What is Wrong with My Hot Water System?
Likely the most expensive component of your plumbing system, a water heater unfortunately does not have an unlimited lifespan. However, problems with your hot water system do not necessarily mean you need to replace the entire heating unit. Sometimes troubleshooting the unit can work, and you can get away with doing a simple repair.
Cases You Might Be Able to Quickly Fix
Water Not Hot Enough
You may be able to fix the problem by simply adjusting the unit’s thermostat. First and foremost, you will likely want to check with local codes for the suggested setting. (The State of Oregon suggests 125°F; Washington State suggests 120°F.) Please keep in mind that hot water needs will differ by household and codes may vary slightly by county as well. If you have any doubts as to what specific temperature is right for your home, we’d be happy to consult!
No Hot Water At All
The problem may be due to a broken heating element or gas thermocouple. If this is the case, you can simply replace the part (installation is relatively straightforward), and this should restore your hot water right away.
Unit Making Strange Noises
Most noise issues are usually caused by sediment that can accumulate inside the water tank. That happens is the debris will come into contact with the heating element, which makes noise as it quite literally burns away the sediment. This problem can usually be corrected by flushing the tank. Another possible cause is that the heating element may be burning out. If flushing the tank does not fix the problem, it could be time to replace the heating element.
Water Heater Repair: When to Contact a Professional
If You Live in an Area with Hard Water
Minerals may build up in the tank over time, clog plumbing lines, and generally shorten the life of your unit. If your water heater is relatively old and you know your neighborhood has hard water, you may want to contact a professional to install a new one. Lucking, the Portland area has relatively soft water, so if you live around here, this probably won’t be an issue.
If Your Water Heater is Over 15 Years Old
Most residential water heaters come with a 5-year or 10-year warranty; a new water heater should last at least that long. If your water heater is around 15 years old or more and is experiencing problems such as noises, issues producing hot water, or issues with maintaining a consistent temperature, you should consider replacing the unit.
If Your Water Heater is Leaking
Unfortunately there is no quick fix for a leaking water tank. If you notice any leakage or standing water near the unit, you should contact a professional right away. There problem could worsen quickly and you do not want to have to deal with a potential flooding problem. Call a qualified plumber for professional water heater installation.
For residents of Multnomah County, OR and Clark County, WA, Meticulous Plumbing has an expert crew specializing in water heater repair and new water heater installation. Call us at 503-208-2812 for an appointment today!