On-demand hot water in the comfort of your own home is a hallmark of modern living. But sometimes, our water heaters begin to act up. They start making awful sounds; hisses, bangs, and rumbles. If your heater is making these noises, it can be difficult to know what to do. You don’t want to damage your water heater trying to fix it, but you also can’t take the risk of keeping it going. You might think to start searching for “plumbers near me” on the internet, but there are steps you can take before calling a plumber.
In this article, we’ll go over the steps you should take when your water heater breaks and what you should do if you can’t fix it yourself.
- Turn Off the Water Heater
Your first step should be to turn off the water heater, especially if it is making a loud banging or rumbling noise. This is a sign that your water heater is about to break, and if you don’t turn it off it might cause irreparable damage.
You should also turn off the water heater because you want to avoid any danger of electrocution. The problem may be more advanced than it looks, and keeping the heater on while you work on it could cause an electric shock if the components are compromised.
It will also prevent the water heater from continuing to operate while you fix it. This is important because if there is only a little water in the heater and it continues to heat, it could cause a pressure build-up that could be dangerous.
First, determine what kind of water heater you have: gas or electric. If you have a gas heater, fin the thermostat on your tank and look for an on/off switch located at the top. Turn the switch to the off position.
If you have an electric water heater, go to your fuse box and switch the circuit breaker that powers your machine to the off position.
- Turn Off the Water Supply
The next step will be to turn off the water supply. This will prevent any new water entering the tank while you work on it. This is important because part of fixing the tank will be draining it, and letting more water into the tank will make more work for yourself.
Start by locating the water line that leads to the water heater. This pipe will look much like the other water pipes in your home and will lead directly to the tank. Find the water shutoff valve that is located on the water pipe. If you can’t find the water shutoff valve on the water pipe, it may be located on the water heater itself.
Once you find the water shutoff valve, turn it clockwise to shut off the water. If the valve will not move, or shutting it doesn’t turn off the water, locate the main water shutoff valve for your home and turn it off there.
- Drain the Water Heater
Your next step should be to drain the water heater of any water in the tank. To do this, you’ll need a hose that is long enough to reach an outside area or a drain. It will also need to fit the drain valve on your water heater to avoid spilling and flooding.
Next, locate the drain valve on your water heater. This will be located near the bottom of the water heater and will look like a spout. Connect the hose to the drain valve, and take the other end of the hose to an outside area or a basement drain.
Next, turn the valve above the spout to start draining the tank. You may need a screwdriver to open this valve, as some drain valves have screws that control the flow of water. Make sure to avoid detaching the hose while the tank is draining, because the water is very hot and may flood your home.
- Open the Pressure Relief Valve
Next, you’ll need to open the pressure relief valve. You can locate the pressure relief valve on this side of your water heater, usually near the top of the tank. This is easily identifiable by the lever that sits on top of the valve. You’ll need a bucket of some sort of container to catch the hot water that comes out of the valve.
Once you’ve located the pressure relief valve, you should hold your container underneath it. Lift the valve up gently and allow the pressure to be released. The water will be very hot, so be careful not to get burned.
- Rinse the Water Tank With Cold Water
Finally, you should turn on the water to the tank and let the cold water rinse the inside. This will allow you to rinse out much of the sediment that may be causing your machine to break down.
Start by turning the water supply valve counter-clockwise to return the flow of water to the tank. This should free up any remaining sediment, which will be flushed out of the drain valve. Once you’re done rinsing the tank, close the drain valve and remove the hose.
What To Do If Your Water Heater Is Still Broken
If your water heater is still broken after draining it, you’ll probably need to start searching for a “plumber near me”. The professionals at Genesis Plumbing Services will be able to diagnose your problem and fix whatever issues you’re having.
Genesis Plumbing has faithfully provided plumbing services in your area. Our team of licensed and highly trained plumbing professionals is fast, efficient, and can handle just about any job. Give us a call at 772-337-3682 today!