A professional can help with several issues that can occur with your water heater. For example, hearing popping or slamming noises often indicates that the unit is overheated. This problem is also common in older units.
Getting little to no hot water could mean the heater is undersized or has a defective upper or lower heating element. Other issues like a puddle around the tank, indicate a leak, which should immediately be fixed. Contact Denver Water Heater Repair for professional help.
The heating element is what heats the water inside your tank. In electric water heaters, there are two of them, one located at the bottom of the tank and one located at the top. These elements are essentially copper rods that conduct electricity to heat the water. They can be prone to failure due to age or other factors. When one of them fails, it can cause your circuit breaker to trip frequently and you’ll have trouble getting hot water in the house. Fortunately, you can repair or replace the heating element with ease.
To do this, first shut off the electric power to your water heater by flipping the breaker switch. Next, connect a garden hose to the drain valve (the handle may have a picture of a hose attached to it) and open it. Some water will drain out, but be sure to keep the hose in a bucket or somewhere it won’t spill. Sediment may clog the drain valve, so it’s best to let all of the water drain out before you remove or install the new element.
Once the tank is completely drained, you can shut off the water heater’s drain valve. Then you can unscrew the cover plate and fold back the insulation to access the element’s screw terminals and circuit wires. Use a non-contact voltage or circuit tester to check the wires for power before you remove them. Once you have done this, loosen the terminal screws and disconnect the wires from the heating element. Then loosen the element and pull it out.
Now you can screw the new element into place, using a socket wrench if necessary. Then reconnect the wires, making sure to follow the polarity markings on the new element. You’ll also want to re-connect the thermostat wires to the new element, reversing the connections from what they were before.
Make sure you select an element that matches the voltage and wattage of your existing one. You can find the information on a label that is typically affixed to the water heater or you can look it up online. When you’re finished, close the drain valve, open the cold water inlet valve and a nearby hot water faucet. Run the hot water for a few minutes to flush out any excess air or sediment.
Thermostats are an integral part of a water heater and can often be the first component to fail. They are a simple device that can be tested and replaced very easily without disturbing other components of the heater. If you have a water heater with dual elements, make sure you test both thermostats. If you are getting lukewarm or hot water only from one element, the upper thermostat may be bad and needs replacing. This will allow the lower element to operate properly and give you hot water.
To replace a thermostat, first shut off the power to your water heater at the circuit breaker and remove the insulation and access panel from the tank. You should also remove the plastic safety panel from the top of the water heater. Using a multimeter or voltage/ohm meter, check for electricity to both the upper and lower thermostats. If neither are showing any readings, you will need to replace the thermostats and possibly the elements.
Once you have removed the insulation, locate the thermostat and remove the cover to expose it. The thermostat is held in place by a small bracket that can be removed with a screwdriver or pick. The bracket has three metal tabs that are held in a plastic disk. If the disk is not in the right position, you may need to rotate it slightly. This will ensure that the metal tabs are behind all three of the thermostat’s contact points.
If you are able to remove the thermostat, it should easily slide out of the bracket. If not, it will likely break. You will need to purchase a replacement and reassemble it. Make sure that the new thermostat is the same type as your old one. If you are unsure, check the manufacturer’s website to see what types they offer.
Once the new thermostat is in place, replace the bracket and replace the wiring. Make sure that the tag wires are attached to the correct screw terminals. You will need to rewire the tag leads to the thermostats, but this is a simple process and should not take too long. Turn the power back on to the water heater and test your water temperature. You may need to adjust the thermostats following the instructions in the owner’s manual.
Dip Tube Replacement
When you turn on the shower, expect a hot bath, or just want to do the dishes or wash clothes in a sink full of hot water, it is critical that this system stays in good working order. A faulty dip tube can lead to the loss of your entire supply of hot water. If you notice flecks of plastic in your shower or tub, it is probably time to replace the dip tube.
Located inside the tank, the dip tube transfers incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank where it gets heated by either the gas burner or the primary electric heating element. This allows the tank to heat up more quickly and efficiently. If the dip tube fails, it will allow cold water to rise to the top of the tank and mix with the hot water. This will significantly lower the water temperature and affect your ability to have a continuous supply of hot water.
Over the years, plastic dip tubes can disintegrate due to age and exposure to hot water. A quick and easy fix is to switch the tube out for a copper one. A new tube will last for the lifetime of your water heater and is much more durable than the plastic ones.
Before you can install a new dip tube, you must drain the water heater. This is done by shutting off the power (circuit breaker or gas control dial) and the water supply line. You then connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and run it to a suitable drain location. Once the tank has drained, you can disconnect the drain valve, and close the circuit breaker or gas control dial.
With a few common tools, including a flat screwdriver, you can easily replace your dip tube. Just switch off the power to your water heater at the circuit breaker, and then use a pipe wrench to disconnect the cold water inlet pipe. Next, remove the old tube using the flat screwdriver and insert the new one into the inlet nipple, ensuring that it is firmly in place.
Pressure Valve Replacement
The water heater pressure relief valve is designed to open when the temperature or pressure within the tank rises too high. It is a safety feature that protects the water heater from overheating or even exploding. The water flows out through a discharge tube to release the excess heat and pressure, then the valve closes. A bad pressure valve can result in a dangerous situation for your home and family. The valve is installed on the main water line where it enters your home, most commonly located in the front flower bed of older homes but could also be behind an access panel inside your garage or house.
If you have a problem with your water heater that results in low hot water output, your valve is probably faulty. You can try to check it by pulling the metal spring valve lever back and letting water fall into a bucket. If it doesn’t snap back quickly into its original position, your valve is leaking and needs to be replaced.
Another sign of a bad pressure valve is pooling water under the valve itself. A leaking water heater can result in a lot of damage over time, so it is important to take the proper steps for maintenance and replacement as soon as you notice any signs of wear and tear.
If your hot water smells bad, or is discolored, it could indicate that you have a sediment build-up problem. In these cases, you may need to have the magnesium or aluminum anode rod placed at the top of the tank to help keep sediment from forming. It is also recommended that you drain your tank 1 time per year to prevent sediment from building up in the bottom of the tank.
Lastly, if you hear noises that sound like rumbling or popping coming from your hot water heater, it is possible that the temperature and pressure relief valve has failed. This is a major safety issue that can cause the tank to explode, so it is important to replace it as soon as you suspect a problem.