Why replace your water heater, when you may be able to repair?

water heater repairWater heater replacement can be expensive. A full water heater replacement is an absolute solution to your water heater problems, some water heater difficulties can easily be fixed without calling a plumber. See your best plumber in St George for all of your plumbing needs including your water heater.

Older hot water heaters may only need a little bit of tender loving care. Most water heater replacement parts are available at the local hardware store, and a few common tools are all that’s needed.

Below, are five difficulties that can be easily fixed by home owners with a bit of time and elbow grease:

  1. Water is no longer hot: First, check the pilot light. If the pilot is on, the gas coupler to the main heater may need to be replaced. However, if the pilot light continues to go out after being relit, the water heater control valve could be at fault. On electric water heaters, the upper heating element or the thermostat may need to be replaced.
  2. Rust-colored water: All water heaters carry a sacrificial anode rod that slowly dissolves to prevent rust from collecting inside the tank. Once the rod is gone, rust will begin to show in tap and shower water. Replacing the rod will fix this issue.
  3. Foul-smelling water: This is the sign of a bacterial infection. A small leak in a municipal water system can allow contaminates to reach home water heaters. The most common smell is of rotten eggs. These bacteria feed on the hydrogen gas that occurs as the anode rod does its job to prevent rust. A full flush of the water tank will correct the problem. Assuming a common household 40 gallon tank, 2 pints of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution should be added to fresh water. Let this solution sit in the tank for 2 hours before refilling it with water. If the problem persists, a zinc alloy anode rod may need to be used to reduce the amount of hydrogen in the tank.
  4. Noises inside the water heater: The water may be boiling inside the water tank due to a build-up of sediment at the bottom of the tank. A full flush of the water heater should remove this build-up. Whining noises from electric water heaters are the result of sediment buildup on the heater elements. Removal and a good cleaning of the electric elements will resolve this issue.
  5. Water Leaks: If the water in the tank is overheating, the relief valve will safely release the excess of boiling water, allowing the tank pressure to be reduced. Changing the thermostat to a lower setting should resolve this problem. Caution is needed, as the relief valve is a critical part of the safe operation of the tank. To be sure, the valve might also need to be replaced.

If water leaks appear from beneath the water heater or appear to be brown or rust colored, these may indicate a more severe problem and this could mean that there is a hole in the tank due to corrosion and age. If this is the case, a water tank replacement is actually needed. Otherwise, these simple maintenance tips should allow for the continued use of your water heater.