Back in 1889, a Norwegian mechanical engineer named Edwin Ruud changed life for the better. He invented an incredible device capable of automatically drawing in water, heating it and storing it for use when needed. This water heater, as it became known, brought about a revolution in sanitation, cleaning, laundering and bathing comfortably even on cold mornings.
Before Ruud introduced his new appliance to the world, having warm water meant continually heating buckets or pots of water on a stove or over an open fire. Of course, when these appliances malfunction, the old ways of doing things quickly come back into play. Certain malfunctions are common. Though some of them require any professional water heater repair phoenix az, others can easily be remedied with a little patience and a few standard household tools.
No Hot Water
Having absolutely no hot water on tap could stem from several problems; either way, it’s a significant inconvenience. In some cases, this is caused by a tripped circuit breaker and can be fixed by simply flipping the breaker back to its working position. Water heaters also have hidden reset buttons that are known to trip from time to time. You’ll need to remove a panel on the tank itself to reveal this secret magic switch. From there, press the button and wait an hour or so.
Snuffed pilot lights are also common culprits in a lack of hot water whether the unit is gas or electric. Long grill lighters help reverse this issue. Keep in mind, if the pilot light goes out frequently or tripped reset buttons or breakers become a recurring situation, this is most likely a sign of more extensive problems, so the water heater should be inspected and repaired accordingly.
Not Enough Hot Water
In instances where hot water is available but doesn’t get hot enough or last very long, you may need to adjust the temperature setting. This may require removing an exterior panel, and various screwdrivers may be required for the process. According to a popular finance blog as well as numerous other sources, the recommended temperature setting for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit for safety and energy-saving purposes. This can easily be upped, though.
Insufficient hot water could also mean a heating element has burned out or is on the brink of doing so. Most units have heating elements on the top as well as the bottom, and they rarely go out at the same time. These aren’t terribly difficult to change out, but having at least some knowledge of appliances, plumbing and electricity helps speed up and simplify the process.
As noted in a Popular Mechanics write-up, water heaters have numerous pipes, fittings and connections. Water intakes are in place as are outlets that branch out to various rooms of the home. This makes finding the exact source of a leak and repairing it particularly tricky.
Check for excess moisture on top of the water heater first. This could mean the top pipes or fittings are loose and just need to be tightened. Leaks on the bottom of the tank could be due to worn gaskets, a faulty temperature and pressure valve or a crack in the tank itself.
Water heaters bring about a number of conveniences. Though they’re built to last 10 years or so, some parts and connections tend to wear out in the meantime. While some problems are easy to spot and repair, professional intervention may be necessary in certain cases.