GAS HOT WATER HEATERS ARE GROWING MORE COMPLICATED. MANUFACTURERS HAVE BEEN PRESSED TO DESIGN UNITS FOR SAFETY AS OPPOSED TO SERVICEABILITY. BUT WE ALL EXPERIENCE 1 OF 2 THINGS TYPICALLY WHEN THERE IS AN ISSUE WHILE TROUBLESHOOTING A GAS HOT WATER HEATER.
1. “We don’t have any hot water.”
Try and determine if the pilot (a small flame in the burner area) is lit or not. If you cannot see any pilot flame then follow the instructions on the side of the tank to attempt to relight it. I would like to mention that this flame should be a clean blue flame. If it is yellow like a candle then please call your service company to have the pilot and burner assembly cleaned ASAP. The yellow flame is “dirty” and produces CO (carbon monoxide).
2. “There is water under the water heater.” or “The water heater is leaking.”
Unfortunately this means that the unit will need to be replaced. Most builder model units have a life expectancy of 12 years on average. Also be aware than many water heaters have warranties. In most cases the warranty and manufactured date are right on the label. If the warranty info is not on the label you can typically call the manufacturer to check for the warranty life. They can range from 1 year and all the way up to 20 years. Most typical warranties are 5-6 years though.
I hope this helps and as always if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.