Dealing With Allentown Water Heater Problems

Can you image the agony of waking up on a cold winter morning and finding that your water heater has ceased functioning? You are likely to face problems such as unwashed clothes, dirty dishes, and cold showers unless you take timely action and get the appliance repaired soonest possible. Water heaters, like any other gadgets, are likely to malfunction over time. You can replace the damaged unit with a new one if you are willing to shell out $500 or more. However, you can save that amount by diagnosing the problem and then fixing it yourself or by hiring a professional. The pointers mentioned below will help you get to the root of the problem and solve it.

When you need to hire a professional, call us:

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No Hot Water ProblemsTypical Electrical Water Heater Problems

There are two types of electrical water heaters:
• Immersion heater
• Tank heater

Immersion (On-Demand) Heater

The Immersion heater is useful when you need hot water without storing it. It works efficiently as long as the coil within it functions properly. Since it is a sealed unit, you cannot repair it and have to purchase a new one when it stops working. However, check its power cord before purchasing a new unit. Oftentimes, a frayed wire can stop power from reaching the heating unit.

Tank Heater

The tank heater is useful for heating water and storing it. It contains a chamber for storing water supplied to it via an inlet pipe. A heating element enclosed inside a copper tube placed inside the chamber heats the water. The heated water flows out via the outlet pipe. This unit also contains a temperature regulator (thermostat), which turns off the heating element once the water reaches the set temperature. The heating capability of the tank heater deteriorates due to formation of sediment, caused by hard water (water that has a high percentage of minerals), around the copper tube. Scraping away the sediment solves this problem. A faulty thermostat can also lead to water heating problems in the tank water heater. Replacing the thermostat fixes this issue. If the water does not heat at all, check the heating unit and replace it if required.

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Problem Solving Common Hot Water Heater Problems

You should not try to troubleshoot or repair your water heater, especially if it uses electricity to heat water, unless you are a qualified technician. A small mistake can result in a short circuit, causing electricity to leak from the water heater into the plumbing system of your house, causing electrocution to anyone touching it. You can get around this problem by installing an GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) between the mains and the outlet supplying power to the water heater. This will trip the power supply in case of a short circuit.

  • Water Not Heating – Check the heating element with the help of a continuity tester. In case the element is damaged, replace the entire module. Since the module is hermetically sealed, you cannot change the element. Ensure that you use original equipment manufacturer’s spares only.
  • Water Heats But Power Supply Remains On – In such a scenario check the thermostat and replace it immediately. You should also check the pressure relief valve. This is a safety device designed to relieve pressure from the water heater if the pressure or heat within it rises above a specified level. It also acts as a safety measure in case the thermostat malfunctions. Your water heater can explode if both the thermostat and pressure relief valve do not function. Slow leakage of water from the pressure relief valve is a sure sign that it is malfunctioning. This valve contains a test lever. Raise this lever. If you hear the sound of water discharging, you can rest assured that the valve is functioning properly.
  • The Temperature Of The Water Decreases Quickly – A tank heater consists of two chambers… the interior and the exterior. Insulating material placed between the two chambers prevents heat from dissipating outside through conductivity. If the temperature of the water of your water heater falls down quickly, it is a sure sign of damage to its insulation. Although you cannot replace the internal insulation, you can wrap an insulation blanket around your water heater. Opt for insulation blankets made from fiberglass. They are efficient and light in weight as well. You should also insulate the outlet pipes leading from the outlet of your water heater to the faucet.

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Most Common Tankless Water Heater Problems

Also known as instantaneous water heaters, tankless water heaters consist of insulated heating element, placed within a copper tube, put inside a cylindrical tank containing an inlet and an outlet. Water flowing from the inlet touches the heated copper coils on its way towards the outlet, and gets heated in the process. These gadgets consume lots of power… typically 1000 watts to 1500 watts. Do not be fooled by the claims of the manufacturer. You need to decrease the flow of water for these units to function properly. These units are non serviceable. If the unit malfunctions, you have to replace them with a new one. You also need to use a 15 amp power outlet and heavy duty wire for supplying power to these units. If you use a 5 amp power outlet, it will result in a blown fuse. Apart from this, you need a separate unit for each faucet. Compare this with a tank water heater which supplies hot water to all the faucets, using roughly the same amount of energy consumed by a tankless water heater to calculate the energy savings the former provides.

What To Do If You Have A Gas Water Heater Problem

Remove the outer and inner burner access covers to check if the pilot light is on. The instruction booklet provided by the manufacturer contains instructions to relight the pilot light. If unsuccessful, chances are that gas is not reaching the heater or the pilot line is clogged. If the light turns on, but turns off after some time, check the thermocouple. A defective thermocouple or a loose connection causes this problem. Tightening the connection between the control valve and the thermocouple might solve this problem. If not, you have to replace the thermocouple. If the temperature of the water is low, check the thermostat setting and increase it. You should also clear the sediment buildup in the bottom of the heater to minimize gas consumption. If the gas water heater tank leaks, you have no option left apart from purchasing a new one.

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You should perform the remedial measures mentioned above should only if you have sufficient knowledge about and are qualified enough to service water heaters. Instead of taking a risk, which can endanger your life and that of your loved ones, get in touch with a professional water heater technician, and let him fix the problem.

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