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5 Tips for DIY Water Heater Troubleshooting

AirPros - 5 Tips for DIY Water Heater Troubleshooting

There is nothing more frustrating than finding your hot water not working. What’s even worse is that this type of discovery is usually made when hot water is necessary during the winter months. Whether you’re trying to take a shower or wash your dishes, there’s just never a convenient time to be facing this type of problem. 

When the hot water is not working, that means that there is an issue with your hot water heater not working. Various issues can cause this problem, and you can troubleshoot it in the following ways: 

1. Check the Power Supply Issues

2. Inspect for Leaks and Drips

3. Assess Water Temperature Problems

4. Address Strange Noises or Sounds

5. Test Pressure Relief Valve

If you’ve never dealt with water heater troubleshooting issues before, you’re in luck. Air Pros USA has a team that fixes water heaters and has broken down the troubleshooting as mentioned above tips in this article. Read along to learn some essential water heater troubleshooting tips that you can perform yourself. 

Why is My Hot Water Heater Not Working?

A hot water heater not heating your water can be a real pain. This problem is often caused by power supply issues, leaks and drips, temperature issues, and malfunction in its parts and pressure levels. Though these issues may seem quite overwhelming, a few simple troubleshooting steps can help you restore your hot water very quickly. 

Check the Power Supply Issues

If your hot water heater is not working, the first thing you need to do is to check its power supply issues. Whether you have a gas or an electric hot water heater not working, the power supply will play a massive part in how your hot water performs. Here are the steps you must take to troubleshoot these steps: 

Checking the Power Supply for Your Electric Water Heater

  1. Locate the circuit breaker of the fuse box associated with the water heater. 
  2. Check if the circuit breaker tripped or if a fuse has blown. If so, reset the break or replace the fuse. 
  3. If the breaker continues to trip or the fuse blows repeatedly, this could indicate an electrical issue that requires further investigation by a professional who fixes water heaters

Checking the Gas Supply for a Gas Water Heater

  1. Locate the access panel on the gas water heater. 
  2. Open the access panel to expose the burner assembly.
  3. Check to see if the pilot light is lit. If not, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to relight it. 
  4. If you find difficulty with relighting the pilot light or it keeps going out, it may indicate a problem with the thermocouple or gas supply that may require professional repair. 

Inspect for Leaks and Drips

Leaks and drips can create problems with your water heater not working correctly. Water heaters develop leaks in these areas:

  • Bottom of the tank
  • Pressure relief valve
  • Inlet and outlet connections
  • Drain valve
  • Temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve
  • Condensation on the outside of the tank

Check these areas for water, dampness, or rust stains. Pay close attention to the bottom of the unit for signs of water accumulation and stains. 

Assess Water Temperature Problems

A hot water heater not heating can also result from a malfunction in the water heater’s temperatures. These malfunctions can include incorrect thermostat settings, sediment buildup in the tank, a faulty heating element, or a bad thermostat. 

How to Adjust the Thermostat 

  1. Find the thermostat on the water heater
  2. Carefully adjust the thermostat to a higher temperature
  3. Wait a few hours and then check the water temperature from a water fixture. If needed, adjust the temperature again. 

Checking and Flushing the Sediment Out of the Tank

  1. Turn off the power supply to the water heater
  2. Wait a few hours for the water to cold down
  3. Drain some water into a bucket from the release valve and assess the contents. If you notice a lot of white residue, you will know that there is a lot of sediment in the tank. 
  4. To flush the tank, locate the manufacturer’s manual and the instructions for flushing out the sediment. 
  5. Once the flushing process is done, you can restore the power and allow clean water to refill the tank. Recheck the temperature in a few hours. 

If these steps do not resolve the issue of your water heater not heating, you will need to contact a plumber for a repair service. 

Address Strange Noises or Sounds

Strange sounds produced by your water heater can explain why it isn’t working. Here is a list of common sounds that generally indicate a problem: 

  • Popping or cracking
  • Rumbling
  • Hissing or sizzling
  • Banging or knocking

One of the ways to troubleshoot these sounds is by flushing the tank to remove the sediment that could be causing the noise and the lack of hot water. Follow the steps previously discussed above for flushing the tank. 

You may also need to tighten loose or rattling components on the water heater, which can cause a lot of noise as it works to heat the water. Loose components may lead to a lack of hot water in the house. 

Test the Pressure Relief Valve

Too much or too little pressure in the water heater can lead to issues with your water heater not heating the water. To check the pressure relief valve, follow these steps: 

  1. Locate the pressure relief valve on the top of the water heater or the side
  2. Pull the lever on the valve and allow some water to flow into a bucket.

If the valve releases a little water and then stops when you release the lever, you will know that the valve is functioning correctly. 

If you see that the valve doesn’t release water or continues to do so after you complete the test, you may need to have it replaced. 

Is Your Water Heater Not Heating?

Is your water heater still not working? No worries! 

Check out the list of all Air Pros USA locations to get help from our team of expert Water Heater Techs in your area. 

Contact Air Pros USA technicians in FL, GA, AL, LA, TX, MS, CO, and WA today for a thorough assessment of your Water Heater.


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