If your shower is unusually cold, you are noticing odd sediment in the water or hearing strange noises while your shower is running, water heater issues could be to blame. Since water heaters use both water and electricity, you may be wondering whether it is better to call a plumber or an electrician when water heater issues strike.
Who Is The Best Person To Call For Water Heater Repair?
In most cases, any plumber who is licensed by your state’s plumbing board will be able to handle water heater issues. Therefore, they should be your first call when you suspect water heater problems. Plumbers are specifically trained in handling all aspects of a water heater, including its electrical wiring, heating elements, gas lines, piping and anode rods.
In rare cases, such as when your water heater problems are related to a larger problem with the electrical system in your home, an electrician may be more appropriate. This may be the case when, for example, an overheating water heater blows your fuse box, repeatedly trips the circuit breaker, or there is loose wiring inside the system.
When Should You Call A Plumber For Water Heater Repair?
Here is a look at some of the signs indicating it is time to call a plumber for water heater repair.
You’ve Run Out Of Hot Water
If you suddenly find yourself without hot water, it may be time to call a plumber. First, you should check to see if the water heater’s pilot light has gone out. If so, lighting it may be enough to solve the problem. It is also important to check that the circuit breaker has not tripped or been turned off.
If the pilot light and circuit breaker do not appear to be the issue, the problem could be the thermocouple. This is responsible for electronically detecting whether the pilot light is lit before it will allow gas to flow into the burner.
When the thermocouple does not sense sufficient heat from the pilot light, it automatically turns off the flow of gas to the furnace, which results in a lack of heated water. A plumber can diagnose and solve these problems. In the meantime, you should turn off the gas to your home.
The Water Heater Is Making Noise
If your water heater has been making strange sounds that you did not hear before, such as banging, cracking or loud popping, it could indicate a buildup of minerals on the heating element. These sounds are occasionally accompanied by a smell that comes from the heating element burning this sediment.
In this case, a plumber will need to flush the water tank. The noise could also be a sign that the heating element is starting to burn out, which may mean it is time to replace either the element or the tank itself.
You Cannot Get Enough Hot Water
If the water in your home is heating up slightly but you are unable to get a sufficient supply of hot water, it may be a sign that the tank’s heating element is burning out. When this happens, it is a good idea to check the thermostat first and ensure it is set somewhere between 120 and 140 degrees before calling a plumber.
There Is Rust Or Corrosion Around The Top Or Bottom Of Your Water Heater
Rust or corrosion around the bottom of the hot water tank could indicate the metallic lining inside the tank is corroded, which requires replacement. If rust or corrosion is seen along the top of the water heater, particularly in small spots of concentrated rust, water could be dripping on the top of the tank due to a broken pipe or a leaky pipe connection.
How Can You Tell If You Need A New Water Heater?
In many cases, it may be possible to simply repair your water heater and continue to get more years of use out of it. However, a plumber will be able to tell you if repair or replacement is more appropriate. Here are some of the signs that you may need to replace your water heater rather than repair it.
- The system is more than 10 years old
- Rusty water is coming out of the taps in your home
- Your water heater needs frequent repairs
- You hear banging or rumbling sounds when the water in your home heats up
- Water is leaking from the base of your water heater tank
- The base of the water heater tank is rusty
Reach Out To The Northern Virginia Master Plumbers
At Baumbach Plumbing & Remodeling LLC, we offer affordable and professional water heater repair and replacement services. Get in touch today, and our friendly experts will inspect your water heater to diagnose the problem and explain the repair options available.