Hot water repairs can become a nightmare if you don’t know what’s wrong with your hot water tank and calling a plumber may not be feasible at all times if you suddenly find yourself with a leaking tank or no hot water etc.
The water heater is probably the most important appliance in the house and it is expensive, to boot. If you start having hot water tank problems, like, for instance, a leaking pipe or air in hot water tank, it can become miserable for you with no hot water. So, unless you don’t mind cold showers, you need to have a basic understanding of hot water heater issues.
A hot water tank leak needs professional attention as it needs to be replaced. A leaking water heater is almost impossible to repair and a licensed plumber will be the best man to do the replacement job. On the other hand, when the tank itself is not leaking, some basic knowledge and common sense will help you carry out the hot water heater repairs yourself.
A gas water heater uses natural gas for heating up the water and if you don’t have hot water first check if the gas has been turned off for some reason. If it has, it may take some time for the air in hot water tank to seep out and for the gas heater to start working again.
The thermocouple of a gas heater can easily be changed with the help of an adjustable wrench, if that is what is giving trouble. Only if the gas control valve is not functioning properly do you need to call the plumber as that is a major repair.
Electric water tanks run on electricity and if that is not working, the fuse box should be checked first. If power is there, then the problem may lie in the heating elements or thermostats. In checking the water heater element, you must first turn off the breaker which serves the water heater and remove its access cover. Sometimes, just resetting the thermostat button can get the hot water flowing again.
When conducting hot water repairs of the heating elements, make absolutely sure that the power is off before beginning work. One of the two heating elements may need to be replaced. In that case, it is always better to go in for the replacement of both heating elements.
The power will have to be shut off, the water drained out before installing new heating elements. Once it is done, fill up the tank fully, bleed out all the air in the tank and then switch on the power. If you are not confident enough of doing the hot water repairs yourself, its better to seek professional help.