Do-it-yourself water heater repair can be an effective way to save money, especially if you know how the main unit works and have some basic plumbing knowledge. There are many things that could cause a water heater problem which is why it’s important to do your research before getting started on DIY repairs.
Why Water Heaters Need To Be Repaired
Water heater repair is a typical occurrence. After all, water heaters are just like any other machine that has to be serviced on a regular basis. Your water heater thermostat, for example, may be malfunctioning if you’re running out of hot water. The good news is that most issues can be fixed with a simple DIY project, saving both time and money.
Signs a water heater needs to be repaired include:
- Water leakage
- Water rusting around the tank.
- Water is taking too long to heat up.
- Water is not reaching the desired temperature.
- Strange noises are coming from the water heater.
If you experience any of these issues, it’s best to call a water heater repair technician as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may be able to do a DIY repair. However, if you need to replace any part of your heater, always use care. Working with water heaters and electrical lines can be very dangerous.
When Should Your Thermostat Be Replaced?
There are two thermostats on most hot water heaters. They may be found at the top and bottom of the tank. Consult your instruction manual (if you have it). If you don’t have one, you should be able to get one through the manufacturer’s website. Simply type your brand, model, and “owners manual” at the end of your search.
If your water heater isn’t operating correctly, the thermostat is most likely to blame. Fortunately, fixing a water heater thermostat is a simple task that most homeowners can do. While it is uncommon that both thermostats would break at the same time, it is possible and suggested that you replace both if one begins to fail.
The complete water heater will cease generating hot water if the top thermostat starts to malfunction. If the bottom thermostat fails, though, you’ll find that the water is just tepid or boiling before soon running out since only the top section of the tank is heated.
How to Replace a Water Heater Thermostat
You’ll need to check the thermostats first. A multimeter or a voltage/ohmmeter will be required. These will reveal whether or not your thermostat is genuinely malfunctioning.
You’ll have to purchase a new water heater thermostat if yours is damaged and you want to change it yourself. While some thermostats are interchangeable, you should take your damaged one to the hardware shop to ensure you acquire one that is compatible. They are, on the whole, moderately priced.
The good news is that replacing a water heater thermostat is simple and quick. Follow these procedures to get your water heater up and running again.
1. Turn Off The Power
The electricity to your water heater should be located in your breaker box. It should be turned off. If you can’t figure out which switch controls your water heater’s power, just turn on the main. It is always preferable to be safe than sorry. This is a critical stage.
2. Get The Tank Open
Don’t be scared by the tank’s opening; it’s really rather simple. Remove the metal cover on the exterior of your tank using a screwdriver. Some insulation should be visible. Remove the plastic cover that covers the thermostat after unwrapping it.
3. Take The Thermostat Out
A spring bracket holds the thermostat in place. It should be obvious how to get rid of it. It varies per model, but you’re unlikely to need any extra equipment. The majority of water heater thermostats have simple wiring, however, you may wish to use colored tapes or labels to verify that your thermostat is correctly wired. It’s simple to fix a hot water heater; just remember to pay attention as you go. Take a photo of the wiring before you remove the thermostat if you aren’t familiar with it.
Installation Of The Thermostat
This is also a simple task. The majority of hot water heater repairs are done in this manner. Reinstall the thermostat on the tank’s bracket. Rewire the system. Make sure the thermostat is set to the temperature you desire (about 120 °F in Sacramento), then start with step 2 and work your way backward. The water tank’s lid, insulation, and metal coverings should all be replaced.
When Should You Contact a Plumber For Water Heater Repair?
Don’t worry if you’re too busy to replace your water heater yourself or if DIY plumbing isn’t your thing. You can still have hot water by contacting specialists to come out and quickly repair your water heater.
An expert plumber can make sure your thermostat is working properly. So, if you need quick water repair, don’t hesitate to call one.
This “water heater installation guide” is a DIY step-by-step tutorial that will teach you how to install a water heater.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you fix a water heater yourself?
A: It is not recommended. You may cause serious water damage if you try to fix it yourself. It is best to get a professional plumber who can assess the problem and repair it without causing more problems than they solve.
What are the steps to replacing a water heater?
A: You will need to turn off the power and gas, then call a plumber.
How do you rebuild a water heater?
A: To begin, you need a water heater that is in need of repair. You also are going to require some tools such as pliers, an adjustable wrench, and if possible a pipe cutter. Once the necessary items have been gathered, then you will be ready to start working.
A struggling water heater may not be your only problem, but there may also be an issue with the main water line. For more, read our post Do Main Water Lines Need To Be Replaced?
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