Gas and Electric Hot Water Heater Tips

Gas and Electric Hot Water Heater Tips

For most people, the extent of their plumbing duties involves pouring drain cleaner down the kitchen sink or plunging the toilet. If that sounds like you, why not add to your repertoire of novice plumbing skills and learn how to troubleshoot your home’s water heater!

Whether your house is outfitted with a gas water tank or an electric water tank, knowing how to recognize and repair basic problems will save a call to the plumber. Check out these tips to see how easy it is to perform maintenance on your water heater.

Gas Hot Water Tanks
One of the most common issues with a gas hot water heater is when the pilot light goes out. Sparking the pilot back up again usually does the trick.

However, sometimes the pilot won’t hold a flame; this occurrence may be caused by a dirty burner. To clean the burner, turn off the gas supply and remove the thermocouple, the pilot supply line, and the burner’s tube and unit. Unfasten the burner and scrub the gas tube with a wire brush. After piecing the parts back together, turn on the gas and light the pilot.

If a debris-filled burner is not the reason why the pilot light extinguishes itself, the thermocouple may be the root of the problem. To replace the component, turn off the gas, disconnect both ends of the thermocouple and the pilot line, and install the new thermocouple. Activate the gas and ignite the pilot.

Electric Hot Water Tanks
Fixing an electric water heater can be as easy as resetting the unit itself or the electric breaker that corresponds with the tank.

If neither of those solutions work, it indicates that the heating element or thermostat may have gone bad. At this point, it is best to call a professional to service the hot water heater. Anything beyond resetting the heater and breaker involves turning off electricity and draining the tank, which can be a dangerous task if not performed by a skilled plumber or electrician.

Leave your major hot water heater woes to the Pittsburgh plumbing professionals and call Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning in Pittsburgh at 412-273-1000. We install, repair and test residential and commercial hot water heaters so that you aren’t left in the cold.