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What's going on with the d@#m water heater?!

Water Heater issues - cold shower


It's a tale as old as time, you hop in for your morning shower only to have no hot water, or rust colored water or even worse, smelly water.  If your karma is real bad that morning maybe all three.  With all the hot and humid weather we have been having lately the need to take showers more frequently are more common.  And it wouldn't be complete if all this happens while your in-laws are in town for the weekend.

As all homeowners know, replacing an appliance - especially one as big as a water heater - can be a very costly experience. It is often the case that people can repair a broken or malfunctioning piece on their own, without needing to enlist the help of a professional. Here are a few ways to fix common issues that plague water heater systems:

No hot water: If you own a gas water heater, begin by checking the pilot light. If the pilot light repeatedly shuts off after being lit, it will need to be replaced. On electric water heaters, the issue will be with a faulty thermostat.

Rust colored water: All hot water heaters contain a piece called an anode rod, which is sometimes called a sacrificial rod. The purpose of this device is to slowly dissolve to prevent actual rust from collecting inside the appliance's water tank. When the rod begins to fail, the rust will begin appearing in the water. Simply replacing this piece with a new one will fix the problem.

Smelly water: If you notice the water from the heater begins to smell bad, the reason is most likely a bacteria infection inside the tank. The bacteria feed on the hydrogen gas that is emitted by the anode rod. To get rid of the bacteria and the smell, begin by flushing all the water out of the tank. Then fill it with a few pints of hydrogen peroxide solution and allow it to sit for at least two hours before refilling the tank with water.

If any of these problems persist, John C. Flood can help homeowners with their Fairfax, VA plumbing needs.