How’s Your Water Heater? Take Time to Troubleshoot and Repair
Need A Complimentary Checkup for Your Home?
Ideally, you want to inspect your water heater at least twice a year. But even if you can’t remember the last time you looked at yours, maintenance is better late than never. Here’s what our Hippo Home Care Pros recommend to keep your water heater going strong.
The Hippo Home Care Pros Recommend:
- Look at and around your water heater every 6 months.
- Clean your hot water heater tank every 12 months.
- Disconnect the power before working on your water heater.
- Refer to the manual for your specific water heater.
Clean Your Water Heater
Most of us don’t think about our water heaters until something goes wrong. But with just a few minutes of effort every year, you can prevent a much bigger problem down the line. Cleaning your water heater can actually be a do-it-yourself home maintenance task that our Home Pros recommend doing every 12 months. Here’s how:
1. Turn off the power to the unit.
2. Turn off the water supply line to the water heater. Allow water in the water heater to cool for at least an hour.
3. Attach a hose to the drain spigot on the bottom of the unit.
4. Direct the water away from the home by placing the other end of the hose near a drain.
5. Open the pressure valve. This is located on the top or the top-side of the water heater.
6. Open the drain spigot and allow the unit to drain
7. After the water heater is fully drained, shut off the water spigot, remove the hose and close the water release valve.
8. Turn on water supply and allow water heater to fill back up.
9. Once the water heater is full and you have completed all the previous steps, turn the water heater back on at the breaker.
Troubleshoot Common Problems
- Water Leaks: If you notice water leaking from your heater, do not touch the water. Find your circuit breaker and shut off the main power to the unit as well as to any other appliances in the room. Then turn off the water – you may see an on/off valve where the water heater connects to the main line. Once the power and water are off, look for loose heating elements, plumbing connections, rust damage or corrosion on the tank, faulty pressure relief valves or cracks in the tank or pump. (Unless you’re comfortable with plumbing issues, this is a good time to let the Home Pros at Hippo Home Care help.)
- Water doesn’t heat: If you’re not getting any hot water, check the circuit breaker – the unit’s breaker may have tripped so there isn’t power going to the unit. If the unit is getting power, try resetting the high-temperature limit for the heater. Look up your heater’s manual online and follow the steps to reset it. If it still doesn’t work, the heating element may have burned out. You can replace it on your own or call a Home Pro for help.
- Water is too hot: If the water comes out too hot, the unit’s thermostat may need to be replaced or reset. Try resetting the high-temperature limit for the heater according to your heater’s manual online.
- Water heater makes noises: Some water heater sounds are normal, such as water boiling, a rumble or even a whine. But unusual or more-frequent noises could be a sign of buildup at the bottom of the tank. You can try draining the tank to remove sediment buildup and see if that fixes the issue.
- Water is rusty or dirty: If your water comes out of the tank rusty or dirty, that usually means it’s time to replace the tank or the anode rod. Corrosion and iron bacteria in your water heater tank can cause unpleasant odors in your water and turn the water brown, red or yellow. The anode rod, which protects the metal in your heater tank from corroding, may need to be replaced.