Water Heater Troubleshooting

How to Determine if Your Water Heater Needs Repair or Replacement

Is your water heater working properly?

A broken hot water heater can mean tremendous headaches for homeowners who do not address the problem quickly. It’s easy to forget just how reliant we have become on readily available heated water, especially during the colder months. Regardless of the season, a malfunctioning hot water heater is not something that should be ignored.

Signs of a Malfunctioning Hot Water Heater

A water heater that is functioning properly will not allow moisture to escape. Leaking water is a good indication that something is wrong. Many households have their appliance tucked out of sight in a closet, basement or other out of the way space. As soon as you notice something is amiss, go to the hot water heater and look for moisture under or around it. Other signs include uneven temperatures and overheated water.

Emergency Water Heater Shut Off

The water heater should be shut down as soon as a problem is discovered. This requires shutting off the flow of water to the unit as well as its power source. If the water heater runs on gas, then this should be shut of first. Look for a single handled valve along the gas line. This will be located close to the water heater. Once located, this valve should be turned clockwise to stop the flow of gas to the unit.

If you own an electric water heater, go to the circuit breaker box and manually switch off power to the unit. This should be kept off until the repair is complete or the replacement water heater is in place and ready to operate.

The water line must also be stopped to prevent the water heater from refilling. To do this, look at the top of the unit. To the right there should be a water line running into the appliance. This is the cold water line. A valve will be present that can be turned clockwise to stop water flow.

Draining Hot Water Heaters Prior to Replacement or Maintenance

The liquid remaining in the hot water heater should be removed prior to replacement or repair. This is done by attaching a garden hose to the boiler drain found at the bottom of the unit. The drain looks much like the standard outdoor hose hookup. Some may have a longer handle while others may only have a groove for a screwdriver.

After connecting the hose make sure it is attached firmly. The opposite end should be placed inside a tub or outdoors so it does not drain inside the home. Once the hose is ready to go, simply turn the handle or flathead screwdriver and the hot water heater will begin draining. The length of time required to completely drain the unit will vary depending on capacity.

Shut Off Your Hot Water Heater and Give Us a Call

Once your hot water heater is off and drained, all leaking should stop. Give us a call right away so we can identify the problem and provide a recommendation. Inland Empire Plumbing offers repair and replacement services for tank and tankless water heaters.

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