Hot Water System Problem

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Hot Water System Problem

You can extend the life of your water heater by ensuring that it is regularly maintained and making simple repairs such as replacing the heating element.  However, if your water heater is more than eight years old or you have noticed that it is leaking then you should consider getting a replacement.

Having A Hot Water System Problem?

The following tips can help you troubleshoot any hot water system problem that you may be having with your gas or electric hot water system and help you to find out how much longer your existing hot water heater should last.

The manufacturer of the heater should give you some indication of how long their particular heater will last but this is usually between 8 and 12 years. This will vary depending on the quality of the installation, the quality of the water and how often it is maintained.

If you have had your heater longer than 10 years and you are having problems then the chances are that it will need replacing but following these troubleshooting tips may help in the short term.

Hot Water System Troubleshooting Common Issues

If no power is getting to the heater then you should make sure that the fuse has not blown or that the breaker has not tripped. You can also try tightening the connections to the heater.

If the water is not getting hot enough then the action you will need to take will depend on whether you have an electric or a gas heater.

Electric Hot Water System Problem

  • Make sure that power is getting to the heater and then reset the thermostat.
  • Flush water through the heater so that any sediment in the tank is removed.
  • Insulate the pipes that the hot water travels through.
  • Replace the thermostat or the heating element if required.
  • Use the thermostat to raise the temperature of the water.

Gas Hot Water System Problem

  • Check that the pilot light is on and that the gas is connected.
  • Flush water through the heater so that any sediment in the tank is removed.
  • Insulate the pipes that the hot water travels through.
  • The thermocoupler may need replacing and you should also clean the gas burner.
  • Use the thermostat to raise the temperature of the water.

Other Common Hot Water Heater Problems And How To Solve Them

  • A hissing or sizzling noise. This may be caused by sediment in the tank. The tank should be completely drained and the elements removed and soaked in white vinegar until all the scale has disappeared.
  • Pressure relief valve is leaking. This can usually be solved by replacing the valve.
  • Water supply pipes are leaking. The fittings should be tightened to begin with and if this does not solve the problem then they should be replaced.

Water Heater Maintenance

You should not require a great deal of maintenance for your water heater as modern heaters are built well but a regular service can help to prolong the life of your heater.

Sediment will collect in the heater so it should be drained at least twice a year which will also help to reduce corrosion.

The pressure-relief valve should be tested regularly by lifting the handle and checking whether a burst of water is released into the overflow drainpipe. The valve will need replacing if this does not happen.

If the temperature of the thermostat stays at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below then this will reduce any potential damage that could be caused by overheating.

If Replacement Is Necessary

If you do decide that getting a replacement water tank will be the best option then you will need to decide whether you are going to get one that is similar to your existing heater or if you want one with different features such as a bigger holding capacity if your family has gotten bigger.

There should be a panel on the heater that you have already that has all the information you will need including the capacity of the tank, the water pressure and the model and serial number. Electric heaters will also have the voltage of the heating elements and the wattage capacity.

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