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Top 5 Water Heater Troubleshooting Tips

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Water heater installation can be a tricky job. If you just got a new water heater that isn't working, don't despair. There are a few tricks you can try before calling the plumber. Here are five ways to troubleshoot your new water heater:

1. Check for power

Your water heater needs a constant supply of electricity to work. Here is a step-by-step checklist to get power to your water heater:

  • Reset the circuit breaker by flipping the switch for the water heater off and back on.
  • Replace the fuse for your water heater.
  • Check the water heater's power button to make sure it's on. This is a very simple fix that's easy to overlook.

2. Check connections

If water is flowing, but you're not getting hot water, you need to check the connections. During installation, the hot and cold connections may have gotten mixed up. To check this, turn off the water supply to your heater. Turn on a hot water faucet. If water comes out, your connections are crossed. You will need to call a plumber to reconnect the lines.

3. Drain your heater

Air bubbles can get trapped in the tank and lines of the water heater during installation. To get rid of the air, you must drain the heater. Here is a guide on how to do this:

  • Turn off the power to your heater
  • Turn off the water supply
  • Attach a hose to the drain valve on the bottom and feed it to a bucket or tub
  • Open the drain valve and the pressure relief valve
  • Let the tank drain
  • Turn on the water supply for a few minutes to push remaining air out
  • Close the drain and pressure relief valves
  • Let your tank fill all the way back up before turning on the power. If you don't, you may burn out a heating element
  • Turn the power back on once the tank is full

4. Check the thermostat

If you notice the water is too hot, you run out of hot water quickly, or there is water dripping, check the thermostat. Your thermostat's temperature needs to be set just right or it can create a number of problems. The ideal temperature is 120 degrees. 120 degrees not only reduces the risk of scalding, but increases the life of your water heater.

5. Check the pilot light

If you had a new gas water heater installed, the pilot light may have gone out. Here's how to relight the pilot light:

  • Turn the gas valve to the heater off
  • After a few minutes locate the cover for the pilot burner. This is usually underneath the heater
  • Turn the gas valve to pilot mode
  • Push the red button to ignite the pilot
  • Hold down the valve while still on pilot mode and slowly ease off
  • If the pilot light stays lit, switch the valve to on
  • Shut the cover

These are five ways to get your new water heater working perfectly again. If these tips don't work, call a service such as Tidewater Plumbing & Heating.