If you’ve been having problems with hot water in your home, it helps to have a working knowledge of common water heater problems. Following are some of the most common issues experienced with storage tank water heaters. First, though, a quick primer on how a traditional tank water heater operates.
How a Storage Tank Water Heater Works
These appliances either come with an electric coil or gas burner that heats water stored in an insulated tank. A thermostat keeps track of the water temperature. When it falls below the setting, the heating element or burner heats the water until it reaches the desired temperature. Whether the water is being used or not, it will be heated and reheated 24/7.
Common Water Heater Problems
Here are a few ways to troubleshoot a hot water heater:
- If you’re not getting hot water at all, it may mean the pilot light has been extinguished. Open the small hatch cover to the pilot light and check to see whether it’s lit. If it’s out, try re-lighting the pilot, following instructions in the owner’s manual or pasted on the hatch cover.
- If odd noises are coming from the water heater, it’s likely detached minerals or scale that have accumulated in the tank. The tank should be drained and cleaned out. A professional plumber will likely have to do this job.
- If water shows up on the floor of the water heater, it could be a bad sign. The water may be leaking from a pipe or loose valve, or the water heater may have corroded to such an extent that the metal tank is failing. In this case, replacement is your only option.
- If the water isn’t getting hot enough, check the thermostat setting. If it’s correct, the tank may need to be flushed. Sediment may be keeping the heating element from doing its job.
While a handy homeowner can address some of these water heater problems, you should contact a licensed plumbing professional for most issues. For help with your water heater problems, please contact the professionals at Arpi’s Industries Ltd. We proudly serve the greater Calgary area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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