Most people don’t know something is wrong with their water heater until it is too late. Water can create a lot of damage, so it’s good to know what signs to look for. Avoid the shock of a cold shower and follow these water heater troubleshooting tips from A.B. May in KC.
Typically, water heaters are either powered by gas or electric energy sources. While they look similar, the way they turn energy into heat varies. If you are not sure whether yours is gas or electric, look at the top of the system. If you spot a flue (a round chimney pipe), this indicates your system is powered by gas. An electric system doesn’t burn fuel like the gas option, so it does not need a flue to vent out gasses. It does, however, need an electrical hookup. This is often connected to an electrical circuit breaker that leads to the panel. Knowing the difference between gas and electric will help you troubleshoot more efficiently.
Tip #1: Check the temperature
One of the most common problems is that there isn’t enough hot water. First, adjust the temperature dial on the front of the water heater a few degrees. Wait two to four hours, then try again.
Tip #2: Restart the pilot light
Sometimes we think something is really wrong, when it’s just something simple like the pilot light. Check to see if the flame is lit. It may just need to be relit.
Tip #3: Examine the size of your water heater
If you’re consistently not getting enough hot water, your system may be undersized. It may also be due to increased needs for hot water, like a growing family or a new Jacuzzi tub. If this is the case, it’s probably time for a new, larger water heater. If your need for hot water has increased, we recommend a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters never run out of water, creating an endless supply of custom tempered water.
Tip #4: Check the Dip Tube
A dip tube is the hose that supplies water to the water heater from the main source. If you have tried all of the above tips to no avail, there may be a crack or break in the dip tube. You can check this yourself, first by identifying where the dip tube is. The dip tube is a plastic tube that connects the main water line to the top of the unit. If you spot a crack or break, a professional A.B. May technician can repair or replace the dip tube.
There are two basic types of water heaters: tankless and conventional.