A hot water heater is a major appliance in your home that is a necessity unless you like cold water for showers, laundry, and dishes. The hot water heater provides as its name would suggest—hot water. Without it, you're left in the cold (water). If your hot water heater suddenly stops working, there are many things that could be wrong. Read on for tips to help you get your water heater working again.
1. Make Sure the Gas Is On
The gas connected to the hot water heater needs to be turned on for the water heater to work. If the gas was turned off for some reason, it isn't going to give you a flame to heat your water properly. Without the gas, there's no hot water. Be sure your gas valve is turned on and that there isn't a gas leak anywhere. You can use bubbles on the gas pipe to check for bubbling, which would indicate a leak. If there's a leak, turn the gas off immediately and have the pipe repaired or replaced by a professional.
2. Empty the Tank and the Sediment
Over time, the buildup in your water can settle at the bottom of the hot water heater. This sediment will eventually buildup so much that it blocks the heater core at the bottom of the tank. When this heater core becomes blocked, it isn't going to be able to heat your water. The sediment needs to be removed from the bottom of the tank, which can be a process.
Start by turning the water off and the gas off as well. You need to empty the tank using a garden hose attached to the drain, which is located near the bottom of the tank. Then begin to empty the tank, making sure the drain the water somewhere safe, as the water coming out is going to most likely be very hot. Once the tank is empty, you can begin sucking out the sediment using a shop vacuum and extension hose. Use the suction on the vacuum to suck out the sediment buildup. Once everything is removed, replace the drain plug and refill the water in the tank by turning the cold water back on. Check that the water is coming out hot, but this is going to take some time. Give it at least a few hours for the water in the tank to heat up properly.
If your hot water heater isn't running properly, you're going to be left out in the cold (water). Call an appliance repair company like A OK Appliance Service for help with this type of repair, or with any appliance repair you need.