What to Do When Your Water Heater Stops Working
Our water heaters constantly work to provide us with basic living needs, like hot water for bathing, cooking, and washing. We forget how essential they are in our everyday lives – until they stop working!
Regular maintenance is just as important for water heaters as it is for air conditioning and heating systems. Flushing sediment out of conventional water heaters and performing a combustion analysis on tankless heaters will help keep your water heater from working overtime – which can cause loss of water pressure, pipes to burst, or the tank to shut down and break.
So, what do you do if you come home from a long day and find that your water heater is leaking – and you need it fixed quickly?
Immediate Things to Do If Your Water Heater Breaks
If you’re in the Bryan/College Station area, the smartest thing you can do is call us at 979-431-4949!
While we’re en route, here are some things you can do to help:
1. Turn Off the Power
First and foremost, turn off the gas or electricity. Your circuit breaker should have a switch that turns off the electricity to the unit. For gas, there should be a dial you can twist just above the thermostat.
The gas or electric heating element can be hazardous if it continues to run. Not only does this waste energy – but it can also start a fire. The heating element usually shuts itself off once the water reaches a certain temperature, but if a faulty thermostat causes your tank to burst, it probably won’t shut itself off.
2. Stop the Water
Next, turn off the water supply to the unit. Turn the water valve clockwise until the water stops. If that doesn’t work, locate the water supply pipe that leads from the main water line into the top of the water heater. Twist the valve clockwise until it can’t turn anymore. This will stop the flow of water spilling out from the burst seams.
3. Take Photos
While you wait for our licensed 24/7 plumber to arrive, take photos of any items that are damaged – as well as floors, walls, and other fixtures that are covered or soaked with water. These photos will help your homeowner’s insurance company determine the cost to replace or repair the items.
You can also begin the cleanup process and remove any salvageable items from the water-damaged area. If you have a large leak, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any standing water.
What should you do if you notice your water heater making funny noises or the water doesn’t heat up like it should? Give us a call and check the following:
Check the Pilot Light
If you have a gas water heater, the most common reason for losing hot water is that your pilot light went out and needs to be relit. The pilot light is a small flame that ignites the gas burner that heats your water tank. If it goes out, it needs to be relit before you can get hot water again. You should be able to find instructions on the tank for relighting the pilot light.
Check the Circuit Breaker
Even though electric units don’t need a pilot light to operate, they can still malfunction. Check for this by opening your circuit breaker panel to see if the water heater switch has tripped. If it has, simply flip the switch ‘off’ and then back ‘on’ again.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, you may have a more serious issue that requires a professional plumber – so give us a call!
Malek Plumbing Services Throughout Central Texas
Malek has proudly met the needs of residential and commercial customers throughout Bryan, College Station, and the surrounding Central Texas area for over 30 years. Our certified plumbers can help with all your plumbing needs – including tankless and conventional water heaters.
Keep in mind that the best way to avoid the need for costly and inconvenient repairs is by scheduling yearly maintenance with one our professionals. Our Total Protection Plan is a cost-effective way for you to maintain your biggest home components year-round – including your water heater.
July 22, 2021