Troubleshooting Water Heater Failures

My water heater isn’t heating.

  1. Check that the pilot light is lit. If it’s not, then relight it. Then call your local Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs plumber at Advocate Master Plumbing. We’ll diagnose the reason for the pilot failure and inspect the rest of the gas water heater components.
  2. Check that the gas valve on the water heater is set to “ON” and not “PILOT”.
  3. Check that the temperature on the water heater gas valve is set to the correct temperature.
  4. Check that the gas hasn’t been turned off to your water heater or your whole house.

My water heater is leaking water.

  1. If it’s leaking from the drain pipe running down the side of your water heater, call a plumber. The temperature and pressure relief valve is doing its job and avoiding a dangerous excessive water pressure issue in your home. We’ll diagnose the problem and give you the correct options.
  2. If it’s leaking from the water heater water shut off, remove the handle to the water shut off and tighten the packing nut slightly. Then put the handle back on. This is a common problem that is easily fixed.
  3. Check the insulation on the inside of the water heater around the burner assembly. If it’s dry, you have a water source that needs to be diagnosed by a professional plumber. If it’s wet, you need a new water heater.

My water (or water heater) looks rusty or smells odd.

  1. Rusty water is symptomatic of a cracked inner lining in your water heater or a depleted sacrificial anode rod. Both of these possibilities call for a professional plumber’s diagnosis.
  2. A rotten egg odor around your gas water heater may mean a gas leak. This is a dangerous situation that must be taken care of immediately. Call a plumber.
  3. A gas odor when your gas water heater first ignites is probably a dirty burner assembly caused by an undersized water heater or an old water heater that’s ready to be replaced.
  4. A mild odor of ignited gas coupled with mild nausea from anyone spending time around your gas water heater is possibly a carbon monoxide leak in the flue exhaust. This is very dangerous. Open windows and doors to introduce fresh air into your home. Then call a plumber.
  5. A foul smell from the hot water leaving your faucets can be indicative of an iron bacterial infection of the hot water heater and whole hot water piping system. This is rare, but does happen on occasion. A slight rusty discoloration will sometimes accompany the odor. A professional plumber will need to chemically shock the entire system to fix this problem.

We hope these hints and tips have been helpful. Give us a call if you need professional plumbing services!