Gas water heaters are excellent ways to make sure that your home has hot water year-round. That is why they have been the standard way to heat a home's water supply for decades. There's also other types including a electric tankless water heater. So your first step is determining what type of water heater is in your home.
But as sturdy and durable as they may be, gas water heaters, like all home appliances, can break and malfunction. When yours starts to break down, you can sometimes repair it yourself, but if the problem is too complex, you'll need to call a plumber for a gas hot water heater and have them fix it for you.
Although water heater repair may seem like a frustrating or expensive burden, you'll be grateful when it saves you time and money down the line. Read on, and we'll walk you through the signs indicating that your water heater is in need of repair and what to do about them.
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1. Sediment Buildup
As your unit continues to heat and reheat water, naturally occurring minerals will form into particles of sediment. This sediment will accumulate at the bottom of your tank.
As time goes on, the sediment will harden and can permanently damage your heater. One way to tell if sediment is building up within your tank is if you hear popping or rumbling sounds coming from the tank when it is running.
Inconsistent water temperature is a common symptom of sediment buildup. If left untreated, your energy bill is likely to increase because your heater will have to work extra hard to heat your water.
If you're experiencing sediment buildup, hire an experienced plumber so that they can flush out the sediment for you and get your tank back up and running.
2. Pilot Light Went Out
If you are not getting any hot water in your home, then it probably means that your pilot light has gone out. But don't worry too much as this is often an easy fix.
The first thing you are going to want to do is get down behind the tank and depress the pilot valve. That is going to allow gas to flow into the unit.
Next, you will have to hit the ignition button. That is going to send a spark to the gas. For some units, you have to light it manually with a lighter.
While still holding down the pilot valve, verify it has been lit by looking for the blue flame. You need to hold the pilot valve for at least 30 to 60 seconds so that the thermocouple can get hot enough to maintain the pilot. Then slowly let go and turn the pilot switch to on. This should solve the problem for you.
3. Leaking Water Heater
If you notice any water leaking out of the tank, you are going to want to call a plumber immediately. The leak should be taken care of before any significant water damage takes place.
The first thing you need to do is determine where the leak is coming from. If it is coming from the drain valve, then it should be an easy fix for your plumber. If it is coming from the tank itself, this usually indicates heavy sediment buildup and may require more work or even a replacement heater. The plumber will always assess the situation when they arrive to give you the best advice on what to do.
An important thing to do is turn off the water supply so you can slow the leak and prevent further water damage.
Not every problem with a gas water heater requires calling a plumber. But if you're unsure about what to do, it never hurts to get help from a professional. Just remember that water heaters are an integral part of any home and if a problem arises, it needs to be taken care of immediately before things get any worse.