Having a water heater break down can be a real pain. In such a situation, you might think of calling a professional right away. However, you can actually diagnose many water heater malfunctions on your own if you simply know where to look. If you are lucky, you might even be able to fix the problem without calling a pro. To help you get started, here are some tips for troubleshooting a common water heater problem: insufficient, but not nonexistent, hot water.
Limited Hot Water
If you are getting some hot water, but not as much as usual, then you might have a water heater problem on your hands. However, it is also possible that your pipes are to blame. To unravel this mystery, you should first examine every faucet in your house to determine which are working and which are not.
Check the Water Heater
If every faucet is equally lacking in hot water, then you should take a look at the heater. The thermostat settings on the heater might be set incorrectly, or something could be wrong with the power source of the heater, which is either electricity or gas. If you are thinking about opening up the heater and taking a look, you should make sure to take precautions. If your heater uses electricity, then it could still have an electric charge, even after you turn it off. Make sure to wear insulated gloves before handing the heater and be ready to call a professional for any serious maintenance. If the heater isn't directly responsible, then the problem is still likely located in the plumbing leading out of the water heater, yet before it branches off to different areas of the house.
Find the Problematic Faucets
If only certain faucets are experiencing difficulties, then the problem is probably in the plumbing. By figuring out exactly which faucets are giving you problems, you can narrow down the area of the piping responsible. If luck is on your side, then the problem might be in plumbing that is easily accessible, such as the pipes below a sink. A leak that you can see is easy to fix if you have a bit of elbow grease to spare. On the other hand, if the leak is in pipes that you can't access immediately, such as those in the walls, then you might want to hold off on handling the problem yourself. You might not know how to get to those pipes without damaging your walls, so a professional, such as StateWide Mechanical II Inc., might be your best bet at this point.