Water heater Troubleshooting is basically a process of elimination, so start with the most likely cause and work your way down the list until you find the problem.
Troubleshooting basic items:
- Discolored Water – Caused by rust and sediment: (a) flush and clean tank.
- Water has Bad Odor – Bacteria build up in tank: (a) Clean tank with chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide. (b) Check/replace anode rod.
- Low Hot Water Pressure – Water shut-off at water heater not completely open | Faucet stem or aerator clogged with sediment | Faucet supply line clogged | Faucet water shut off clogged | Water heater dip tube clogged | Water line leaving water heater clogged with sediment | Shut off valve at water heater malfunction: Start troubleshooting these areas to identify what should be repaired.
- Relief Valve Dribbling Water – Spring in relief valve is weak | Water pressure too high: Install thermal expansion tank.
- Relief Valve Releasing Large Amounts of Hot Water – heater is too hot – Turn thermostat on water heater down.
Water Heater Leaking:
1. Water heaters have several ports on the tank, such as the drain valve, pressure relief valve, gas control valve or electric heating elements. Check all ports for water leaks and check the Plumbing above the heater.
2. If you can’t find a leak from any of the ports and there is a significant amount of water on the floor then the tank is most likely leaking, and tanks can’t be repaired.
Not enough hot water?
The cold water supply entering a water heater may drop as much as 25 degrees during the winter. This temperature difference will cause the tank to recover much more slowly.
A 40 gallon water heater can only deliver about 27 gallons of usable warm water and for this reason, its very easy to use up all of the hot water in the tank without realizing it.
As sediment builds up in a water heater, it takes more energy to heat the water and it’s a good idea to drain and flush a the unit every 6 months to promote efficiency.
This will remove excessive sediment, which, is the major cause of low hot water pressure.