What would cause a hot water heater to stop working?
What do you do when you get in the shower and the water is ice cold? Well, first you squeal and jump right back out. Then you make sure you had the hot water turned on and discover it was. Check all the other water outlets in the house and nope, there is no hot water to be found anywhere. Unexpected but it looks like you have a water heater repair soon!
Electric water heaters and gas water heaters look like each other with both having an insulated steel storage tank jacket. The key difference between electric and gas is how they heat the water, and that will make the difference in how or if water heater repair is possible. With an electric water heater, there are two heating elements, a lower one and an upper one. With a gas water heater, there is a gas burner below the tank. The most common issues that can cause a water heater to stop working are:
- The Pilot Light: This applies to a gas water heater and the easiest problem to fix. A simple check to see if the pilot light is on and if it isn’t, light it. Follow the instructions in the owner’s manual on how to re-light it. If you notice an odor around the water heater like rotten eggs, the water heater or the gas line to it may have a leak. This should be inspected by a professional plumber immediately.
- The Heating Element: This applies to an electric water heater. If you aren’t getting much hot water or the tater isn’t hot, this could indicate the heating element has gone out, in which case, water heater repair is possible by a professional plumber.
- Sediment Buildup: No matter where you live or good the water quality is, water contaminants will build up over time and become hard in the tank’s bottom. This reduces the unit’s ability to produce ample hot water. This can be minimized by regularly cleaning the water heater out by flushing it. The owner’s manual will have instructions on how to do this. You can also have a water softener installed between where the water comes into the house at the water heater. Setting the temperature at 130 degrees will minimize the build-up too. However, if the water heater is old, the tank is probably rusty and removing that buildup is impossible. Here, in this case, water heater repair isn’t possible, you must replace the unit.
- The Thermostat: If there is hot water, but not hot enough, it could be the thermostat on the unit needs to be replaced. Sometimes the thermostat will quit working and needs to be replaced. This is a water heater repair that a professional plumber can do for you.
Can a water heater be repaired?
Yes and no, it depends on the type of water heater, the age of the unit, and what the problem is. While a water heater is typically reliable, they can occasionally have problems. If you don’t know who to call for water heater repair immediately, you can do your own check and inspection. A homeowner can check some of these issues and other issues need the professional service of a plumber.
Before you make an effort to do the water heater repair do it yourself, be sure to turn off the electricity or gas first. For an electric water heater, you can simply flip the circuit breaker that goes directly to the water heater. For a gas water heater, you need to turn the pilot valve off on the water heater.
Do you call a plumber to fix a hot water heater?
Well, you may need a plumber or an electrician, then you could need an HVAC technician. Why is there not a straight answer to this question? Because it depends on the type of water heater repair is needed and the type of problem, you’re having. Your first call should be to a licensed plumber, but there are some issues that may need an electrician. Those issues are:
- Circuit breaker to an electric water heater keeps tripping
- Fuse box to the water heater has blown or overheats
- Water heater system has loose wiring
How much does it cost to repair a water heater?
With hot water heater repair service, as with all the answers we’ve offered earlier, it depends on the type of water heater you have, electric or gas, and the problem with the unit. Other factors that can be a factor in water heater repair cost is your location and if it is a holiday or weekend.
The average price across the continental United States is around $400, with the starting rate around $240 and as much as $600. To save your own pocketbook, it is helpful for a homeowner to learn some basic things to check themselves, like the circuit breaker and pilot light, before calling a professional plumber or electrician.
Can water heaters last 20 years?
On average, water heaters last ten to fifteen years, some won’t last 10 years and some longer than 15 years. Learning how to flush your water heater will extend its life. A fiberglass tank instead of an insulated steel tank will last longer. One thing for sure, a water heater will not have the longevity of the HVAC system or siding on your home will!
When, not if your water heater goes out, you will want to get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. We use our water heaters daily, from bathing to washing clothes and more. Take the time before it becomes urgent and search the Internet for “who does hot water heater repair near me?” and have their number on hand. Get started today on your water heater service in Asheville, NC when you dial 828-974-6147.