Essential Guide to Water Heater Maintenance and Repair

Water heaters can be expensive, so it’s important to make repairs promptly when you notice problems. This will prevent wasting energy or risking injury from scalding hot water.

Water Heater

For example, clinking noises from your tank could mean sediment has built up and needs to be removed. This can be done by opening the temperature pressure relief valve at the top and draining the water and sediment. For professional help, call Denver Water Heater Repair.

The thermostat is an important part of your water heater that impacts the temperature of your hot water. Problems with the thermostat can cause your hot water to heat more slowly than usual or even stop working altogether. The thermostat can be fixed fairly easily, though it is always best to have a professional take care of high voltage equipment like this.

Start by shutting off power to the heater. This can be done by flipping the circuit breaker for an electric water heater or relighting the pilot light for a gas water heater. Then, remove the lower access panel by pushing aside the insulation and removing the cover. Using a multi-meter set to ohms, test the lower thermostat for continuity. The meter should read close to zero ohms of resistance if the thermostat is still functioning correctly.

Next, check the upper thermostat for continuity. To do so, you’ll need to turn off the circuit breaker for your water heater, and then remove the top access panel. You’ll need to remove the insulation and plastic covering as well, then find the wires that connect to the upper thermostat. Using your meter, check for continuity on the top two screws. If there is no continuity, the thermostat needs to be replaced.

Once the new thermostat is in place, you can reconnect the wires and test it for continuity as well. If everything is in working order, you can return the covers and turn on the electricity to your water heater. Make sure you let a little bit of hot water run through to ensure the thermostat is calibrated correctly.

While a water heater is an expensive investment, it’s not something that should be ignored. The cost of heating your water accounts for about 20 percent of your household budget, so making sure your water heater is up to snuff is essential for comfort and safety. If you have any questions about your water heater repair or maintenance, feel free to contact us! We’re always here to help. Also, don’t forget to schedule regular water heater cleanings to keep your home comfortable and efficient.


If you have an electric water heater, the element is what keeps it going. This is a small, yet crucial part that, if worn out, will cause hot water to stop flowing. If yours is having issues, it may be time to replace it.

First, make sure you are safe to work on this project. If you are not comfortable with working around electricity, it is best to leave this job to a professional. If you can, try to find a local electrician that can help you with your electric water heater repairs.

Next, turn off power to the tank using the circuit breaker or removing the fuse that controls it. Then drain the tank by connecting a hose to the valve at the bottom of the tank and directing it to a drain or bucket. Make sure the tank is completely empty before you move on. Once the tank is drained, remove the access panel covering the element on the side of the tank and disconnect the wires from it. You should hear a crackling sound as it breaks apart, so listen carefully.

Once you’ve removed the old element, make sure to replace it with one of the same wattage and voltage rating as the original. Also, clean the opening and the new element with a wire brush or sandpaper to ensure a good seal.

When you’re done, install the new heating element and reconnect the electrical connections. If you have a screw-in type element, thread it clockwise into the opening with a wrench, or if it is a flange-type, insert the four screws and tighten them.

You’ll also need to relight the pilot light, if there is one, by following the safety instructions that came with your gas water heater. Finally, check your temperature and pressure gauges to be sure everything is functioning properly.

Dip Tube

The dip tube is an important part of a water heater, ensuring that fresh cold replacement water is drawn down to the bottom of the tank while hot water is in use. Without the dip tube, cold and hot water would mix at the top of the tank, resulting in short bursts of lukewarm or cold shower water. Fortunately, the dip tube is relatively easy to replace.

If your water heater was made between 1993 and 1997, it may have a defective plastic dip tube that can cause serious problems. These tubes are prone to disintegrating in 140 degree water, leaving small pieces of plastic floating around your home. These pieces clog strainers and drains, leading to poor performance and a reduced supply of hot water.

A simple check of the serial number on your water heater can help determine if you have one of these bad tubes. If you do, it is recommended that you call a professional for repairs.

Replacing a dip tube is fairly easy, but it is critical to turn off the power and gas/water supply to your water heater to prevent safety risks. Next, close the drain valve and drain the tank partially to allow for sufficient space for removing the old tube. Once the tank is drained, open the cold water inlet valve and remove the nipple (short galvanized pipe) on which the dip tube was attached. Carefully remove the old tube and carefully install a new, non-plastic replacement.

Some water heaters have upgraded to a more durable material than PEX for the dip tube, which can offer greater resistance to high temperatures. This upgrade can also increase the lifespan of the dip tube.

Once you have installed a new dip tube, you should drain and flush the tank again to ensure that no pieces of plastic are left behind. After the tank has been drained, you can restore power and water supply, close the hot water faucet to prevent more water from entering the tank, and reopen the inlet valve on the tank. Make sure the new dip tube is properly seated in the inlet valve before closing it and restoring power to the water heater.

Pressure Valve

The pressure valve, sometimes called the T&P (temperature and pressure) valve, helps control your water heater by allowing it to discharge excess system pressure when needed. If the pressure rises too high in the tank, the valve will open and allow the pressure to escape into a discharge pipe running downward from the top of the heater. The discharge tube is a necessary safety component that keeps the pressure from building up too high inside your home.

In normal operation, your T&P valve should never discharge water. If you find water dripping from it, this is a sign of a malfunction. This means the valve is discharging due to some sort of issue. It could be thermal expansion, excess system pressure, something else in the water heater causing excessive temperatures, or something else affecting the safety of the valve.

If you’re noticing dripping from your T&P valve, you should call a plumber for water heater repair to check its condition and determine the cause of the problem. It may just need a minor adjustment to correct it. It could also need to be replaced entirely. A faulty T&P valve can lead to a burst water heater, which is extremely dangerous for you and your family.

You should test your water heater’s pressure valve on a regular basis, usually once a year. This can be done by opening the valve slightly with a bucket underneath to catch dripping water and gas. You should be able to hear and see the escaping pressure. If you can’t, or if the valve is sticking or otherwise not working properly, you should replace it.

To install a new pressure valve, you will need to shut off the water supply to your hot water heater and remove the old one. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, and make sure that the overflow pipe opening is oriented away from the water heater. Using Teflon tape on the threads of the valve and the discharge pipe is also a good idea. Make sure you use pipe that is rated for water (CPVC) rather than PVC, and be careful not to over tighten or strip the valve.