There’s nothing worse than turning the taps on your shower and realising there’s no hot water. You run your hand under the faucet for what seems like forever, and after a few minutes, you realise your water heater just isn’t working. Well, not to worry, because there’s a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue before you call the professionals to do a water heater repair.
“An amateur should be more willing to be impressed by the professional than eager to impress the professional.” ― Amit Kalantri
Here are 4 things you can do to troubleshoot a broken water heater so you can enjoy a nice hot shower.
What is a Water Heater?
Before we get into the troubleshooting tips, let’s review what a water heater is and how it works. A water heater is a cylindrical drum that takes in cold water from the pipes in a home and warms up the water to be redistributed to various fixtures in your house, like sinks, showers, and dishwashers. Water heaters are usually powered by gas or electricity, and a thermostat controls the temperature within the tank.
While their design is ingenious, there are multiple parts that can go faulty, leading to undesirable flaws. Without further ado, let’s get into a step-by-step guide on how to troubleshoot water heaters when they break down.
Step 1: Visually Inspect the Water Heater
The first thing you’ll want to do is find the water heater and look to see if there are any glaring issues. Obvious problems like leaks will require the immediate help of a professional, but if all appears to be normal, you can do a little bit of investigative work yourself.
Step 2: Cut the Power and Water Supply
A great place to start is the household electrical panel, because if the water heater tripped the circuit breaker, then all you’ll have to do is flip the switch and you should be back in action. If the switch to your heater is still on, then you’ll want to go ahead and flip it off, because water and electricity can put you at great risk of harm.
You’ll want to close off the valve that controls the flow of water into your heater to prevent any additional leaks or possible electrocution. If your heater is gas-powered, you should switch the gas valve to the pilot setting to avoid noxious fumes. If you notice the pilot light is out, then you can go ahead and follow the instructions on your water heater on how to relight the pilot light. Once you’ve completed these tasks, you can move ahead with your troubleshooting.
Step 3: Try to Determine What the Issue Is
The most common problems with water heaters lead to issues like:
- A lack of hot water
- Too much hot water
- Leaks from the tank
- Odor or discolouration
- Excessive noise
When it comes to water temperature problems, power supply issues can lead to too much or too little hot water. If you’ve already checked your circuit breaker, then you’ll want to turn your attention to the heating element thermostat. If you’re finding there’s too much hot water, then you can try turning the temperature on the thermostat down to 110-140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can replace this thermostat yourself if it’s not working, but it’s always good to have the advice of a professional. We’ll discuss that further in the next step.
If your water has a brown discolouration, then there could be a corrosion issue at hand. Depending on the severity of the corrosion, multiple components or even the entire tank might have to be replaced. This is another job you would probably want to leave to the professionals at Smile HVAC!
If the water from your tank is emitting a strange smell, then you can try flushing the water out from your tank before adding a couple of litres of hydrogen peroxide to the tank. Once you’ve let the hydrogen peroxide sit for a few hours, you can flush the tank out again with regular water and see if that eliminates the unfortunate odour.
If your tank happens to be leaking, filling up the collection pan, or making excessive noise, then a whole host of problems could be at play. Aside from the suggestions made above, it’s always best to call a professional to take a look, and the folks at Smile HVAC are the best in the business.
Step 4: Call the Professionals
Realistically, it’s always best to call a professional to have a look at your tank and make the necessary repairs. Smile HVAC understands the importance of maintaining hot water heaters, and they’ve seen every problem under the sun. As the best technicians in Toronto, Smile HVAC will do their best to repair your tank within 24 hours, and with a trusted reputation across the city they’ll offer cost-effective solutions and a professional attitude.
With a trusted team of experts ready to serve, you can rest assured that Smile HVAC will never sell you a replacement tank if you don’t need one. Energy and HVAC costs aren’t getting any cheaper in Toronto, and you should call professional repair service to do it correctly.