If you have a water heater, you probably know that it requires some maintenance to keep running well. But, what do you do when the water heater stops working? You could have a small repair shop to come out and fix it for you, or you could learn how to do it yourself. There are a couple of steps to help make sure your water heater is running correctly. The first step is to turn the water off and then follow any emergency instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Tank-type water heaters are relatively simple and easy to operate in terms of how they work, so there aren’t usually many things that will go wrong. When natural gas heaters heat water, the hot water is brought to the top of the storage tank, vented to a transfer vent. As the water reaches the temperature that was decided when the initial water heater was installed, a small valve shuts off the flow of gas and electricity. When the natural gas supply is shut off, the water begins to cool down. Hot water then enters the storage tank and is heated either by an electrical element, a gas burner, or a small thermostat.
Tankless water heaters, which use a nontoxic gas called propane, have no storage tank. Water is instead sent to the unit through a water pressure regulator, and it sits at the bottom of the storage tank. When the water is needed, the water is drained to the tank, and it becomes reheated as it sits there until needed. The repair shop can often install both types of tankless heaters, but it’s usually a much better idea to have a professional come out to repair the damage and make sure everything is operating correctly.
Many of the problems with older water heaters, like the age of the motors and the poor sealing around the tanks, can be solved by having the repair technician replace the motors. Sometimes it’s only one motor that needs replacing. More complex problems involving the valves, lines, or faucets can be fixed more easily by having a professional take care of the trouble. It may just be a matter of replacing the burned-out bulb.
One important thing to remember about tankless water heaters is that you should not use the water heater if you have an electrical service in your home. Damage may occur to your heating system if you overload or unplug the unit. The wires inside of a water heating system can become damaged if water leaks, leaky faucets, or improperly installed fixtures cause them to overheat. If you’re concerned about experiencing potential electric shock, a professional repair shop will be able to install an electrical transfer switch so your home’s water heating system can turn off on its own if there is a problem.
Heating problems with tankless water heaters usually involve the main water heater, which sits above the drain and on the floor in your basement. Though this might seem like the problem, in fact, it’s usually the condenser that produces the cold water that ends up leaking out through the pipe. As mentioned before, issues involving condensers and heating systems can be harder to troubleshoot, and you may need to call a contractor to do it. The most common issues with this part of the heating unit air leaks and clogging, especially when dirt and debris gets stuck in the condenser.
There are two ways to avoid making these common problems. First, make sure your drain is clear of any debris and that your water heater installation isn’t causing a blockage. Secondly, get a professional water heater repair person to check your system and replace the parts if needed. This is especially important if the issue is serious, because repairs can get very expensive.
If you’re having trouble with your heating system, contact your local heating company or the Better Business Bureau to find out if they offer water heater service. These professionals know all about heating systems and will be able to determine if the issue is with the heating element, the water heater, or both. In some cases, they can perform a scan to identify problems with both elements and come up with a solution. With ny water heater repair service available, you can get back to enjoying warm water right away!