Whether you have an electric hot water heater or a gas hot water heater, getting into the shower only to find that the water is cold is not a fun experience. Likewise getting all lathered up and then getting cold water to rinse off with can be rather annoying also.
What are some of the things that can cause these problems?
First we will look at the electric version of the hot water heater.
- Remember that a 4500 watt element (which is the majority of US electric heaters) is only going to give you 22 gal./hour of hot water. So use more than that and your going to get cool water…
- If the top element goes bad you are out of luck. The top element always needs to heat before the thermostat on the top will switch to the bottom element.
- If the bottom element is bad then you will get about 1/3 of a tank of hot water. The top one will heat and switch to the bottom which does nothing…
- If either on of the thermostats becomes corrodes beneath it and does not contact the tank well, the over heating will trip the reset on the top element.
- **** in the bottom of the tank that covers the bottom element will burn it out and every one you try to replace it with. Clean out the junk in the bottom if it is up to the hole when replacing the bottom element.
- Remember where the wires go by marking them well when replacing anything.
Now the gas version of the hot water heater
- When filling the tank for the first time you will see water dripping on the flame. No!!! The tank is probably NOT leaking, but you are making condensation that makes it LOOK like the tank is leaking.
- The venting on the top of the tank MUST go UP hill and not down… hot air rises and does not like to travel down hill. This will cause all sorts of problems and could result in the death of the occupants of the residence.
- If the pilot light refuses to stay lit after holding the red button down for five minutes then the thermocouple needs to be replaced. This is easy to do and be careful not to cross thread the end that goes into the gas valve.
- Gas valves do go bad and are a pain to replace. The tank must be drained to replace the gas valve. Getting any kind of wrench in the valve without damaging it is nearly impossible.
- The relief valve will blow off if you live in a Town or Boro that insist that you need 90 Lbs. of water pressure and will not install a reducing valve or an expansion tank. Insist on the reducing valve, that much pressure will blow out any inexpensive faucet also…
- If your hot water heater if LP Gas then all the threads are reversed to prevent using Natural Gas parts on them.
This will give you a quick guide to some common things that you may encounter when working with hot water heaters. There are other things that can happen…http://www.fixya.com/support/r4654730-electric_water_heater_not_workinghttp://www.fixya.com/support/r4422595-electric_water_heater_wiring_diagramhttp://www.fixya.com/support/r4041115-clean_hot_water_heaterhttp://www.fixya.com/support/r4656414-replace_thermostat_element_electric_hot