4 Common Water Heater Repairs You Can Do Yourself

When a water heater malfunctions, it can cause expensive and sometimes dangerous repairs. However, many homeowners can handle some of these repairs themselves.

Often, a water heater repair involves replacing the heating element or checking the thermostat and pressure relief valve. However, a professional can evaluate whether loose connections need tightening or more extensive repair. Contact Denver Water Heater Repair today!

The element is essential to your water heater, as it helps keep the tank clean. It also keeps the water hot by heating it. Over time, however, the element can get clogged with sediment and mineral deposits, which can cause it to break down or stop working properly. This common problem can occur in many electric water heaters, usually resulting from a lack of routine maintenance.

If you notice a change in your water’s temperature or an unusual smell or discoloration, it could be a sign that your element is beginning to fail. While replacing a water heater element may seem difficult, this is a fairly simple process that many homeowners can perform themselves. This is especially true if you have an electric water heater. You must consult a professional plumber if you have a gas water heater.

First, you’ll need to shut off the power to your water heater, which can be done by locating the breaker box and turning it off. Also, drain the water from the tank and allow it to cool before beginning the process. Once the breaker is off, use a non-contact voltage tester to ensure no current runs through the element.

After completing the test, you’ll need to locate your water heater’s access panel and begin opening it up. Once the panel is open, you’ll need to loosen the two screw terminals and disconnect the circuit wires from the element. Once the cables are disconnected, you can remove the old element and replace it with a new one. Once the new element is in place, you’ll need to reconnect the circuit wires and screw the access panel back into place.

It’s important to remember that while a water heater repair may seem easy, it can be dangerous if you need help understanding electricity and circuits. Water and electricity don’t mix well, and any mistakes you make can lead to severe injury. For this reason, it’s best to leave any electrical work to a professional plumbing service.

The thermostat is a safety mechanism that prevents the heating element from overheating. It also helps to regulate the temperature of the water in the tank. When the thermostat fails, the water will often be too hot or cold. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on the condition of the thermostat and the heating element over time, ensuring they work properly.

Before performing any repairs, a professional plumber will turn off the water and power to the heater. They will then take necessary safety precautions, including wearing protective gloves and a face mask. The plumber will also take this opportunity to inspect the water heater for any signs of damage or corrosion.

You can do a few things at home to check whether your electric water heater’s thermostat is functioning correctly. If you notice that the temperature of your water has changed suddenly, this is often a sign that the thermostat is broken. It may be possible to get it working again by resetting the breakers or replacing blown fuses.

Alternatively, you can test the thermostat with a multimeter. Make sure the multimeter is powered off, then place one of the leads on the reset terminal and move the second lead to the lower thermostat terminal. If the multimeter reads 1, the thermostat has no continuity and needs to be replaced.

Water heater thermostats are less likely to go bad than the elements, but they occasionally malfunction. If you have tried all the quick fixes and your water heater still has a problem, it’s time to call a professional plumber.

A qualified and experienced plumber will be able to identify the cause of the problem quickly, ensuring the correct solution is applied. This will save you both money and hassle in the long run. They can find out whether the problem lies with the heating element, thermostat, or other components, and they can double-check their inspection work to root out any other issues contributing to inefficiency within your water heater.

The pressure relief valve is an essential safety mechanism for your water heater. This valve prevents excess pressure buildup, which could cause the tank to burst and flood your home. When the pressure reaches unsafe levels, the valve will automatically open and release water or steam to bring the pressure down. If you notice the water pressure rising in your home, it could be a sign that the valve is about to ‘pop,’ you should call a heating contractor immediately.

The pressure valve is typically connected to a pipe (usually copper), which runs out of the valve and into a floor drain in your mechanical room. When the valve ‘pops,’ it releases the excess pressure, and the water or steam will drain through that pipe into the floor drain. This is why installing this valve in your mechanical room is important – a sudden and unexpected surge of water and steam can be catastrophic for the building’s structure, equipment, and especially personnel.

Most of the time, the pressure relief valve will never have to be used. It is designed to be factory-set at a specific pound per square inch (PSI). However, the pressure valve can also be reset in the field to increase or decrease the set point. If the valve is reset, it must be tested to verify that the new setting is safe.

Pressure relief valves can become stuck or ‘frozen’ due to rust, corrosion, mineral deposits, or other debris building up on the valve components. To resolve this issue, it is recommended that the valve be flushed annually.

The pressure relief valve can be tested using a bench or inline. The bench test involves shutting down the facility’s system and removing the valves for inspection and testing. On the other hand, the inline testing method doesn’t require removing the valves and eliminates facility downtime.

The anode rod is a sacrificial magnesium, aluminum, or zinc rod coated around a steel core that connects to the top of the water heater tank and extends into its interior. It sacrifices to protect the water heater’s metal storage tank from corrosion and rust. It uses electrolysis to attract corrosive minerals and sediment particles from the water supply. This prolongs the life of your water heater and protects you from contaminated drinking water or costly repairs.

Anode rods are most commonly made of magnesium but can also be made of aluminum or zinc. Choosing the right one for your water is important because they are designed to provide maximum protection depending on the composition of your water. Your licensed plumber can help you determine the best rod for your home based on its water composition.

Your anode rod should be replaced at least once a year or, at most, twice a year. It is a simple process that can save you from costly water heater repairs in the future. If you notice that the anode rod is corroded by 50% or more, it is time to replace it.

You can perform an anode rod replacement or hire a professional. First, shut off the water heater’s gas or electric supply and drain a few gallons of water from the tank. Once the tank is empty, you can access the anode rod by opening a drain valve on the bottom of the water heater.

The rod may be attached to the water heater with a nipple-type connection or a plug-in style connector. If you have a plug-in rod, you can remove it by hand or with a socket wrench. Once the corroded rod is removed, drain more gallons of water from the tank to check its condition.

Regular maintenance on your water heater can save you money on energy bills and repair costs. Practices like annual tank flushing, monthly checking of the pressure relief valve, and replacing the anode rod can extend your water heater’s lifespan and improve its performance.