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Troubleshoot Your Water Heater Issues with These 5 Simple Tips

Posted on March 11, 2014

A water heater is a relatively simple piece of equipment, but if it doesn’t work properly it’s a source of great inconvenience in your home. You can troubleshoot your water heater issues with these handy tips in order to get it working to optimum efficiency:

No hot water

If you’ve got a gas water heater, the absence of hot water may mean that you have a faulty gas thermocouple, gas pilot, or gas pilot control valve. Check that the gas pilot is working correctly and tighten or replace the thermocouple and valve.

Water looks and smells peculiar

This may mean that the replaceable anode rod is failing and needs to be swapped or that the tank needs to be flushed out to remove sediment. Follow these steps to clean out your water heater:

  • Switch off the power source.
  • Turn off the water and attach a hose to the water drain.
  • Turn on the water drain and open the pressure release valve.
  • Once the tank is drained, turn off the water drain, remove the hose and place a bucket under the drain.
  • Turn on the water valve and flush out all the remaining sediment.
  • Turn off the water drain, close the pressure release valve, and completely fill the tank.
  • Turn on the power.

Popping and boiling noises

Sediment is causing the bottom of the tank to overheat and the water to boil. Flush out the tank and lower the water temperature—an ideal setting is 110°F.

High-pitched whining

Defective pressure relief valves or thermostats are the probable cause. If the relief valve is hot to the touch, lower the temperature. If the temperature of your hot water is different to that of the thermostat setting, it’s probably malfunctioning.

Leaking water

This may be caused by a faulty temperature and pressure relief valve. Lift the valve lever halfway and release it. If water doesn’t flow into the drain tube or there is water around the valve, replace the valve. A leaking water tank must be replaced.

For more tips on how to troubleshoot your water heater problems, contact the experts at Comfort Systems. We’ve been proudly serving the Wichita area for over 60 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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