Avoiding the Wet Dog Look

Avoiding the Wet Dog Look

It's Not Dead Yet! Three Common (And Fixable) Water Heater Problems

Darlene Stanley

While the typical water heater is a durable and reliable piece of machinery, it will not last the life of your home. Standard tank-style water heaters usually last about a decade, although a particularly high-quality or well-maintained heater can last longer. Since all water heaters fail eventually, it can be tempting to think about replacement as your water heater enters its golden years. There will come a time when it is necessary to say goodbye, but your old water heater may still have some life left in it for now. These three problems are common in water heaters that have some years on them, but a skilled plumber can repair them and get your hot water working again in no time.

Thermostat Troubles

If your water heater's thermostat is on the fritz, then it can result in water that is too hot or too cold. Just like your home thermostat, the thermostat in your water heater works by measuring the temperature of the water in the tank and comparing it to the value you set. If the water is too cold, the tank's heating element or burner runs until the water is at the appropriate temperature. When the thermostat fails, it can cause the water heater to run for too long or too short a time. Replacing a thermostat is generally a quick and easy job once identified as the source of the problem.

Pitiful Pilot Lights

Pilot lights are still an integral part of many older gas water heaters. These simple devices keep a flame continually running to ignite the main burner as needed. If the pilot light is out, the water heater won't be able to run or heat water at all. Most water heaters with pilot lights will have instructions printed on the side explaining the relighting procedure, but it is also possible for the pilot light tube to become clogged. When this happens, the clog will prevent the pilot light from igniting. A failed thermocouple is also a likely culprit for a pilot light that stubbornly refuses to relight. An experienced plumber can quickly fix both problems.

Lamentable Leaks

Significant leaks are often the death knell of a water heater that is ready to go into that good night, but not all leaks are signs of fatal corrosion. If you notice a minimal amount of water near your tank, then it may merely be the result of condensation and not a serious concern. A more considerable amount of water can indicate a corrosion problem with the tank, but the source may also be one of several valves attached to the tank. Before scheduling a full tank replacement, have a plumber — such as one from Arnold & Sons Plumbing, Sewer & Drain Services — thoroughly inspect your water heater to determine if a simple valve repair will fix the problem.


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About Me
Avoiding the Wet Dog Look

During the summer months, I enjoy taking care of my outdoor plants and flowers. Because I live in the southern United States, my vegetation needs water almost daily. Thankfully, I have a convenient outdoor faucet connected to my home. However, I recently endured some problems with this source of water. When I turned on the faucet, I was greeted with a forceful spray of water going in all directions. Before I could gather my senses and turn the water off, I resembled my dog after she jumps into a pool of water. To avoid the wet dog look in the future, I plan to hire a professional plumber to take care of my faulty faucet. On this blog, you will learn about the benefits of securing a reputable plumber to repair your problematic faucets.