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Water Heater Repair: What Can Go Wrong?

tank water heater with pipes running in and outNo matter what season it is or what the temperatures are outside, there is one important appliance in your home that always needs to be working. That’s your Tampa, FL water heater. It’s easy to take for granted that you’ll always have hot water coming from your taps when you need it.

But consider the amount of strain your water heater is put under—it works every single day of the year. You can’t expect it to work 100% free from malfunctions without some TLC. At some point, even with water heater maintenance, you’ll likely find yourself in need of water heater repairs. There are a number of reasons you should only trust a professional for this job!

“Why Can’t I Do My Own Water Heater Repairs?”

The biggest reason we discourage attempting your own water heater repairs is for your safety. For instance, if you have an electric tankless water heater, repairs may seem simple enough. But if you discover that you need any circuit repairs or rewiring, you run into hazards that you may not be equipped to deal with. Not only do you run the risk of injuring yourself, but your work could cause a fire hazard, too.

How about if you have a gas-powered water heater? If you’re a fan of MythBusters, then you might have seen the episode where show’s hosts challenged the idea that water heaters can explode when there’s a gas leak. The result? They can! And the results can be catastrophic. Now, while this example was a controlled experiment and an extreme amount of pressure purposefully applied to the water heater, this is an excellent example of why you should not try to fix a gas-powered appliance on your own.

“So, When Do I Call My Plumber?”

What if you aren’t sure whether or not you need repairs? If you’re doubtful, you can always give us a call and explain the symptoms that your water heater is experiencing, to be on the safe side. Otherwise, watch for these following signs:

  • The Hot Water Volume Has Dropped: If you’ve never had complaints of anyone in your family running out of hot water, but now you suddenly are, then something is likely wrong with the water heater that is not letting it maintain the level of heat it once did.
  • Discolored Water: Check first to see if the brown or rusty colored water is coming from just the hot water taps, or the cold lines too. If the latter, then you have a problem with pipe corrosion. But if only the hot water taps are affected, then your water heater definitely needs a look-over.
  • Rumbling Sounds from the Tank: This can mean there’s been an increase in water pressure within your tank water heater, or sediment has formed along the bottom of the tank. It might even mean that you have a broken expansion tank, or cold and hot water mixing at the top due to a broken dip tube.
  • Leaks: There is never an instance where you want to see water pooling around the base of the water heater. The only place water should drip from the tank is the pressure relief valve. If water drips from anywhere else, you have a serious problem that needs fixing.
  • Corrosion: Your tank water heater is equipped with a component called the anode rod that absorbs corrosion. If this rod wears out and is not replaced, then corrosion can begin to eat away at your water heater. If this occurs, you’ll more than likely need to replace the system.

For any questions you may have about your water heater or our comprehensive plumbing services, contact IERNA’s Heating & Cooling!

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