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Gas Water Heaters: Diagnosing the Common Problems

Gas Water Heaters

Gas water heaters are the second most widely used appliance in a household; a home’s heating and air conditioning unit is the first. Such a frequently used appliance can suddenly develop problems from age and use. In general, gas water heaters are exceptionally reliable, but on occasion malfunctions do arise.

Gas water heaters have a quick recovery time which makes them ideal for large families who require an abundance of hot water. Unfortunately, when a gas water heater is placed in a high demand household, the chances are good that problems might develop due to excessive use.

Often the first symptoms that occur when there is a problem with the water heater are — inadequate hot water, discolored water, smelly water, rumbling, groaning, popping and water leaking from the base of the water heater. If your gas water heater starts to malfunction, you will want to check over the common problems with a gas water heater to try to diagnosis the issue.

Common Problems With Gas Water Heaters That Can Be Quickly Diagnosed And Fixed By The Homeowner:

Pilot Light – Locate the unit’s gas knob and turn it to ‘pilot.’ Remove the metal cover located at the base of the water heater so you can look inside and see if the pilot light is lit. Newer gas water heaters may have a glow plug or spark ignitor instead of a pilot, but you should be able to visually see if they are functioning. If the light has gone out, look at the instructions on the unit that state how to relight the light. If the light fails to ignite, check to make sure the gas inlet has not been turned off. You should also call your local gas supplier to make sure that the gas to the home or the neighborhood has not been shut off. In the event that the light does not light despite your best efforts, the unit’s thermocouple may be defective or malfunctioning. If the thermocouple is bad, you will need to call an appliance repair technician.

Sediment Buildup – Over time, sediment builds up inside a water heater’s tank. The tank must be drained of all water. Open the tank’s cold water intake valve so the tank fills up halfway, then let the water flow out of the tank using the drain valve to flush out the sediment buildup.

Frequently, common problems with gas water heaters can be fixed by the homeowner, but in some instances, you will need to call a professional appliance repair person to fix the unit safely and effectively. If the gas water heater cannot be repaired, you may have to consider purchasing a new unit.

At Superior Appliance Repair we can diagnosis and repair your gas water heater problems. Please contact us today to evaluate or maintain your water heater.

James Rathbun

I am a local appliance repairman based in O’fallon, Missouri. Born and raised in the St. Louis area, I’ve always been intrigued by repairing appliances. I enjoy meeting new people and believe good customer service is the key to long-lasting business relationships. I’d love to earn your business, so if you’re in St. Charles County, Lincoln County, Warrenton County or St. Louis County, please give me a call at 636-980-3377 or 314-335-9796!

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