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Home Care Tips
Water Heater Repairs
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Water Heater Problems & Repairs

Water heater problems normally become self-evident: A hot water faucet fails to summon hot water, you see dripping or puddles near the water heater, or the tank emits strange gurgling or popping sounds.

Though many gas utility companies will make a free house call to solve problems with a gas water heaterís burner or the gas supply to the tank, it helps to know how to solve basic outages yourself. For more difficult issues, contact a qualified local hot water heater repair person.

Typical water heater problems include a leaking tank, not enough hot water, water that is too hot, water that is not hot enough, strange noises in the tank, and discolored water. Most water heater problems are easier to diagnose and relatively easy to handle if you understand how they work. For more about this, see How a Storage Water Heater Works.

Note: Leaking natural gas can be dangerous. If you smell natural gas (it smells a bit like garlic) near the water heater, shut off the pilot light, close the gas shutoff valve, and call a plumber or your gas utility company for assistance.

How to Flush & Drain a Water Heater

Before draining and flushing your water heater, turn off the gas or electric power (depending on whether it is a gas or electric water heater) and let the water cool a little. Close the incoming water valve and attach a hose to the drain valve to run the water into a large bucket or to a drain or the outdoors.

Open the drain valve and open one hot water faucet somewhere in the house to let in air. When all water has drained from the water heater, turn the cold water valve on and off until the water from the drain runs clear. Then close the drain valve and the hot water faucet, open the cold water valve, and turn the water back on.