Chilly morning,early alarm,hot shower… Uh oh,no hot water. Now what? Before you automatically assume that you need a new water heater,it may be worthwhile to explore a few possibilities that might address your problem.
Troubleshooting Your Electric Hot Water Tank
The first thing to check is for any leaks or standing water near your water heater. If there is water on the floor,do not touch or step in the water. Turn off all breakers to your home and call an emergency service plumbing contractor in your area. If no evidence of leaking is present,check the electrical circuit breakers or fuse box. If those are intact,the next stop is the control panel. If water is present inside the panel,leave it open and call for repair ASAP. If the compartment is dry,try pressing the reset button. If the button clicks and power is restored,you’re back in business (at least for now). If not,it is definitely time to call for repair. Normally breakers and reset switches won’t trip without a reason,so consider this an early warning that you may need service soon.
Troubleshooting Your Gas Water Heater
Gas is generally a more efficient,less expensive means of heating water,but gas water heater problems can be dangerous and tricky. If you have no hot water,check first to see if the gas is on. If so,the next item to check is the pilot light. First,turn the gas control knob setting on the water heater to “pilot,” then remove the metal plate and look to see if the pilot is lit. If not,you can light it if you’re familiar with the process,or contact the gas company or a plumbing professional for help with igniting it. If the pilot is indeed off,turn the gas valve immediately to “off” and ventilate the area to prevent gas build-up (which can explode!)
Repair and Replacement
Depending on how much hot water you use and the level of minerals in your water,the typical water heater will normally last between 10 and 20 years. Modern units are much more energy efficient however,so consider the money you will save on utility costs when deciding whether to repair or replace yours. Water heater repair costs may be significant in comparison with replacement costs.
When it comes to your hot water tank repairs,do it yourself is not the way to go. Electricity can cause injury to you and damage to your home. Gas can result in explosions or it can even poison your family if it builds up. Contact a licensed local plumbing company to repair hot water heaters and related systems,safely and effectively.