Can a water heater be repaired?

water heater repair

Can I take a shower if my water heater is leaking?

One of the component of your home that can quit working at the worse time possible is the water heater. It will quit right when you step into the shower or fill the garage with water on the day your mother-n-law is coming for dinner. 

It is safe to bathe or shower with a leaking water heater.  If you have an electric water heater and the leaking water becomes a problem for it, the reset button will trip and/or the electric breaker will trip. With a gas water heater, if the leak gets bad, it will eventually fill the firebox, putting out the burner and pilot light and the safety feature will turn the gas off when the pilot light goes out. Don’t let that happen to you! Connect with our team today at 757-633-9949 for help with your water heater in Virginia Beach, VA.

What are the signs your hot water heater is going out?

There are reports of water heaters exploding, but it relates none to the unit going out. However, there are some signs of a water heater on its way to the scrap yard. As a homeowner, be aware of these signs and either call a plumber to inspect the unit or start shopping around for a new one.     

  • Discolored or Gritty Water: Inside your water is an anode rod, these will start corroding after a few years. When they corrode, the tank will corrode, and that corrosion discolors the water, leaving a gritty feel to the water. 
  • Unusual Odor: When the hot water comes out and has a rotten egg odor or a metallic taste, this can be cured by replacing the anode and cleaning the tank out. 
  • The Age: Every appliance dies at some point. Once your water heater has celebrated its tenth birthday, you need to have an annual inspection by a plumber. If the unit last fifteen years, it typically has reached its life expectancy.
  • Insufficient Supply Hot Water. A water heater that is nearing in age and/or failure don’t make as much hot water as needed, especially when you need a good water heater to fill a bathtub. This can be from sediment accumulated in the tank, its unable to fill with hot water. That sediment also creates a barrier over the heating element, making it difficult to keep the water in the tank hot. 
  • Noises and Sounds: A water heater should be quiet. If your water heater is making a lot of noises, like rumbles and pops, that is air trapped with mineral deposits and sediment inside the tank. As we mentioned above, replacing the anode, and cleaning the tank could fix this. 
  • TPR Valve Faulty or Leaks: There is a safety feature in every water heater, the temperature and pressure relief valve. It activates when the pressure or temperature inside the tank reaches a dangerous level.  Without this safety, you may notice your water heater smells like burning, which could be the prevent of the tank exploding. 
  • Leaking Tank. This happens when water is reaching its life expectance or from poor maintenance of not replacing the anode or cleaning the tank.  However, it doesn’t mean it’s ready for the scrap yard. Have a professional plumber inspect the unit before you buy a new one. Replacing the drain valve and cleaning the tank could fix the unit, giving you another year or two of using your water heater.  
water heater

What would cause a hot water heater to stop working?

There can be several things wrong with an electric water heater when a water heater is not working. Here, we have a step-by-step checklist for troubleshooting. First step is to turn the power off to the water heater, then proceed:    

  • The Thermostat: Check the breaker and flip it back or if a fuse, replace the fuse. Next, check the reset button on the unit.  
  • Leaks: Check the temperature and pressure relief valve for excessive pressure, a stuck drain valve, loose plumbing connections. 
  • Discolored Water: The anode rod needs replacing, and the tank cleaned. If this doesn’t clear the water or there is a rotten egg smell, you need to buy a new water heater.
  • Noises: Flushing the water tank should take care of this by washing out sediment that is causing the rumbling sounds. It may be the heating element which a professional plumber can replace. 

What is the most common problem with water heaters?

  • The most common water heater issues homeowners have been: 
  • Not enough hot water.
  • No hot water coming out.
  • Water smells funny, like rotten eggs. 
  • Water heater is noisy.
  • Water leaking from the tank. 

What causes the reset button to trip on a water heater?

The reset button on a water heater can trip for any of the following reasons: 

  • Bad thermostat
  • Bad heating element
  • Water heater with expansion tank
  • Loose Wiring
  • High-limit switch 

Last Words on The Subject

Home in many cities has some type of backflow preventer on the main water line. It is then required by city law to have a water heater with an expansion tank installed. This is a small tank that attaches to the water heater’s supply pipe. The purpose of this is to handle any possible thermal expansion of water as it heats.