your home’s hot water. These are signs of a leak or gas leak, and it’s imperative to turn off the water supply and contact a professional immediately. They will inspect your water heater and make any necessary repairs. In addition to repairing leaks, the professionals at Stephens Plumbing can also install an expansion tank to manage thermal expansion and avoid leaking and rotten eggs in the future. This is an affordable solution that should be considered for every water heater. They can also schedule annual maintenance services to keep your water heater in top condition.

Water Discoloration

A water heater tank can start to corrode over time, leading to brown or orange colored water. A professional plumber will be able to identify the cause of this, and may recommend that you install a Corro-Protec powered anode rod to prevent corrosion and other damage to your water heater. If the discoloration is occurring at all faucets in your home, including toilets, it’s likely a problem with your water supply lines, and not your water heater.

Natural minerals that are heavier than water sink to the bottom of water supply lines, and are often stirred up when there’s a sudden change in flow or demand. This can temporarily discolor your water, but it shouldn’t pose a health risk and should clear up quickly. If you’re experiencing this issue, check to see if any construction or other aboveground activities are happening in your area, and report the discoloration to your municipality’s water quality line.

If you’re noticing white or tan particles in your water, it’s typically calcium or magnesium deposits. These can clog pipes and drains over time, so you’ll want to have your plumbing system flushed and cleaned by a professional plumber.

A bacterial infection known as Serratia marcescens can also cause brown or yellow discolored water. It’s usually caused by aging iron or galvanized pipe systems, and can lead to staining of fixtures and laundry, as well as a metallic taste. If you notice this, run your hot and cold taps for one to two minutes to bring in fresh, uncontaminated water.

Older pipes in older homes are sometimes made from galvanized metal, which can begin to rust and corrode. These can release rust particles into the water supply, which can then discolor the water that comes out of your faucets. If this is a regular issue, you’ll need to replace your water piping, which can be an extensive job best left to a licensed Maryland plumber. You’ll also need to ensure that your water softener is working properly, and is not releasing millions of tiny spherical microbeads into the water supply.