Fixing a Hot Water Heater – When to Call a Professional

Like every other device, hot water heaters need maintenance. How can you tell when your heater needs repair? Any unusual action by your heater can be a signal that it is need of repair. Ignoring the signal may end up costing you plenty in repair or replacement costs down the road.

Problems with your hot water heater can be minor or major. The minor problems you may be able to fix yourself if you have some knowledge of what exactly is wrong and how to fix it. Hitting the reset button is an example.  Major issues should be handled by a professional, licensed plumber. How can you tell which issue is minor and which one is major? Knowing the signs to look for may help. Here are some:

  • Increase in utility bills
  •  You are getting cold water instead of hot, or the hot runs out quickly.
  • The heater starts to make a strange humming sound.
  • The hot water has strange a odor.

When to call a professional?

All of these signs are clues that your heater needs maintenance. Some situations when you should call a professional include:

  • If your heater is not delivering hot water even when the hot water indicator is glowing, your pilot light may not be working. The fix might seem simple but it is not. Changing the pilot light is probably not the solution. The solution is most likely changing the temperature gauges. You will need the services of a skilled plumber for that.
  • The water heater is older and parts need to be replaced keep it operating. Parts like  the anode rod, DIP tube, heating element,  etc.  are easily available from plumbing stores or home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes. The manufacturer’s instructions usually come with the part that explains what to do. Nonetheless, unless you’re mechanically inclined the instructions can be confusing and difficult to follow.  It is a better plan to hire a licensed professional to replace any of the heater components.
  • Often times, it is difficult to find the exact problem with your water heater. In this case, you should call a licensed professional. He has the experience and expertise to find and correct the problem. Some of the issues like sedimentation and scale formation inside the water tank force the water heater to malfunction. The tank gets overheated that can lead to corrosion of the anode rod. The removal of scales and sediments from the water tank is difficult at best. Any force during the removal process may damage the tank surface. It should be done by a skilled professional who is equipped with appropriate tools to remove such hard deposits.
  • Water leakage is another major issue that needs professional assistance. DIP rod replacement is one of the ways to solve this issue. The DIP rod involves the removal of a cold water pipe and replacement of heating element. In other words, you have to handle the wire carrying 220 volts of electricity. Experienced hands should the only ones handling this task.

Be safe and avoid taking risks! Never compromise your safety or comfort by selecting local plumbers who are not licensed to repair your water heater. A licensed professional will offer you quality services to enhance the functionality of your water heater.