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Troubleshooting Tips for Your Water Heater

Date: January 8, 2024

No hot water? Here are some quick DIY tricks.

water heater service boston, ma This time of the year can be stressful, with holiday gift shopping, year-end travel and gearing up for tax season. A malfunctioning water heater can be one more unwelcome aggravation. However, some hot water issues are solvable without arranging a water heater repair visit.

Cubby Oil & Energy helps households in the greater Boston area with their water heater problems. Here are three relatively simple fixes for standard issues.

No Hot Water

Turning on the shower or a hot water faucet and getting only cold water can indicate that your unit isn’t receiving power. Here are some troubleshooting options:

  • Look at the circuit box and find the switch that powers the water heater. If this circuit has tripped, move it to the OFF position, then back to ON.
  • Reset the high-temperature limit of your water heater by switching the unit off, removing the access panel and pressing the red high-temperature reset button.

Strange Noises from Your Water Heater Tank

Rumbling, rattling or popping noises from your water heater are often caused by sediment build-up. You can flush your water tank of sediment yourself, and it’s a good idea to do this once a year. Your owner’s manual will provide instructions for flushing the tank, but here’s the general process.

  1. Set the unit’s burner to OFF or PILOT.
  2. Shut off the cold water supply valve.
  3. Attach a hose to the tank’s drain valve. Run it to a utility sink, floor drain or the outside.
  4. Open one hot water tap in your home or the water heater’s pressure release valve to prevent a vacuum from forming inside your tank.
  5. Open the drain valve and let the water heater empty.
  6. After the tank drains, open the supply valve to run cold water through the tank.
  7. Once the water from your hose is mostly sediment-free, close the drain valve and remove the hose.
  8. Close the pressure release valve or turn off the hot water tap and then open the cold water supply valve to refill the tank.
  9. Turn your burner back on.

Brown, Rusty Water From your Hot Water Tap

Water heater tanks have an anode rod, which attracts corrosive particles in the water away from your tank lining. Over time, this rod will deteriorate. Once it reaches the end of its life, your hot water might start coming out of the tap reddish brown and possibly with a sulfurous smell.

If your water heater is still fairly new (under 10 years) and you see rusty hot water, you may be able to have a plumber replace the anode rod for a relatively low cost. On the other hand, if your water tank has started to corrode, it’s typically a smarter idea to replace the unit entirely.

Still having hot water problems? Contact Cubby right away!

Unreliable hot water, rusty coloration from the tap and noises from your appliance can all be signs that your water heater is reaching the end of its service life. If you see water around the base of the tank, your unit could be about to fail.

In this scenario, please get in touch with the Cubby Oil & Energy team immediately to arrange a water heater installation. Getting ahead of a failing hot water system will save you a lot of headaches (and possibly some water damage). It also enables you to explore the high-efficiency water heaters Cubby offers.

Need help with a struggling water heater? Request service from Cubby Oil & Energy today.

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