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Gas Water Heater Troubleshooting Guide

Symptom

Check

Click on underlined items for further information

No hot water

  • Pilot light out
  • Gas supply shut off
  • Gas valve needs replacement

Not enough hot water

  • Thermostat set too low, increase temperature. Caution: Too hot can lead to scalding and burns
  • Sediment or lime in tank, drain sediment
  • Water heater too small, replace with larger capacity model
  • Dip tube may be damaged
  • Cold water supply may be connected to the wrong side of the water heater
  • Low gas pressure, check with utility company

Takes too long to reheat water

  • Thermostat set too low, increase temperature. Caution: Too hot can lead to scalding and burns
  • Sediment or lime in tank, drain sediment
  • Heater too small, replace with larger capacity model

Pressure relief valve is leaking

  • Water temperature too high, turn down thermostat
  • Water pressure too high, use a pressure reducing valve in supply line
  • Valve has failed, requires replacement

Drain valve is leaking

  • Many water heaters use a low quality valve which can be difficult to close tightly. Use slip joint pliers to turn the valve all the way closed. Caution: Too much force may snap the valve off
  • Valve has failed, requires replacement

Condensation on tank

  • Cold water entering the tank can result in external condensation. Ventilation may be inadequate
  • Eventual replacement with a larger tank may help

Tank is leaking

  • Determine if the leak is from pipes or valves
  • Determine if it is the result of condensation
  • If the tank is leaking, the water heater must be replaced

Hot water heater is noisy

  • Noise can occur for many reasons and most do not signify a problem
  • Lime scale on the element results in steam pockets in the scale
  • Sediment in the tank
  • Low water pressure results in spot boiling
  • Sizzling may result from condensation dripping on the burner. Check for adequate ventilation

Hot water has an odor

  • The an alternative anode may be available to resolve the problem. Contact the manufacturer

Pilot light will not stay lit

  • Check that the thermocouple is securely screwed into the thermostat assembly
  • Check that the thermocouple is properly secured near the pilot light flame
  • Thermocouple may have failed and requires replacement
  • Condensation may be extinguishing the pilot light
  • Make sure gas line is turned on
  • Gas pressure may be low, check with the utility company
  • There may be air or dirt in the gas line
  • Pilot line or orifice may be clogged
  • Are other gas appliance working, if not, check with the utility company
  • Thermostat may have failed and requires replacement
  • Inadequate combustion air may cause a water heater to shut down for safety reasons



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