DIY Tips to Troubleshoot Your Water Heater
School is in session! With everyone in your house getting ready at once in the mornings, are you finding yourself shivering by the end of your shower? This might mean your water heater is in need of some TLC, especially if you don’t remember the hot water running out last school year.
While water heaters can be tricky to work with, there are some issues you can remedy with some DIY, saving you the cost of a service call. Here are some steps that could fix your slow water heater. If these tips don’t fix the problem, or if you suspect the fix might be beyond your ability, the plumbing experts at Joseph Giannone Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help.
1) Adjust the Temperature
Since water heaters are generally located in basements, closets and other out-of-the-way spots, you might not know you can adjust the temperature of the water it puts out. Adjust the temperature dial on the front of your water heater, wait a bit, then turn on a faucet and see if the water stays hot.
2) Insulate It
If your water heater is located in a space that’s not climate controlled, and if the hot water pipes travel through cold spaces, a cold snap will make it harder to heat water and keep it hot. Inspect the hot water pipes and insulate them if necessary. Visit your local hardware store and purchase an insulating blanket to wrap your water heater, too.
3) Flush the Tank
As water travels through pipes to reach your water heater, it picks up minerals and sediment along the way. Over time, this sediment builds up at the bottom of your water heater, taking up space that hot water could occupy. Flushing your water heater’s tank removes the sediment and gets the heater back to normal capacity. This is a project you can tackle on your own by following these steps:
- Shut off the gas or electricity to the water heater.
- Shut off the water supply to the heater by turning the water valve handle clockwise until it stops. If that doesn’t stop the water, turn off the main water valve for the entire house.
- Attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and run the other end outside or to a drain. Keep in mind that the water will be hot and rusty when it drains.
- Open a hot water faucet in the house to let air into the tank.
- Open the water heater’s relief valve so it is sticking straight out or up.
This process should drain the sediment out of the bottom of the tank, restoring it to normal operation.
4) Consider a Replacement
Unfortunately, water heaters don’t last forever. Running out of hot water too fast might mean it’s time to think about a replacement. Here are some of the signs:
- Leaking around the base of the heater.
- Discolored water.
- Strange noises or rumblings.
- The heater is 10-plus years old.
If any of these is true for your water heater, the experts at Giannone can recommend a newer model that will keep your showers hot for years to come. For an upfront estimate and a range of options, call us at (215) 375-7134 or contact Giannone online today.