How to Identify the Problem with Your Water Heater | Tips from Your San Antonio, TX Plumber
Photo By Koldunova Anna at Shutterstock
Unlike most other home repair issues, when you are experiencing water heater problems, it is usually pretty clear where your problem stems from. If you’re not getting any hot water when you turn on the faucet, you’ve got a problem. If you see a puddle of water near the water heater or hear strange sounds from the tank, you know something is wrong. But do you know the source of the problem?
If you can determine what the trouble is with your water heater and it’s a simple fix, you might be able to do something about it yourself. However, if you see that it is way out of your wheelhouse, you will know that you need a licensed plumber in charge.
There Is No Hot Water
Few things are as infuriating as turning the hot water on for a nice shower and finding out there is only an icy flow. In this case, the water heater has stopped working completely. Typically, the problem lies with the electricity or gas that powers it. A licensed plumber can determine the next step, depending on what energy source your water heater uses.
There Is Never Enough Hot Water
If you are constantly running out of hot water before your shower is over, you may need to invest in a larger water heater. Another option you have is the tankless water heater, which never runs out of hot water.
However, if your water heater provided enough hot water in the past, you may have another problem. You should check the temperature dial, located at the front of the water heater, and try adjusting it. If this doesn’t change the situation, you may need a professional.
The Water Is Too Hot
First, turn the thermostat down on your water heater. Mark the new temperature setting on the dial. After a few hours, check the water temperature. If the temperature isn’t going down, check for boiling sounds inside your water heater. If so, your water heater may not be shutting off when it reaches the set temperature.
Or your temperature-pressure relief valve may be at fault. This is the valve that releases the pressure from the steam. In either situation, someone could get hurt from the hot water or steam. Also, the water heater could rupture, so turn down the temperature and let the water cool. Then, you can replace the pressure relief valve.
The Hot Water Is Smelly or Discolored
When your water has a bad odor, the first thing you must figure out is whether the problem is in the water heater or the source of your water supply. To find out, turn on the cold water only. If you detect a foul smell in both the hot and cold water, the trouble is most likely within the source water.
If you are only having issues with the hot water, the odor is probably caused by the reaction of the water heater’s anode rod, and water with a high concentration of sulfates. Try running the hot water for a few minutes, then sniff. If you notice a sulphur smell, reminiscent of rotten eggs, you might try flushing the tank of your water heater.
If flushing doesn’t fix the issue, you may need to have the anode rod replaced. As with all home repairs, if you are uncomfortable performing any of these steps, call a professional plumber with experience with all facets of water heater repair.
What if you detect the aroma of garlic? For those of you with a gas water heater, your pilot may be out. If so, simply turn the valve control off and wait until the smell of gas lessens. Then, relight your pilot light.
If the smell of gas is strong and not going anywhere, you should turn off the gas supply valve immediately and open windows to ventilate the area and leave. Call a professional plumber or your gas company for help.
The Water Heater Is Leaking
One of the first signs is a puddle of water by the water heater or a drip from the tank. This could be caused by several things, from a loose valve to a corroded tank. In fact, it might not be a leak at all, but condensation.
First, figure out where the water is coming from. Water heaters do wear out, so you need to look for leaks in the tank. This means the corrosion has disintegrated the metal and you need a new one.
If the leak is in the pipes or fittings, you will need to turn off the water supply before proceeding. You can temporarily fix the leak using a pipe clamp. If you feel comfortable removing and replacing the damaged pipes yourself, you can. For those who don’t, it is time to call a water heater repair expert.
The Water Heater Is Making Noises
If you hear odd noises from your water heater, it could be from the metal pieces contracting and expanding or dripping. Most likely, however it is caused from accumulated minerals. This can occur in the tank or on the heating elements of an electric water heater. The minerals, when heated, recrystallize and create scale that corrodes the inside and reduces the efficiency of the water heater. It also makes it more prone to failure.
You can minimize the amount of minerals that coat your water heater. In ionization, an aluminum or magnesium anode rod is placed in the tank’s top. Or, to avoid the issue, flush your water heater tank out every few months.
What do the different sounds mean? If you hear a popping or gurgling sound, that is sediment build-up heating and exploding in your tank. You can try flushing the tank.
But if you hear a boiling sound, your water heater may be overheating. Pressure could build up to a dangerous level. You should immediately call for a licensed plumber for water heater repair.
Knowing who to call for dependable plumber in San Antonio, TX is half the battle. When you need a professional plumber, contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain. We provide water heater repair and replacement for residential and commercial buildings. Our experts can take care of your plumbing problems quickly and completely, 24 hours a day. And there’s no extra fee for weekends, holidays, and nights. For a licensed plumber you can trust your home to, call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain in the San Antonio, TX area today.