How to Troubleshoot Common Gas Hot Water Heater Issues

How to Troubleshoot Common Gas Hot Water Heater Issues

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Gas heaters are the mainstays of hot water systems in many households, accounting for a noted part of possible energy saving. They provide steady access to the precious resource, except when they do not. That is when people raise alarms and seek quick solutions. Well, the costs of purchasing and installing a new hot water unit are surely unpleasant. It is much more preferable to identify the problem early on and fix it as soon as possible. Some repairs are fairly simple, while others require a lot of work. In any event, what you pay for a service call and a spare part is a drop in the bucket compared to allowing the heater to die on you.

The angle of approach

You might be eager to take the DIY approach to house repairs, but take a step back for a moment. Gas water heater troubleshooting is moderately difficult. There is a multitude of issues that stem from different components and there is always danger factor looming over you. There are also some issues that affect all water heaters, including leaks, pressure relief valves, drain valves, sediment, anode rods and dip tubes. We will not go into detail regarding these problems and will focus on those that are specific to gas water heaters.

Namely, the main risk associated with this type of heaters is the gas itself. When this odourless natural element escapes the heater without being ignited, you have quite an explosive situation at hand. Hence, it is highly recommended to refrain from making uneducated moves and repairs yourself. You should do this only when you are completely familiar with safety procedures. Even still, you are probably better off seeking local providers, such as these Canberra-based specialists for hot water systems.  They can make short work of any heater issue and help with installation of a new unit.

The most common problems

Having cleared that out, you should certainly be in the know when it comes to common issues and their fixes:

  • One of the most widespread problems homeowners experience is with the water heater pilot light. This is a key component that most heaters use to ignite the burner, albeit more expensive heaters may use electric ignition. When the pilot does not light or will not say lit, you do not have access to hot water. So, for instance, when the pilot goes off after a while, you either have a problem with the gas valve or thermocouple. One less common source off your woes is clogged or partially clogged vent.
  • When there is no hot water, your energy source is simply not producing heat. There is a high possibility that the gas water heater thermocouple is malfunctioning. This component is one of the main safety features for the gas heater tank and it works like a sensor allowing the gas to flow. The good news is that this is not hard to fix it. In fact, it is one of the repairs people most undertake on their own.
  • In case there is not enough hot water, you need to cover a bit more ground. Start troubleshooting by examining the thermostat, which is a part of the gas valve. See whether it is defective. There is not much you can do if that proves to be the case, apart from replacing the whole gas valve. Finally, note that a tip tube fault, clogged hue, or a vent problem could also be the culprits behind hot water shortage.

Maximizing heater value

Water heaters become susceptible to wear and tear, as well as various malfunctions. These vary from not having enough hot water to not having it at all. The tricky part is that these issues have multiple possible causes and that fixing them is far from simple. So, summon professionals to your aid, should you encounter difficulties at any stage of the process. Following these steps and precautions, you should be able to increase the lifespan of your heater and improve its performance, making your household more sustainable. This will save you a lot of money and headaches over a long time period.

{Other Images:10:full:center}Lillian Connors

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