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Solving Common Heating Problems

February 7, 2018

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Should you Replace or Repair the Water Heater?

February 10, 2017

 

If your water heater is leaking or not heating up, you may be able to repair it rather than replace it. Regular maintenance will extend the life of your water heater. Some repairs, such as replacing a pressure-relief valve or heating element are pretty simple. Follow our tips to troubleshoot your gas or electric water heater issues and learn how long a water heater should last.

 

Some water heater repairs are simple. However, if you aren't comfortable working with gas or electricity, always call a professional.  

 

Repair or Replace?

Based on the manufacturer's suggested service life, the life expectancy of a water heater is about 8 to 12 years. That varies with the location and design of the unit, quality of installation, maintenance schedule and water quality.

If your water heater is more than 10 years old, leaks around the base of the tank, and / or works erratically or not at all, it's probably time for replacement. However, before you begin the replacement process, make sure that an electrical problem, such as a blown fuse or tripped breaker, is not the reason for the unit's failure.

 

 

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Perhaps the most common problem connected with a water heater is water that isn't as hot as you want it to be. This is usually caused by a faulty thermostat or a defective heating element. Check the following when your water is not hot enough:

Electric water heater

  • Make sure that the power is connected. Reset the thermostat.

  • Flush the heater to remove sediment from the tank.

  • Insulate the hot water pipes.

  • Replace the heating element or thermostat.

  • Raise the temperature setting on the thermostat.

 

Gas water heater

  • Make sure that the gas is connected and the pilot light is lit.

  • Flush the heater to remove sediment from the tank.

  • Insulate the hot water pipes.

  • Clean the gas burner and replace the thermocoupler (a safety device that shuts off the gas automatically if the pilot flame goes out).

  • Raise the temperature setting on the thermostat.

 

Other common problems and possible solutions

  • Hissing or sizzling noises: Sediment may have collected in the tank. Drain the tank until the water clears. Remove and soak elements in a pan filled with white vinegar for up to an hour and scrape off the collected scale.

  • Leaking pressure-relief valve: Replace valve.

 

 

 

Source: Home Depot