Water Heater Troubleshooting (Gas Unit)

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Water Heater Troubleshooting (Gas Unit)

Is your your water heating system not producing enough hot water? Is the temperature of your hot water just warm instead of steamy hot? Does it take too long to replenish your hot water supply after you’ve showered or done a load of laundry? Or perhaps your water heater is too noisy or you see flames pop out of the access opening when the burner turns on? If you answered “Yes” to any of these question, it’s time to perform some water heater troubleshooting to determine the problem.

We recently wrote about water heater repair in Indianapolis, in which we briefly described the different types of water heater repairs. In this article, we’ll cover the steps you can take during your water heater troubleshooting for a traditional gas water heater with a water storage tank. We’ll pass along troubleshooting tips for an electric tank-type water heater and a tankless water heater in future articles. (Note: the article for tankless water heaters might be rather short, because those units have many less elements that can go wrong.)

Gas Water Heater Troubleshooting

Here are the steps you can take during your gas water heater troubleshooting, based on the specific problem you’re encountering:

  • No Hot Water – The most-common reason for a total lack of hot water is that the pilot light is out. If that’s your problem, learn how to light a pilot light. Another possible cause of this situation could be the gas supply. Check the gas cut off valve on your heater, the gas meter, or gas tank if you have one.
  • Pilot Will Not Light – The causes of this problem could be lack of gas, air in your gas line, a clog in the system, or a broken valve.First, check your gas supply, as indicated above.

    If that’s not the problem, try a few times to relight the pilot, if you know how.

    No luck? The pilot orifice might be clogged. If you’re up to the task, you can learn how to remove and clean a pilot orifice.

    Still no luck? The gas supply line to the pilot light might be clogged or kinked, or the gas control valve might be broken. Replacement of one of these parts might solve your problem.

  • Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit – The thermocouple, which handles temperature measurement, might be the issue. If so, replace it. If not, a broken gas control valve might need to be replaced.
  • Pilot Light Intermittently Goes Out – If this is your problem, it could be one of several causes.If your thermocouple is on its last legs, replace it.

    You might try removing and cleaning the pilot orifice or gas supply line.

    Removing and cleaning the main burner assembly might do the trick.

    The next step might be to replace the gas valve.

    If none of these solutions work, the problem might be a down-draft from the flue on windy days.

  • Water Is Too Hot – This problem could be caused by short-cycling, which causes the burner to turn on too frequently. If this is the problem, your water storage tank might be too big. You also might have a stacking issue, which is caused by repeated short draws of hot water.Your thermostat might be set too high, so setting it lower might be a simple solution.

    The gas control valve could be malfunctioning and needs to be replaced.

  • Not Enough Hot Water – A simple thermostat adjustment might be the quick and easy solution. If not, …The problem might be over-use. Only about half of the water in your storage tank is really hot. the rest is either warm or cool. Reducing your use of hot water might solve the problem. If not, you might need a bigger tank to meet your household needs.

    The gas control valve could be broken and causing the thermostat to malfunction.

    Try cleaning the burner orifice.

    You can check for a defective dip tube.

    If your gas pressure is low, call your gas supplier.

  • Water Heater Slow To Reheat – First, try setting your thermostat higher.If you have too much sediment at the bottom of your water storage tank, you’ll need to drain, flush, and clean it.

    If your burner orifice is clogged, remove and clean it.

    If you have low gas pressure, call your gas supplier.

    Wait for warmer weather or head south for the winter. Extremely cold outside temperatures can make incoming water a lot colder and more difficult to heat to the desired temperature.

  • Water Heater Makes Excessive Noise – It’s normal for heat trap nipples to cause a little bit of noise.If your water heater is obviously making much more noise than it should, you might need to clean your tank to remove excessive sediment.
  • Flame Flares Out Of Access Opening – This situation could be caused by a clogged burner. Remove the burner assembly to clean the burner and the orifice.If the problem persists after cleaning the burner assembly, you may have too much gas pressure from the source. Call your gas supplier to check on this possibility.

Gas Water Heater Repairs

If your water heater troubleshooting helps you find the problem, you need to determine if you can fix it or if you need a professional water heater service technician to do the repairs.

If you feel you’d be more confident of a successful outcome with professional assistance, call us at 317-892-9193 or send us an email.

Reference source: water-heater-repair-guide.com