Hot water heater not working?
Usually it’s not very hard to determine this. You discover that there’s no hot water…there’s a flooded area around the tank, or some weird alien sounds coming from the unit.
Although the signs are easy to spot, finding the problem is a little more involved.
Sometimes the culprit lies in the actual power supply to the heater. If your gas hot water heater is not working, it may be a leak in the line. If the area around the tank smells like rotten eggs, you should shut off the pilot light, shut off the gas supply, and immediately call a plumber to diagnose the problem.
Gas leaks can be very dangerous and should not be inspected by someone who is not qualified. If it is an electric heater, check to make sure it wasn’t just a breaker switch that flipped off.
Your hot water heater not working properly might be is your thermostat. Remove the thermostat cover plate and check to see if the high limit switch has been tripped. If it has been tripped, simply flip it back on.
Once that has been checked you may want to check your heating element. If you are getting power to your element but it is not getting hot, you will need to replace it. A simple check with a voltmeter will be able to determine this.
Sometimes you may hear a banging noise in your system when your hot water heater is not working. This can be a build up of sediment on your heating elements. Check to see if this problem exists by removing them one at a time. If they have scale buildup you may need to replace or clean the heating elements.
If the problem of your hot water heater not working is a leaking tank, there really is not much you can do to fix it. If it is leaking, patching the hole will most likely be a temporary fix. You should just replace the tank. For more in depth coverage of hot water heater problems in general, view this post.