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Identifying Problems With Your Water Heater

  • December 2013
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If you discover a problem with your water heater, there’s no need to panic. Not every issue is serious, and there are some quick fixes you can try, if you’re comfortable with some DIY items, or call Meyer’s for experienced and reliable professional help.

  • Cold water instead of hot – With a gas-fired water heater, the pilot light may be out, and you just need to re-light it. If it won’t stay lit, a faulty control valve may be the culprit. If that’s not the issue, the thermocouple may have failed. With an electric water heater, you may have a faulty thermostat or top heating element.
  • Water on the floor around the tank – If your water is too hot, it can cause the  temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve to open. Simply lowering the temperature on the heater’s thermostat may solve the problem. If the bottom of the tank is leaking rust-colored water, though, you may need to replace the appliance.
  • Orange-colored hot water – Rust is present in the storage tank, which usually indicates that the sacrificial anode rod is failing. This rod is designed to rust out so that the tank won’t corrode.
  • A rotten egg smell – This occurs when bacteria is growing inside the tank and feeding on hydrogen gas from your anode rod. Drain and flush the tank, then add 2 pints of a 3percent solution of hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for two hours, then refill the tank with water. If it happens again, change out the existing anode rod with one made of a zinc alloy.
  • High-pitched whining or popping sounds – This indicates that the water inside your gas heater is actually boiling due to excessive sediment. If you have an electric heater, the elements may be coated with sediment, so you’ll need to remove and clean them, in addition to flushing the tank.

If you’re having water heater issues in your northwest Indiana or south Chicagoland home, contact us at Meyer’s.