Water Heater Repair Basics

If your water heater starts to make rumbling noises or you notice that your water is discolored, you might need to make a few minor repairs. However, if your water heater is approaching the typical 15-year life span, replacing it might be more cost-effective.

Several tools are necessary to repair a water heater, including adjustable wrenches to loosen and tighten fittings and screws, screwdrivers, and Teflon plumber’s tape for threaded connections. You will also need a multimeter to perform electrical troubleshooting. Contact Water Heater Repair Tampa now!

The thermostat is one of the main components in your water heater. It sends a signal to the heating element when it needs to be turned on in order for the water to heat up. If it is defective, it won’t send the signal and the water heater won’t turn on. This can cause your water to be lukewarm. A plumber will inspect your unit to determine the issue that prevents it from turning on and then fix it.

If you have no hot water, the first thing to check is the circuit breaker and the high-temperature cutoff switch. If they are tripped, you should press the reset button on them to clear the problem. If they are tripped again, it may indicate that the thermostats or heating elements have gone bad. In that case, you will need to replace them.

Before you can replace the heating elements, you must shut off the power to your water heater. Next, you must locate and remove the access panel on the water heater to gain access to the heating elements. You can use a multimeter to test the heating elements for continuity. If the heating elements show no continuity, it means that they are malfunctioning and need to be replaced.

In addition to testing the heating elements, you should also examine and replace the anode rods. Anode rods are sacrificial rods made of aluminum or magnesium that attract corrosive elements in the water, protecting the water heater tank and extending its lifespan. If the anode rods are heavily corroded or less than half an inch thick, they should be replaced.

When choosing a plumber, consider their credentials, experience, reputation, pricing, and warranty. A reputable plumbing company will be upfront about their prices and provide a service warranty that guarantees their work. A warranty is important as it ensures that if the same problem occurs again, the plumber will come back to fix it at no extra charge.

Water heaters can be complicated and dangerous to repair. For this reason, it’s always best to hire a professional plumber. They have the experience and tools to handle the job safely, preventing accidents that can lead to costly repairs down the road. They can also help you decide whether a repair is cost-effective or if it’s time for a replacement.


The heating elements on an electric water heater are responsible for producing the hot water you enjoy when you use the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen and other parts of your home. The elements are located at the bottom of the tank and are connected to electrical wires. When the element malfunctions, it will stop working and you won’t have hot water. This can be due to many factors, including overheating and corrosion. You can usually fix this by replacing the heating element. Changing an element is relatively simple and only costs $20 or so.

The first thing you need to do when your heating element malfunctions is to turn off the power supply to your water heater. This will prevent accidents and electrocution while you’re addressing the problem. Next, you’ll need to drain your water heater to remove any sediment that has accumulated inside the tank. You can also use a multimeter to check the continuity of the heating element and determine whether or not it needs to be replaced. Once you’ve done this, you can screw in the new element and connect the electrical wiring. Finally, you can reconnect the water supply valve and turn the power back on to your water heater.

If you’re getting chilly water, it may be time to replace the thermostat or relight your pilot light. However, this isn’t a project that should be attempted without first reading the safety manual for your specific unit. There are real dangers involved in playing with gas heaters, and you’ll need the proper equipment to handle the task.

You should also look for signs of a leak around your unit, as well as the temperature and pressure relief valve. If you see a puddle of water on or near your unit, you’ll need to shut off the water supply and call a plumber. The leak may be caused by a cracked or loose fitting, a broken water line or another problem that you can’t fix yourself. A plumber will be able to drain your tank and clean it out, preventing further problems and saving you money.

Dip Tube

The dip tube is a component of your water heater that performs an essential function. It channels incoming cold replacement water from the top of your water heater to the bottom, ensuring that it is efficiently heated by the tank’s heating element or burner. It also keeps dense, cold replacement water from mixing with the warmer, lighter layer of hot water on top, which is used to feed faucets and appliances in your home. If the dip tube erodes or breaks, your home will experience lukewarm or cold water at those points of use.

The lifespan of your water heater’s dip tube depends on several factors, including the quality of the material from which it is crafted and the temperature settings you use. Most modern water heaters feature non-metallic dip tubes, which are less prone to corrosion and do not accelerate rusting of the steel tank itself. These plastic tubes can, however, deteriorate due to the chemical composition of your home’s water and its acidity levels. This can result in them breaking apart and dissolving into small pieces that can clog strainers, faucets, and washing machine supply tubes.

As with other components of your water heater, you will need to be mindful of warning signs and identify any issues as they arise. A leaking, corroded, or broken dip tube is one of the most common indicators that your water heater needs repair or replacement. You may also notice a dramatic decrease in the water temperature at your home’s water delivery points, which is caused by the inability of your water heater to effectively heat and distribute water.

If you notice any of these warning signs, contact a licensed plumber or water heater technician to conduct an inspection and provide recommendations for repair. By regularly monitoring your water heater, you can proactively prevent dip tube issues from developing and avoid costly repairs in the future. In addition to a routine inspection, consider scheduling annual maintenance appointments to address any underlying problems and ensure optimal performance.

Pressure Valve

The pressure valve (PRV) is a safety device that protects the water heater by releasing excess water pressure when it reaches unsafe levels. A PRV typically consists of a spring loaded “poppet” valve element with an elastomeric or in high-pressure designs a thermoplastic seal configured to make a seal on a valve seat. The valve remains closed until the upstream pressure reaches the set pressure level. At that point the valve “cracks open” to allow fluid flow through the outlet port until the upstream pressure is a few psi below the set pressure and then the valve closes again.

Water pressure in homes can increase as the water supply system becomes older and appliances operate at full capacity. This high water pressure can cause problems such as leaking hot water tanks, banging pipes, dripping faucets, and shortened equipment life expectancy in home plumbing systems. Keeping the water pressure in a home at 50 pounds per square inch (psi) may reduce the likelihood of these problems.

A professional plumber understands the intricacies of a hot water heater tank and can quickly identify issues that might not be evident to someone without experience. This allows them to provide accurate diagnosis and repair, avoiding further damage and potential health risks for their customers. Additionally, a professional plumber will typically offer a service guarantee for their work, which provides peace of mind in knowing that the issue will be fixed correctly.

To perform a water heater repair, the plumber must first shut off the power and water supply to the tank. This can be done by flipping the circuit breaker that controls the water heater’s power or closing the switch that controls the water supply line attached to it. The plumber must also drain the water heater by attaching a garden hose to the drain valve and redirecting it to a drainage area outside of the house.

Once the water heater has been drained, the plumbing professional can proceed with the heating element replacement or other repairs as needed. Once the new heating element has been installed, the technician will reconnect the electrical wiring and turn on the water supply to test for any leaks around the heating element. Then, the power can be turned back on by turning the circuit breaker back on.