Quick Troubleshooting Tips for a Hot Water Heater

If your hot water heater is acting up in any way, you want to have it repaired as quickly as possible. Very often you're simply wasting energy by allowing the heater to continue to operate when it's not functioning as it should, and water leaks can mean damage to the building materials of your home and even mold growth. Some repairs you might make on your own, otherwise it's good to know what repairs need a technician. 

1. Puddle of water under the hot water heater

Most hot water heaters will have a drain underneath them to allow for runoff. If you notice a puddle under your heater, this may be a hole in the heater itself so that water is leaking someplace where it cannot be collected and run through the drain. If you notice this puddle when other water appliances are being used, the drain itself may be clogged and water is being backed up to the area under the hot water heater. Note if the puddle gets bigger when you turn on the faucet to the tub or a sink and if so, have a plumber check the flow of the drain itself. Otherwise, you need to inspect the hot water heater for water drips down any of the sides that may be causing the leak and patch these or have the heater replaced altogether. 

2. Pilot light continues to go out

If your hot water heater is not exposed to a constant draft so that the pilot light will be blown out, you want to check the thermocouple. This is like a little generator that produces an electric current that holds the valve open and allows gas to the pilot light area. If the thermocouple goes bad, the pilot light area will not get gas to stay operational. Thermocouples are usually very easy to replace on your own.

3. Not enough hot water

First ensure that your hot water heater is sized correctly for your home; your family may simply be using more than the heater can produce, and especially if you have a large dishwasher or washing machine. In other cases, it may be the limit switch that needs replacing. This automatically switches off the hot water heater when it reaches a certain temperature. If the limit switch is malfunctioning, it will switch off the hot water heater before it actually heats enough water or any of the water in the tank.

For more information, talk to a chromagen hot water repairs professional.