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5 Residential Water Heater Troubleshooting Tips for Homeowners

When you own your own home, there are many rewards, as well as many responsibilities. If things break, you no longer have a landlord to call who will take care of it. The repairs will be your duty. Luckily if you water heater is the issue, there are several ways to solve the issue. Here are 5 residential water heater troubleshooting tips for homeowners.

  1. Before doing anything, make sure it is safe to proceed with any repairs. First, turn off all power to an electric water heater to prevent any power issues or shock. You can do this by turning off the circuit breaker or you can fuse power the heater. Also, turn the gas pilot control valve to the “pilot” setting. Lastly, make sure that the water supply is shut off while you are working.
  2. Next you should identify the problem. If your issue is that the heater is not producing hot water, you could have a few different problems. First, you gas pilot, the thermocouple or the control vale may be fault. To fix these problems, check the pilot flame for a gas powered heater and be sure pilot operation is working well. You may also re-tighten, replace or reposition the gas thermocouple or replace the gas pilot control valve.
  3. Another problem may be that the heater isn’t producing enough hot water. This may be because the unit is too small for the amount of water needing to be heated up. This is something that should be addressed when you are installing the heater, however if it is a huge issue, you may need to exchange your heater for a larger model that can produce the appropriate amount of hot water for your home’s needs.
  4. Check the flame to make sure the gas supply is appropriate to heat the water enough. A flame of natural gas should be a bright blue color at the tip of the flame with a small amount of yellow tinting. A propane flame, on the other hand, will have a bluish flame with a yellow tint at the tip. If coloring isn’t appropriate you may have an issue with the gas and enough may not be getting into the system to get the water hot enough or consistently warm.
  5. Another issue may be the color of the water. Sometimes faulty heaters produce water with a rusty, orange color. This may be due to corrosion inside the glass-lined tank. It may also be because the sacrificial anode rod is failing. Usually these rods dissolve slowly to reduce rust in the tank, but if they are faulty, the rust may be getting into the water, and harming your tank as well!

When choosing a home heating option , you often think about the features, but not the complications. All of these tips will ensure that you are able to handle an array of situations that may arise with your residential water heater. If you are sure to turn off the power and water to the heater, you will be able to determine the problem so that you can address and correct it accordingly. In some cases you may be able to solve the problem yourself, however in other cases, you may need to call for professional help.

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