How do you diagnose a water heater problem?


Quick Answer

To diagnose a water heater problem, check the pilot light, listen for irregular sounds, check the surrounding areas for moisture and water leakage, and check the dip tube. It may be necessary to contact a professional technician for some water heater repairs.

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Full Answer

If the water heater is not heating water, it may be because the pilot light has gone out. Consult your owner's manual for instructions on how to light it. If you do not have the manual, call a professional.

If the water heater is making odd sounds, there may be hard-water scale or minerals built up in the tank. When this occurs, you need to drain and clean the tank. If you don't know how to do this, call a professional technician.

If the surrounding area or floor is wet, there could be leakage from a loose valve or leaky pipe. Tighten the valves, and look for a leak in the pipes. Other causes of a leak include a malfunctioning heating element, a defective valve or a blocked vent.

If the water heater does not heat up as much as it should, compare water temperatures with the thermostat. If the thermostat reading is accurate, the tank may need to be flushed. If the tank does not need to be flushed, remove the cold water supply line, remove the dip tube from the tank and make sure it is not broken.

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