There are many factors that can cause water heater problems, however the majority of the causes can be fixed by using a little common sense. The following 4 steps MAY be able to help you solve common problems without a plumber.
If you still can’t solve a problem however, call Nero Plumbing, a licensed Scranton plumber and Wilkes-barre plumber, as water heaters do use deadly high voltages, explosive natural or propane gas, and can cause significant damages to your home. Thus said, proceed at your own risk. These tips are only given as the steps that a licensed plumber would first rule out in solving your problem.
Step 1 – The pilot light
If you have a gas operated water heater, it most likely uses a pilot light. If the pilot light goes out, your water heater will shut down until you relight the pilot. The pilot light is like a little match flame that helps the bigger burner’s flame (the one that actually heats your water), light.
To see if your pilot light needs to be re-lit, go to your heater and look at the bottom for a little circular window to see it there is a tiny blue/yellow flame. If there isn’t, it needs to be re-lit.
Step 2 – The circuit Breaker
If you have an electric hot water heater, make sure that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. It the breaker is tripped, try resetting it and see if the problem goes away. If it hasn’t tripped, look for a reset button on the thermostat located on the front of your heater and push it. If either the reset or circuit breaker continues to trip, do not continue to reset it. There may be a problem that needs to be corrected by a professional plumber.
Step 3 – Incorrect temperature setting
Another simple item that is often overlooked is to see if the temperature has been set too low or to vacation on the heater. Look to see what the temperature is set to and adjust it if it is too low. Do not just turn the temperature to the top, however, as this could produce excessively hot water and even over pressure the heater.
Step 4 – Sediment Build-up
Now that we have checked the basics, we can look at a less common cause. Sometimes sediment can build up in the water tank and needs to be flushed out. All water heaters are required to have a shutoff valve on the feed side (the side coming from the cold water main) — turn off this valve. Attach a garden hose to the bottom drain valve of the water heater tank, and put the other end in a drain or sink suitable for handling the volume of water and potentially hot temperature. Carefully and slowly open the drain valve on the bottom of the tank and flush out an build up that may have occurred. Close the drain valve, and re-open the supply valve.
If your heater still doesnt work, and you are in need of a plumber in the Scranton / Wilkes-barre or surrounding areas Nero Plumbing services, call us at (570) 309-3555 and we will be glad to give you a free diagnosis.