Water heaters are indispensable for American homes, but repairing them can be intimidating for DIY enthusiasts. Despite that, hundreds of homeowners brave their fears to repair their gas water heaters by themselves.
There are several reasons why this equipment fails – damaged thermostats, failing heater elements, rusty water tanks, or leaking valves, just to name a few.
The good news is that it is possible to solve these problems without the need for expert help, as long as you know what to do and have had some prior experience of doing it.
DIY Water Heater Repair – Here’s What You Need To Do
This equipment is the second-largest user of energy in American homes – accounting for 16.8% of residential energy consumption. This can cost homeowners up to $600 a year.
Nearly 8% of American homes replace their water heaters even though many of their problems can be solved via some timely DIY repair.
Take a look at the possible water heater issues detailed below.
If any of these match your current situation, read to find more information on how to deal with the dilemma. Also, make sure you have the right tools and supplies for gas hot water heater repair.
Let’s get started!
1. Water Heater Temperature Is Too Hot or Too Low
This is a common problem with the equipment, and thankfully, homeowners can usually DIY the solutions quickly.
Inspect the front of your water heater – do you see a temperature dial at the front of the tank? Adjust this dial to set the correct temperature for the water heater.
Most Illinois plumbers recommend 120 degrees Fahrenheit as the optimum temperature for a gas hot water heater.
Once you have adjusted the dial according to your temperature needs, give your water heater some time to heat up or cool down to your preferences.
If that doesn’t fix the problem, then you might have a defective thermostat.
To replace the thermostat, you’ll also have to replace the valve – and that’s a much bigger issue. It’s best to call in a professional service for gas hot water heater repair in that case.
2. The Pilot Light Goes Out
The pilot light is a continuously burning flame inside the hot water heater. It’s burning means that your heater is ready to work, and when the pilot light goes out, you won’t be able to turn on the furnace.
In such cases, any attempts to re-ignite the light are useless because it just won’t stay on long enough to fire the furnace inside the water heater.
Try lighting it with an outside source – a long-necked barbecue lighter should do the job.
If that doesn’t work, the chances are that gas isn’t reaching the pilot. Check the gas regulator outside your home to see if it’s working optimally.
If that’s fine, then there might be a less common problem with your water heater – that of a faulty gas valve. A gas valve doesn’t allow any gas to pass through to the pilot light or burner.
Working on the water heater gas valve is not a job for the average homeowner. Repairing it is seldom the option, and replacing is usually the right thing to do.
However, often when the pilot light doesn’t stay lit, the problem is with the thermocouple. Thankfully, it isn’t too difficult to locate – find the pilot light and search for a tip of a copper stick pretty close to it – that’d be the thermocouple.
The good news is that you can effortlessly replace this equipment, and the universal model fits all kinds of water heaters easily.
3. My Tap Water Is Brown
When you turn on the tap, it’s only natural to expect crystal clear and clean water, in a temperature of your choice.
So when you get rusty hot water instead, it’s something to stress over.
Rusty brown water is caused by a build-up of sediments and deposits inside your water heater. These are tiny particles of dirt and rust from inside the water tank – these can accumulate over time and slowly settle down inside the tank.
You can quickly fix this problem.
First, drain the heater and flush out all the rust and sediments. Just leave the hot water taps running until the heater tank is empty. You may have to do this several times to clean the water heater of clogging and sediments thoroughly.
If the rustiness doesn’t subside, you may have a dissolved anode rod. You can change the anode rod easily with a DIY repair.