Need a hot water heater repair? Discover 3 DIY fixes any homeowner can do themselves.

The thought of repairing a hot water heater repair may intimidate some homeowners, but there are 3 repairs that are not complicated. Roll up your sleeves give these 3 DIY fixes a try.
Avoid a plumber bill with these 3 DIY hot water heater repairs Avoid a plumber bill with these 3 DIY hot water heater repairs

Hot water heater repair may sound intimidating, and some repairs are better left to a plumber. However, there are 3 simple do-it-yourself hot water heater repairs most homeowners can tackle.  

As a top plumbing company in Colorado Springs, we get a constant flow (see what we did there lol) of calls from shivering homeowners just out of a freezing shower.  Often the call is due to these 3 simple to fix problems.

So keep reading and maybe you can avoid a plumber bill.  In this post, we explain the 3 common hot water heater problems that just about any homeowner can fix - including you.

 1. Hot water heater temperature is too hot or too low

This is a common problem with hot water heaters, and luckily for the homeowner, it’s an easy problem to fix.

Every water heater has a temperature dial on the front of the tank. Adjust the dial to either increase or decrease the temperature.

Most Colorado Springs plumbers recommend setting the temperature of the hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  

You must give the water heater time to change the water’s temperature. Test the water to make sure the water has heated up to a temperature you like.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, then you might have a defective hot water heater thermostat. This is a much bigger problem and if you not a die-hard DIY’er we recommend calling a Colorado Springs hot water heater repair plumber near you.

2. The pilot light goes out

If you have a gas water heater the pilot light may go out. There are several reasons why a pilot light might go out.

The pilot light is a tiny perpetual flame that exists to light the gas burner inside the hot water tank.

To light the pilot light first make sure the knob is in the OFF position. Wait a few minutes. While you’re waiting, you can remove the access cover to the burner. Use a flashlight to illuminate the burner.

After five minutes, turn the knob to PILOT. This will start the flow of gas to the burner. Depending on your model, there might be an ignition button. When you push the button, you will hear a click and the pilot will light. It might take more than one push to get the job done.

If there is no ignition button you will need to light the pilot using a flame source. Find a long-necked barbecue lighter and apply the flame until you see the pilot light burning again.

Once the pilot light is burning, you must press the regulator valve knob down a with a finger and maintain pressure for one minute. This allows the safety sensor to detect a pilot flame. After the one minute has passed, let up on the knob. Check that the pilot light stays lit then turn the knob to the ON position.

3. Draining The Hot Water Heater

There are several reasons you might need to drain your hot water heater. Many times, sediment builds up because of hard water, causing your water heater to become less efficient or even clog the water lines. Draining the heater’s tank will allow you to flush the sediment out before it becomes a problem.

Before draining your hot water heater, turn off the cold water supply valve (the water pipe that feeds water into the tank). Then turn off the gas or electricity.

For a gas hot water heater, turn the thermostat setting to PILOT. For an electrical heater turn off the breaker.

After turning off the heating source, you might need to wait several hours for the hot water inside the tank to cool.  Proceed with caution as the water draining from the tank may be scalding hot.

Next, attach a hose to the drain valve. This standard outside style hose valve is located at the bottom of the tank, usually next to the thermostat control knob. Place the other end of the hose somewhere the water can drain such as outside or into the shower drain.

Always assume the water coming from the tank is hot as a safety precaution.

Next, open a hot water tap (faucet) near the hot water heater. This will help relieve the air pressure as the water drains. Open the drain valve to let the water drain from the tank.

Once the tank is empty of water and sediment, you can refill the hot water heater tank. Refilling the tank is just reversing the above steps.

While the above DIY hot water heater repair tips are easy, we recommend Colorado Springs homeowners call a nearby plumber for annual maintenance and to fix any problems you’re not comfortable dealing with yourself.

Hot water heaters can be very dangerous. So if not 100% confident with your DIY skills then it’s a good idea to play it safe and call an expert.

Got hot water issues? We provide free hot water heater repair and replacement quotes

Don’t wait until you’re not in hot water, get your hot water heater repaired at the first sign of trouble.  Call Pikes Peak Mechanical for a free phone estimate for your plumbing needs in Colorado Springs.  Or click here to contact us by email for a fast response.

Call (719) 232-4720 (available 24/7)

More to read on hot water heaters

Five signs your water heater may need a checkup 

Visit our Hot Water Heater services page

Read blog articles about hot water heaters

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