If your water heater is not working, it’s time for water heater repair. Here are some of the most common problems and fixes. Flush the tank: This will remove sediment that may be clogging the tank. Replace the thermostat or heating element. If the thermostat is broken, replace the thermocouple (this shuts off the gas automatically when the pilot flame goes out). Clean the burner: This process will remove sediment that’s collected inside the heater.
Resetting the high-limit reset switch
You can use a resetting button to fix a problem with your water heater, such as not having hot enough water. To do this, locate your water heater, open it, and press the reset button. Press and release the button to restore hot water. The problem may be with a weak controller or an element that has shorted out. If you suspect a problem with your water heater, contact a plumber to diagnose the problem.
If your water heater is constantly tripping the high-limit reset button, it might be the cause of the problem. The thermostat or element may be the culprit, but a loose wire can cause the high-limit reset switch to trip. Other causes may be the wiring, or the electricity set-up in your home. A licensed plumber will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend the best solution.
Relighting the pilot light
Sometimes, a simple relighting of the pilot light is all that’s needed for a water heater repair. A change in gas pressure can cause a pilot light to go out, but this is rarely the case. Sometimes, the problem is as simple as a plugged or clogged orifice. If this is the case, try removing the orifice and clearing it with a small wrench. If the problem still persists, you may need to replace the gas control valve.
To relight the pilot, find the valve located on the front of the box-shaped stand. The valve is below the temperature gauge. Turn the gas off and wait for the gas to disperse. If the pilot still does not light, repeat the procedure. This step may take several attempts. If the problem persists, call a professional plumber. If the pilot cannot be relighted, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Replacing the thermocouple
If your water heater is giving you problems, you may want to try replacing the thermocouple. It can be a simple and easy repair that will increase the life of your appliance. You can buy the thermocouple from a hardware store, or you can contact a repair technician to help you with the job. Remember that you need to get a thermocouple that is over 25 millivolts.
To start the water heater repair, remove the burner assembly. It may be held in place with a gas supply tube by clips. Attach the new thermocouple’s probe end to the pilot gas supply. Connect the burner assembly and pilot gas valve using a wrench. Make sure to follow the lighting instructions. If you notice any gas leaks, clean the thermocouple connections with soapy water. The thermocouple should be seated within 3/8 to 1/2 inch of the tip.
Replacing the gas line
Before you can replace the gas line in your water heater, you must turn off the gas supply. Depending on where your water heater is located, the gas pipe is usually located above, behind, or to the side of the appliance. To replace the gas line, turn the handle counter-clockwise and crossways away from the pipe path. Once the handle is turned off, remove the old flexible gas line. The new gas line should be protected with a polymer coating and should terminate no higher than two feet off the ground or six inches from the ground.
If you are unable to replace the gas line yourself, you can hire a plumber. If you are unable to do the work, you can always use a non-contact voltage tester to check that the circuit is off. If you are unsure of the proper method for connecting the gas line, you can use a flexible vinyl tube, bare soft copper tubing, or a rigid black pipe connection.