There are a number of problems that can affect your gas water heater. Poorly maintenance, heavy use during winter months and Adelaide’s hard water will take a toll on the performance and reliability of many heaters. Here are some of the more common gas water heater problems and repairs done by Sharpe’s certified technicians.
Remember that natural gas is a highly dangerous fuel. For your safety and the safety of others, never attempt any repairs by yourself. Always use a licensed technician.
Unable to light pilot flame?
Pilot Light Fault – If there is a normal supply of gas to the premises, then there is probably a problem with your pilot light and it will need to be replaced. This is a very common problem with older gas units.
Pilot Flame/ Main Burner will not stay on?
Pilot Light Fault – If there is a problem with the pilot light, a safety sensor called a thermocouple may stop a supply of gas to the burner. Cleaning or replacement of the pilot light may be necessary.
Thermocouple Fault – Also note that a fault with the thermocouple can also restrict gas to the pilot light and burner. Faults with your thermocouple mean that your system will never light up. Replacement of the thermocouple will be necessary.
Gas Valve Fault – A faulty gas valve may also restrict any gas from getting to the burner. This could be due to faulty wiring between other components and the valve, or problems with safety sensors on the component.
Blocked Flue – A blocked or partially blocked air vent may also impede the burning of the gas burner. Also be aware that blockages in your vent will reduce the efficiency of your gas heating system and substantially increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Your Sharpe Licensed Technician will test the air flow on the vent and may clean it to prevent any blockages.
Water Fails to reach required temperature
Water Use – Consider that the lack of hot water may be down to how much water you use, or possibly an old or inadequately sized system. Sharpe has experts that can advise you on replacing your antiquated system with a new high efficiency unit. You will receive substantial improvements in heating performance with energy savings of up to 80%.
Pilot Light – Is your Pilot Light running? If not, then attempt to relight it. If this fails then see problem 2.
Gas Burner – There may be a problem with your gas burner. If possible , check that it has a blue flame with hint of yellow (natural gas) or a blue/green flame with a hint of yellow (LPG). If the flame looks like none of the above, then there is a problem with your burner. A faulty burner means that the gas is not burning efficiently and so cannot generate enough heat to raise the temperature of the water. Your Sharpe Gas Technician may need to clean or replace your burner.
Pressure Release Valve – The testing guide in our blog post will show you how to check your Pressure Release Valve (PRV). Check that your PRV is not letting out too much water. If it is dripping continuously, rapidly or when the heater is not running, then call a licensed plumber immediately. As this is potentially dangerous fault, a Sharpe Licensed Plumber will need to replace your PRV as soon as possible. Remember that some dripping from the PRV during periods of heavy use is normal, but anything greater than this will require an inspection from a licensed plumber.
Dip Tube – If there is a broken or damaged dip tube in your water heater then this could lead to insufficiently heated water. The dip tube is designed to take incoming cold eater to the bottom of the tank and therefore separating it from the hot water at the top. If this is cracked or broken then hot and cold mix, leading to inadequately heated water. Replacing the dip tube will be necessary.
Only cold water comes from hot tap
Gas Burner – Problems with your burner, pilot light or gas supply could stop any hot water from being produced.
Crossed Connection – A crossed connection could be responsible for the lack of water supply. This means cold water inlet has been connected to the hot water pipes. A plumber will have to drain the system and connect the correct piping.
Water bubbling from the top of the Tank
Depleted Anode – This is usually indicative of two things: either the sacrificial anode inside the heater has become depleted. The Anode will need replacing.
Water Heater Rust – A more serious problem could be significant rust inside your water tank. If this is determined to be the case then you will need to replace your water tank.