If your hot water heater is older than 10 years and a leak is occurring, you should consider replacement. However, if your unit is less than ten years old, a repair may make more sense.
Often times, hot water heater issues are easily fixable. In fact, many are quite inexpensive to solve. Contact Hot Water Heater Repair Morris County for professional help.
Hot water is something that most of us take for granted. We use it when showering, washing clothes or dishes and a host of other household chores. When you lose your supply of warm water it can cause major disruption in your home. To prevent this from happening, it is important to keep your water heater well maintained and to have a solid plan of action when something goes awry. This can help you avoid costly repairs and to feel comfortable that you can fix any issues quickly and efficiently.
There are several different reasons that you might not be getting enough hot water from your tank. One possibility is that the thermostat has been set to a higher temperature than you want. In this case, you can reset the thermostat to a lower setting (but not so low that it could cause scalding).
Another issue is that you might have an undersized hot water heater for your household needs. This can happen if you have a large family or if you are using a lot of appliances at the same time (like running the dishwasher and washing machine simultaneously). If this is the case, your plumber can recommend an appropriately sized replacement unit.
If you have a gas water heater, it is possible that the burner orifice has become clogged with magnesium and calcium sediments. In this case, you will need to call in a technician to clean the orifice and to adjust your gas pressure. In addition, you may need to replace your water lines, which requires removing drywall and should only be performed by a licensed professional.
Unusual smells or discoloration
If you notice a foul smell or discoloration in your water, it’s important to call in a professional right away. This is often a sign that your hot water heater may be nearing the end of its life and will need to be replaced soon. However, in some cases it can be repaired to extend the life of your unit. Water heater repairs can include replacing the anode rods in your unit. These metal rods help stave off corrosion in your tank. If they wear out, they can cause rust-colored water. In addition, the corroded rod can cause sulfur bacteria to grow in your tank, which produces that awful rotten egg smell. The odor can also be caused by hard water, which can deposit sediment in your tank. Installing a water softener or filter will usually resolve the problem.
If your heater has a rust-colored exterior, it’s likely that you need to replace the anode rods. These are normally made of magnesium or aluminum. Over time, these metals can react with sulfates in your water to produce hydrogen sulfide, which is the rotten egg odor you’ve probably noticed. The odor can be eliminated by temporarily raising the temperature of your water to kill the bacteria. This should be done with caution to avoid scalding. Water heater repairs can involve replacing the anode rod with a less reactive aluminum one, which should prevent the odor in the future.
If you’re noticing that it takes longer than usual to get warm water, this is another indication that your hot water heater is in need of repairs. Make sure the power to your unit is off and check the circuit breaker or high-temperature cutoff switch to make sure they haven’t tripped.
Thermocouples are essential in gas water heaters for safety reasons. They are designed to detect whether or not the pilot light is burning and then send a signal to the gas valve so that it can allow in gas and keep the pilot light lit. If the thermocouple fails to detect that the pilot light is lit it will shut off the flow of gas causing the pilot to go out and then you won’t have hot water.
If the pilot light goes out frequently or the water heater is over 10 years old it may be time to replace the thermocouple. Cleaning the thermocouple can help but it is usually best to just buy a new one. You can do this yourself if you are DIY-inclined and have access to the correct tools. To do this you will need to shut off the gas flow and disconnect the thermocouple from the control unit. You will then need to purchase a replacement from either a plumbing supply center that carries your brand or the plumber who installed it.
Once you have a new thermocouple you will need to reconnect it to the control unit and the gas valve. When doing this you will need to use open-end wrenches to unscrew the gas tubes from the combination thermostat and the gas valve. Once disconnected you will then need to slide the old thermocouple out of the bracket by pulling and twisting.
Once the thermocouple is replaced you will need to re-connect the gas line and then screw in the pilot tube. You will then need to re-connect the electronic igniter for an electric water heater or the gas valve for a standing pilot water heater.
Dip tube issues
The dip tube is a long piece of plastic in the bottom of your water heater that transfers cold water to hot water. If the dip tube breaks or deteriorates, it can dramatically reduce the amount of hot water your home has available. If you’ve noticed a decrease in the temperature of your hot water or small pieces of plastic are showing up in your faucet aerators and washer supply tubes, it may be time to replace the dip tube.
Typically made of polypropylene, dip tubes have a lifespan of 10-12 years. Depending on your water chemistry and the chemical composition of your tank, they can wear out sooner than that. In the mid to late 1990s there was a manufacturing issue with a particular supplier of plastic dip tubes that are used in gas and electric water heaters. These tubes were prone to breaking and disintegrating, allowing cold water to mix with hot water in the tank and significantly reducing the amount of hot water available for use.
If you’re having problems with your dip tube, the first thing you should do is check your water heater’s serial number. If it’s between 1993 and 1997, you likely have a defective dip tube from this manufacturer that should be replaced.
You can purchase a replacement dip tube at any hardware store or online. It comes in two forms, one is a “flanged” style that fits over the pipe nipple and is drawn out of the tank by the nipple and another is a permanent installation that has a new pipe nipple attached to it that can simply be pulled straight up and out of the water heater. The new dip tube should be cut to the correct length before installing it.
Pressure valve issues
If you notice water leaking from the valve on your water heater, it is likely because there is too much pressure in the system. It may also be a sign that your thermal expansion tank is faulty. These problems can be costly due to the amount of water wasted as well as a potential environmental hazard if dirty runoff makes its way into natural waterways and ecosystems. In addition, excessive pressure can cause pipes to burst and lead to water damage in your home or business.
Pressure issues often begin with the temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P) malfunctioning. These safety features tend to sit without use for a long time and can wear out from age and overuse. When they do operate, however, it is to relieve excess pressure that has built up in the hot water heater. If the problem is not addressed, it can lead to a ruptured tank and flooding of your home or office.
To test whether your T&P valve is working properly, open and close the lever on the valve a few times to make sure it is functioning correctly. If it is still sticking or not opening and closing properly, you should call a professional plumber to replace the valve.