When Hot Water Systems Fail


There are many things that may wear out or stop the proper working of your water heater, which can result in what will seem like there’s no hot water working at home. What you should do and what to look out for is explained below.

For Those of You with Electric Water Heaters

An electric hot water system will not operate for only a limited number of reasons. You can start checking out the problem by inspecting these areas:

  • Grounded Element – A broken heating element can ground out. Water heater element replacement is necessary.
  • Grounded Thermostat – An ineffective thermostat may short to ground. Component replacement.
  • Accidental Grounding – Look for objects shorting across wiring connections.
  • Tripping of Reset Button – If this happens regularly, it may be the sign of a dodgy reset button. Replace the component.
  • Wire Short – Frayed or damaged wiring may lead to a direct short. Very important! Quickly replace all faulty wiring straightaway, to prevent any potential fires.
  • Water Leakage – Leaking elements can mat be tightened, but should really be replaced if that does not work. A leaking tank means the water heater must be replaced.
  • Undersized Fuse or Breaker – Replacement for one rated for a higher amperage.
  • Weak Breaker – Circuit breakers do fail over time – Replacement.

No Hot Water – Gas Water Heaters

Gas units have differing problems than electric ones, and it’s in your best interests in both cases to contact a professional plumber in Southampton to check any system over, and give you expert advice on what to do.

If there is no hot water at home, look at:

  • No Gas – Make certain that the gas is on and the gas valve is in the open position.
  • Pilot Light – If the pilot light is not lit but you do have a gas flow, check these components:
  1. Thermocouple – If the tip of the thermocouple is working properly, it should be in the flame of the pilot light and tightly connected to the gas line.
  2. Air in Line – Inspect the gas flow and try relighting the pilot light a couple of times to force air out of the line.
  3. Clogged Up Pilot Orifice – Remove and clean to boost the water heater operation.
  4. Clogged, Crooked or Defective Supply Line – Replace defective lines immediately.
  5. Damaged Gas Control Valve – This stops gas from reaching the pilot or burner, and cannot be repaired, but are cheap enough to replace.
  6. Soiled or Clogged Burner – Soot has built up on the main burner. Remove it and clean.
  7. Ventilation – The flue may be blocked by outside events like a storm or rodents. Cleaning the flue is easy, but may be somewhat messy. A strong wind can blow out the flue, and extinguish the pilot.

Looks like quite a number of things can go wrong there. But it is essential to have an available flow of hot water throughout the year, so make sure that you don’t go without!

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