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Your water heater provides the hot water you need for everyday tasks from bathing to dishwashing. If something goes wrong with your water heater, you’ll soon discover living without hot water can be a real misery. It’s a good idea to be familiar with some of the common problems you can run into with your water heater to avoid not having hot water when you need it. Some water heater issues can also lead to flooding or dangerous gas leaks. Here are four things to know about your water heater. 

1. Water Heater Pilot Light 

Water heaters have a pilot light that indicates the system is working. When the pilot light goes out, your water can’t heat up. In most cases, the pilot light will go out due to a change in gas pressure. However, if you find your pilot light outages are frequent, you could have a more serious issue.  

Repeated outages are often caused by thermocouple issues such as damage or even dirt. The thermocouple is found in newer water heaters and acts as a flame sensor. When it isn’t working, it can lead to constant pilot light outages. You want your pilot light and water heater checked as soon as possible because gas heater damage could lead to leaks. 

2. Switch/Reset Button 

Water heaters have an emergency cut-off switch or reset button that acts as a safety device. When your water temperature rises above 180 degrees Fahrenheit, the switch automatically turns the system off. Also known as an ECO or high limit safety thermostat switch, if you find your water heater is constantly turning off, your switch might be tripping. This is a sign the heater is malfunctioning. The tripping can be caused by a number of issues including: 

  • Broken thermostats: If the thermostats for your water heater are broken, they can misread water temperatures and constantly activate the switch. This can be dangerous if the reverse happens, and the thermostats fail to read rising temperatures which can lead to scalds. 
  • Loose connections: Loose connections can cause heat levels to rise and even lead to fires. A loose electrical connection can trip the reset button even if the water isn’t hot. 
  • Faulty heating elements: The heating elements maintain water temperature. If they aren’t working properly, they can increase temperatures and lead to trips. 
  • Malfunctioning switch: It could also just be the switch itself is malfunctioning. Over time, wear and tear can lead to performance issues including continuous tripping. 

A water heater repair expert can diagnose the issue, and make sure everything that isn’t working is repaired. If you’re looking for the help of a water heater professional, give our team at RB Heating ClimateCare a call today. 

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3. Water Heater Gas Valve Leaking 

Gas water heaters can experience dangerous gas leaks that can be hard to detect right away. However, as the leak worsens you will begin to notice the smell of rotten eggs, especially near the water heater. Gas leaks can happen for many reasons including leaks around the drain or gas valve. If your water heater allows the temperatures to rise too high this can create pressure that can lead to gas leaks. Older or damaged water heaters could have cracks in the storage tank or there could be loose fixtures. All of these issues could lead to dangerous gas leaks. 

4. Setting Temperature On Water Heater 

Your water heater should never be set below 120 degrees Fahrenheit as this can lead to bacteria growth or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit as this can lead to scalds. Set the temperature in small increments to find the ideal setting for you. 

Do you have any questions about your water heater and are looking for the help of a professional? Let our team at RB Heating ClimateCare help inform you. Give us a call today.

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