Here are some quick and safe troubleshooting tips.
Suppose that nobody else has been using the hot water the whole day. Strangely enough, you still have no hot water in your house, and all that’s left is cold water. In that case, the issue is most likely coming from your water heater.
How people deal with troubleshooting broken water heaters is quite varied. Usually, the way homeowners fix heaters depends on the type of heater they have. Moreover, the troubleshooting procedure also varies between gas and electric water heaters.
Here are some tips to assist you when you find yourself in this pickle.
Two steps to take before troubleshooting your heater
1. Turn up the heater’s thermostat.
This may seem like common sense, but it is still frequently overlooked. Water heaters work best at temperatures ranging from 48 to 60 degrees Celsius. A heater operating outside of this spectrum concerns the lack of hot water and the emergence of bacteria.
Legionella bacteria is an example of what could grow in such heaters. This bacterium causes Legionnaires’ disease, a dangerous form of pneumonia.
Adjust the water heater if it’s not currently fixed to the optimal temperature. Hot water should return in 30 or so minutes. Your heater should achieve a temperature that prevents pathogen growth in about two hours.
2. Take note of the temperature and the weather outside.
A cold spell in your vicinity might reduce the efficiency of your gas or electric water heater. In addition, cold weather can potentially cause it to break down. Such incidents happen mostly at night-time when the heater is turned off, and temperatures drop.
If the current weather matches this condition, it might be the cause. If your boiler is running, turn the heater to its maximum setting to restart it. Switch on a faucet or shower after 30 minutes to check if the water gets warmer after a few minutes of flow. When it does begin to warm up, reset the water heater settings to their regular working temperature.
To help prevent heaters from stopping, boost it a few degrees higher than normal until the cold weather passes.
Here are some steps to take if you have an electric heater.
1. Reboot your circuit breakers.
If blown, the breaker for your water heater may seem switched on but may still be somewhat wonky. Turn it off for a few seconds, then turn it back on again. Still, a breaker that can’t stay in a working position could have broken due to age or overload. If this is the issue, hire a professional to repair or replace the breaker.
Electrical storms might cause power surges that can cause a current to go haywire. Turn off your electrical appliance for a few minutes, then turn it back on. If the water heater still does not function after 30 minutes, you have to find another alternative. Make sure to be careful, though. The heater should be turned off before you attempt to check or repair it. Because these machines use so much electricity, accidental electrocution can be devastating. Work with caution or hire a professional.
If you have gas hot water, here are some ways to address the issue.
Check your pilot light. Is it burning yellow instead of the typical blue? This is a sign of a ratio issue of gas to air. Note that a yellow flame could indicate that the boiler is emitting carbon monoxide. It is an odourless, colourless, and poisonous gas that can be fatal.
Scan for causes of drafts that could be the reason for the inefficient burning of the pilot light. From there, you can fix the problem. When that doesn’t turn the pilot light flame blue again, consult a repairman. Furthermore, watch for indicators of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Sometimes, a blast of air in a vent or the breeze from an open window can blow out your gas water heater’s pilot light. In that case, you can reburn it easily by following the steps usually placed to the side of the appliance.
In other cases, you may need to contact a licensed plumber. This is the case when your heater’s pilot light is located within a sealed burner compartment. Should you smell gas whilst figuring out the issue, leave your residence immediately and notify the gas company.
If a pilot light or gas isn’t detected after flipping the valves on, the issue could be the fuel source. Examine the gas valve to see if it is turned on or off. After that, check the fuel line for any irregularities that could be creating an issue.
Contact the gas company if you’ve tweaked the gas flow but nothing has changed. Check if service is available in your vicinity and that the payment isn’t past due. If the provider informs you that gas should be available, but there is none, call a specialist.
A thermocouple is a safety mechanism that cuts off gas flow when it detects that the pilot light has gone out. This device could be problematic at times. Firing the pilot light is one approach to detect a problem with it. It may be faulty if you turn it on, but the flame does not remain after you leave the control knob. The thermocouple’s tip must be in the flare of the pilot light. When it is out of place, it would need to be adjusted or replaced. Luckily, a thermocouple is not expensive, and you can replace it on your own.
Do you need experts to help you maintain your hot water heater? Hogan Hot Water & Air Conditioning is up to the task!
Our head water heater technician has over two decades of experience and is certified in plumbing, electric, refrigeration, and gas fitting. We offer maintenance, restorations, installations, and replacements of hot water systems and air conditioners at Hogan Hot Water & Air Conditioning. We primarily serve Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, and the Central Coast.