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Water Heater Repair – Common Components of a Water Heater

Many homeowners rarely think about their water heater until it starts giving them trouble. A faulty water heater can be frustrating and interrupt your household routines.

Water Heater Repair

However, many problems such as a rumbling noise or lukewarm water can be easily fixed by yourself. However, if you need a professional help, you may contact Water Heater Repair Denver.

A gas water heater thermocouple is an important safety component that detects when the pilot light is still burning. It sends a signal to the gas valve that keeps it closed until the pilot is relit, and this prevents unburned gas from flowing into the water supply. If the thermocouple fails to function properly, it can cause your pilot light to keep going out or even shut off the entire water heater.

Replacing the thermocouple is fairly easy and only requires a few tools. However, there are some essential things to know before you try a DIY thermocouple repair.

First, make sure you have all the necessary tools and equipment on hand to complete this task. You will need a wrench, pliers and a multimeter for testing electrical connections. If you do not have these items, or do not feel comfortable using them, it is best to call a professional to repair your thermocouple.

Once you have all of your tools ready, start by removing the access cover on the burner assembly manifold. This is usually secured by nuts or screws (often specialty tamper-resistant fasteners) and may require a screwdriver to remove. Once the cover is removed, push down slightly on the burner supply tube to free the manifold, pilot tube and thermocouple connections. Gently lift the burner assembly out of the combustion chamber and set it aside.

You will need to disconnect the thermocouple from its connector on the gas valve with an open-end wrench. At this point, you can also remove the gas valve’s pilot tube connection nut if it is loose. This will allow you to disconnect the copper tube that connects the pilot flame to the thermocouple, and then use your multimeter to test for a voltage reading. A reading of less than 20 mV will indicate that your thermocouple is failing and needs to be replaced.

Once you have disconnected the thermocouple from its connector, take it to a hardware store or home center for a replacement. Be sure to match the type of thermocouple you purchase to the model number of your water heater.


Water heater elements, like other electric components in the unit, can burn out over time. Symptoms of a burning out element include cold or lukewarm showers and a circuit breaker repeatedly tripping. Other symptoms may include an unusual smell or discoloration in the water. Regardless of the cause, the problem is likely to lead to the need for repair or replacement of the heating element.

Replacing a water heater element is relatively simple for those with the proper know-how and tools. However, if you lack the tools and experience necessary for this task, it is recommended that you contact a professional to avoid potential danger.

The first step is to shut off the power supply to the heater by closing the circuit breaker. You will also need to drain the tank if it contains any water. This can be done by connecting a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank and directing it into a drain or outside. Open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house to relieve pressure from the tank while it is draining.

Once the tank is drained, you can access the element by loosening and disconnecting the electrical wires attached to it. Before you do, it is important to use a non-contact voltage tester to confirm that there is no electrical current flowing to the element. Then, remove the element by turning it counterclockwise with a socket wrench.

Before you install the new element, make sure that it has the correct voltage and wattage rating for your water heater. You can find this information on the flange or terminal block of the element and on the water heater’s data plate. Clean the area of the tank where the gasket fastens to it by using a rag. Then, position the new gasket on the element and insert it into the tank opening. If you have a screw-in-type element, thread it clockwise into the tank opening with a socket wrench until secure. If you have a flange-type element, screw it into place using the four mounting screws.

Dip Tube

The dip tube directs cold water into the bottom of a gas or electric hot water heater tank so it can be heated by the gas burner or primary electric heating element. Having a working dip tube is critical to your home’s hot water supply. If the dip tube breaks or becomes clogged with sediment, your water may become discolored and lukewarm. It’s a common cause of water heater problems and one that is easy to fix.

The Dip Tube’s Job

As its name implies, the dip tube “dips” into the cold water inlet port of your hot water tank to suppress 8 inches of incoming cold water down to the bottom where it is heated by the gas or electric heating elements. As the water heats, it rises back to the top of the tank where it is ready for immediate use. The dip tube is most often seen in gas water heaters, but it can be found in some electric models as well.

In general, a dip tube lasts as long as a water heater, but like anything in your house, it can get rusty or even break. The constant push and pull of water moving up and down through the pipe erodes it, especially if there’s a lot of sediment in the water. Constant exposure to water can also eat away at the plastic of the dip tube.

A deteriorating dip tube is the most common reason for sudden loss of hot water. It’s not always a big problem to replace the dip tube, but you should do so carefully. First, shut off the power to the water heater by turning off its circuit breaker. Then, disconnect the cold water inlet pipe from the tank by unscrewing the nipple for the pipe connector and the pipe nipple on the tank’s inlet port with a wrench. Then, remove the old dip tube and replace it with a new one that’s a few inches longer than the existing one.

A good replacement is a standard flanged PEX dip tube, but you can upgrade to one that’s made of a more resistant material such as crosslinked polyethylene (PEX). Once you’ve replaced the dip tube, reconnect it by replacing the pipe nipple and the connector on the cold water inlet port. Reconnect the water supply line to the tank and turn on the power at the circuit breaker.

Pressure Valve

The pressure valve is one of the most important components in a water heater. It’s responsible for releasing excess water or gas to prevent overheating, tank damage, and even explosions in some cases. Unfortunately, these devices are often ignored by homeowners and can become faulty over time. In order to keep them functioning properly, homeowners should regularly test their pressure valves and perform regular maintenance and inspections.

The water pressure valve is located on top or side of the tank and includes a discharge tube that extends down and away from the heater. To test the valve, shut off your water supply and power, then position a bucket under the discharge tube. Carefully pull the metal lever on the valve open until a small amount of water-about a quarter cup-discharges into the bucket. Then release the lever so it snaps back into its original position. If it doesn’t snap back quickly, then your valve isn’t working as it should.

If you’re experiencing problems with your water heater, contact a professional for help. They can inspect your water heater and help you determine whether the pressure valve is causing your issues.

A faulty relief valve isn’t just dangerous, but it can also lead to flooding in your home. It’s essential to check it regularly for any signs of wear and tear, and to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

As water or gas is released from the system, the internal pressure falls and the spring force closes the valve. This prevents the pressure inside the vessel or system from rising to unsafe levels, which could cause it to “burst” and flood your garage or closet.

While you can do some maintenance and testing on your own, it’s best to have a professional take a look at the entire unit, especially if there are other issues like low energy bills or low water pressure. A professional will be able to diagnose the problem, and can usually fix it right away. In many cases, it will just be a matter of adjusting the blowdown setting or replacing the valve.