How To Light Your Water Heater
Most people do not spend that much time worrying about their water heater until it stops working. Fortunately, if your heater is not that old, the most likely reason that you are not getting hot water is that your heater is no longer lit. If you have other gas appliances, you are probably used to lighting the pilot light or the burners on the stove whenever you use them. Your water tank heater is very similar in terms of how you light it.
Check to see if the pilot light is lit.
With most water heaters, the burner is on the bottom of the tank and is covered by a metal plate that can be removed. If it is dark where your tank is, bring a flashlight and look through the opening in the metal plate to see if you can see a flame.
You will likely see a familiar blue and orange flame if the burner is lit. If you see the flame and you are not getting hot water, it is a good idea to contact a professional plumber in the Montgomery area at this point because this means that potentially something more serious is wrong with your tank. If you do not see the flame, you can prepare to light it.
Lighting the Tank
Keep in mind when you get started that the largest problem that people have when they light their tank is that the gas connection is no longer adjusted properly. If you have a portable tank because you are at your vacation cabin, this is normally easy to test by opening the valve all the way and checking to see if lighting the flame will cause the burner to ignite and continue to burn. If it doesn’t, you either do not have any gas left in the portable tank or there is a problem with your connector hose. For connector hose problems, you will normally contact a plumber that specializes in water heater repair.
If your tank is permanent and your gas line comes through a permanent pipe, you still want to check to make sure the valve is open before you light the burner. Because many Montgomery homeowners have their burner continuously lit for a number of months, it isn’t a common household duty for them. It is therefore normal for people to call a plumber to come out and light it when it goes out because there is a chance that something else is wrong with it. If you smell gas near your water tank, you will also want to contact a plumber right away.
Check out the burner.
If you live in an area where there is high moisture, or if your tank has had a leak in the past, you can end up with a burner that starts to rust, closing off some of the areas that should be lit to heat your water. This can result in a less than stellar performance when it comes to keeping your water at the temperature you require.
The only way to regain efficiency and therefore cost savings in this instance is to have a professional come in and install a new burner. Fortunately, although burners are designed to last a while, they are not that expensive of an item and they do not take that long to install and validate.
Another thing that you may notice about your burner when it is at full flame is that the flame may not have any blue color to it at all. When this happens, it is likely a function of your gas or complications with your gas line. If you see this, it is a good time to contact a plumber to come out and make the necessary adjustments because you might lose more money over time using a weaker flame than you will by paying for a service call.
The concept of Maintenance
Although maintenance with water heaters is usually minimal, they are not intended to last forever. They do tend to have leaks over time and they can be affected by water on the exterior and other weather conditions.
Other than ensuring that the burner is lit at all times that you intend to use your tank, checking it for leaks, wrapping it to ensure that it stays warm and verifying that it is still vented properly are all things that your plumber can do when they come to repair it or do a yearly maintenance check. With planned maintenance and water heater repair, the life of your water tank can be extended for several years.
Other options to consider when having trouble with your water heater.
If you have a problem lighting your burner and your plumber comes out and discovers a problem with your water tank that will require that you replace it, one newer option that might appeal to you is to move from a water tank to a tankless water heating device. Tankless water heaters are designed to use electricity or gas to instantly heat water as it passes through the device. If you have a large family that all use the shower in the morning, this can be a plus because you will all get hot water instead of the last person starting out with lukewarm water.
Another positive is that the cost can be lower because you are not heating your water tank every time that the temperature of the water drops. Your plumber likely has a few different models that they work with regularly and can install it in the same space that your water tank was without a problem.
If you would like help lighting, inspecting, or repairing your water heater in your Montgomery, AL home, contact Cole Plumbing, Inc. at (334) 408-2636.