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Hot Water Heater Repair

Fatima Rangwala
To attempt a task like hot water heater repair at first seems quite daunting. But getting the problem fixed is substantially important. So read on how to go about it.
According to the U.S. department, a hot water heating appliance happens to be the 3rd largest energy expensive household device after the refrigerator and clothes dryer in a home. Now, nobody wants to wake up one fine morning with a cold shower and go through all the chills, particularly, if you reside in a cold region. So practically, on daily basis, we all need and utilize hot water while bathing and doing other household chores.
Hot water heaters are one of the most taken-for-granted appliances in our homes which only catches our attention when the water heater issues are self-evident. Either there is a problem with hot water hailing to the faucet or there is some strange popping, dripping or gurgling sound from the tank. If one faces such unpleasant situations, then there are two suitable options before you; one is going for the repair and two is replacing the device altogether.
So jibing with the replacement option sounds as the first good option, because it is easy to remove and replace it in turn saving 50% of your energy bills when you install a new one, instead of continuing using the faulty apparatus. But on reflection, if you keep some savvy maintenance tips at hand to repair an electric or an ordinary gas hot water heater in your home, the need of spending thousands of dollars in a 40-80 gallon tank would absolutely be needless.

How Does a Hot Water Heater Work: Apercu

This device is used for heating water and also storing it for further use. On opening the hot water faucet in your home, hot water flows through the spigot from the top of the tank and instantly cold water refills the tank as a replacement. An ordinary water heater warms the water in the heater to a temperature between 120 °F and 140 °F.
Whereas, in an electric heater there are two upper and lower heating elements both of which are controlled by separate thermostats. The main reason a thermostat is installed in the device is because it senses the dip in the temperature and completes the entire electrical circuit all the way to the heating elements. Once the water settles down to a particular temperature, the thermostat stops supplying the flow of electricity to the heating elements.
A water heater otherwise is a very reliable device usually known to last for a good 25 years without giving any hassle, but occasionally even the best electric water heater can be give birth to many common problems.

Common Issues with a Hot Water Heater

  • Inadequate hot water or no supply of hot water at all.
  • Water leakage around the base of the heater.
  • Noises: popping, grumbling, low rumbling, etc.
  • The device can emit
    a high pitched whining too.
  • Damaged or inefficient thermostats.
  • Water heater doesn't
    heat the water.
  • At times, the water
    gets too hot.
  • Water turns to a rust color.
  • Emission of foul smell, like rotten egg.
Well, these are some simple ways to identify the problem if the hot water isn't functioning well. The most common of all is a damaged thermostat which most of the time needs a change or a hand of repair. So take a look at the detailed repair procedure below and solve all your problems.

Repairing a Hot Water Heater

Tools

  • Replacement parts
  • Wrenches
  • Screwdrivers
  • Teflon tape
  • Multimeter
  • Service manual

Procedure

The first safety measure to undertake is to turn off the circuit breaker. Next follow the service manual and look for the specific parts, particularly the thermostat. Once you locate it, go for its removal.
You will have to detach the water heater access panel and also disconnect the wires to the thermostat. Now, prepare for the continuity testing. Locate the terminals of the thermostat by referring to the manual, then turn the multimeter and read its resistance value.
Make sure the multimeter probes are in a proper contact with the thermostat terminals. The reading says it all, if the device doles out an infinity reading, that means the thermostat is still in a good condition. But if the reading is a zero, the thermostat is faulty and you will have to get it repaired under a technician. Or get it replaced altogether.
There are typically three types of water heaters: tank (storage), tankless (instant) and solar and depending on the same along with some aspects like energy efficiency, capacity and type of the water heater, a repair cost is generalized. According to some of the best heater reviews, the original cost of a water heater is $150 - $3,500.
The average cost of an electric (traditional) tank system is between $620 and $1,020, the gas water heater is between $500 to $1,000 and the solar is $1,000 - $5,000.
Whereas, according to the tankless water heater reviews, a tankless water heater runs at a cost of $300 - $3,500. The cost for an installation is naturally separate depending on factors like, size, fit and set-up.
In conclusion, the problems with water heater not working properly many times come around at the absolute inopportune times, such as winter seasons or during the morning bath. But the problems aren't so intimidating as you think it to be, right?
Especially, after reading through this article, in the most simplest ways you now know how to repair your water heater anytime its buggered. And if in case, you think this job is not your cup of tea then prefer going for a new device altogether.