Is your water heater on the fritz? Trying to fix it yourself can lead to injuries. You may want to consider calling in an expert for water heater repair. A water heater is what makes your shower pleasant, refreshing, and warm.

Many people use a hot shower in the morning to help them wake up, or think about a problem that is plaguing them. Without a water heater to make the water warm, you’d have to put up with a freezing shower anytime you need to be clean.

The Need for a Water Heater Repair Expert

Plumber uses two wrenches to tighten a fitting as a Water Heater Repair Expert

Image: CC0 1.0 Public Domain, Tomwsulcer, via Wikipedia Commons

You notice when your water stops heating up. Showers go from pleasant to absolutely awful. On the flip side, sometimes your water can become so hot that it burns your skin.

When this happens, you’ll need to call for water heater repair. You might be tempted to try and fix it on your own, but there are some problems that can happen during repair that you aren’t equipped to handle.

Water heaters are complicated, and even if you know the principle of how they work, it won’t equip you to fix the problem. Here’s a brief overview of how they work.

How Water Heaters Work

Solar Water Heater Diagram on a 3-Storey House

Image: CC by A-SA 3.0, Hvatum, via Wikipedia Commons

Most homeowners a tank style water heater. Whether it is powered by electricity or natural gas, these tanks heat water and store it for use later on. Water supply pipes on the top bring cold water to the bottom of the tank. Delivery pipes take hot water from the top and distribute it where it’s needed.

The temperature and pressure relief valve is a safety measure to prevent water from heating or pressurizing beyond a certain limit. This valve runs down the side of the tank and stops 6 inches away from the floor. Keeping a bucket under this valve is a great way to tell if something is wrong. If the valve opens and just empties into a drain, you would never know that the water had reached an unsafe level.

Because most tanks are made of steel,  rust and corrosion are one of the most common reason tanks fail. There are other mechanisms to prevent rusting, but once these fail, the tank is usually done for. Once the heater has corroded enough to cause a hole, the tank needs to be outright replaced.

The Mechanisms

Most tank water heaters are either electric or fuel-fired. There are two immersion heating elements controlled by thermostats or a control module. Either of these elements will heat water inside the tank to the chosen temperature. Different models usually provide choices in construction material, voltage, insulating foam, and storage capacity.

The control circuit contains two heating elements, a manual reset switch, an upper and lower thermostat, and wires. When the unit receives power, the upper element begins to heat water in the upper part of the thank. Once that section is heated to the desired temperature, the lower heating element turns on and continues until the entire tank is the correct temperature.

The Essence of Your Water Heater Repair

 Plumber soldering pipe above new water heater

Image: CC by A-SA 4.0, PlumbMaster, via Wikipedia Commons

Even knowing how water heaters work won’t suddenly give you the skills necessary to fix them. With all of those moving parts, there are a lot of things that can suddenly go wrong. Since everything is contained in that one tank, it’s nearly impossible to know exactly what part is malfunctioning just by looking at it.

Repair professionals have specific training to know how to identify the problem and the correct solution. Here’s why you need one to help you.

Experts Have the Knowledge to Diagnosis Problems

How often do you think about your water heater? Most people don’t even give a second thought to their water heater until something bad happens. And at that point, it’s too late to start learning about how water heaters work.

If you are like most homeowners out there, the chances are that you can tell when your water heater is not working and that’s about it. You might not always even be able to tell when it isn’t working correctly.

Half of a water heater repair professional’s job is identifying what the problem is. If they can’t tell what’s going on, they won’t know what to do to fix it. A broken heating element has a different fix than if your tank isn’t receiving water. Trying to apply a solution to an entirely different problem will only make the issue at hand worse.

The Working Plan

Man Repairing a New heat pump water heater

Image: Public Domain U.S. ENERGY.GOV, via Wikipedia Commons

What the majority of job training technicians go through is being able to identify what’s wrong with your water heater. This helps them know what tools and solutions they need to implement to get it working again.

There’s a story that’s famous in appliance repair that demonstrates this principle. According to the New York Times, the story goes, “A guy comes in to fix something, and he hits it with a hammer, and says, ‘That’ll be $250.’ The customer says, ‘What for? You just hit with a hammer.’ The guy says, ‘That’s $50 for hitting it with a hammer and $200 for knowing where to hit it.’ ”

The specific knowledge these technicians have is the biggest reason why you need them when something goes wrong. That information will guide them to the best solution in no time.

Professionals Have Hundreds of Hours of Experience and Specialized Tools

Before you can know how to fix a water heater, you need experience working on countless different models. Each job is a way for technicians to develop their skills and learn new techniques that can improve the performance of the appliance.

These repair professionals are also required to undergo industry training before they can start working on appliances. Appliance repair courses provide them with the training necessary to learn how to identify issues, as well as come up with the best possible solutions for them.

With water heaters specifically, sometimes the fix means taking the device apart. Repair specialists are trained in how to take apart and put back together each appliance they are working on. It’s a difficult task that requires a lot of precision and training.

The Resources

Solar water heater plumbing resources

Image: CC by A-SA 2.0, Josh Larios, via Flickr

If for whatever reason they can’t fix it themselves, these repairmen have some resources available to them that they can rely on in extreme situations. They can contact other professionals and get advice on what to do.

Along with this training, technicians also have been taught some safety procedures they’ll need to implement on the job. Some methods are implemented for all jobs, while others are only put in place after they know what kind of fix to apply. Knowing how to stay safe while fixing your water heater is just as important as knowing how to fix it.

They should know how to shut off the water and other utilities attached to the water heater. If not, they risk flooding your home and causing further damage to your home.

Trying to Do It Yourself Causes More Problems Than It Solves

The do-it-yourself community comprises large learning. Surely, if you fix something on your own saves you money in the process. However, when it comes to water heaters, this turns out incredibly dangerous.

You probably think that after watching a few YouTube videos makes you a reliable repairman. The biggest problem with YouTube videos seems to be that they appear not very specific. What you are watching seem not to be the exact model of your issue. Certainly, the problems appear not be fixed once this happens.

Various symptoms come from some faulty parts. You need to watch dozens of videos for the right knowledge in fixing your problem.

Over-all Water Heater Repair Solution

Dad watching his two kids playing after the Water Heater Repair

Image: CC 0 by Public Domain, globalenergysystems, via Pixabay

Most notably, there exist some elements involved in your water heater that are dangerous. These need to be taken care of by the professionals. Water heated up to well past boiling in these heaters if the safety settings get exceeded. Trying to work on it yourself ends in you receiving severe burns, and not getting your heater fixed.

Working on your water heater without knowing what you’re doing costs more money than it saves you. Trying to implement a solution without the right knowledge, runs the risk of causing more damage to your appliance. Start seeking repairs to needing an entire replacement. A new water heater comes far costlier than a small fix. If you notice your water heater acting up, don’t just try to coax it along. It gets tempting to do this to save costs.

However, you surely incur more costs by pushing it along than by fixing it as soon as it displays issues. This leads you to get a new water heater. This also causes an accident that damages or even destroys your home. Working with a professional water heater service company ensures your family’s protection. Likewise, this helps you get back to warm water quickly.

 

Featured Image: CC by A-SA 2.0, Roger Mommaerts, via Flickr