When a hot water system malfunctions, whether with a whimper or a bang, more often than not it goes without prior notice. At that point, you will have to grapple with the sudden interruption in your hot water supply among other complications. The best thing is to contact a professional plumbing contractor. Here is a troubleshooting and repair guide used by plumbing contractors in restoring the functionality of a malfunctioned hot water system.
No hot water or low water temperatures
Hot water systems feature two thermostats, one next to the top of the water tank while the other one is located adjacent to the bottom. Both are covered by detachable metal cover plates. When the summit of the water tank is hot, the higher thermostat transfers voltage from the higher heating element to the lower thermostat, along with the heating element.
To trace the source of the malfunction, the plumber will take out the higher thermostat cover panel and inspect the high limit switch knob. Do note that when the high limit switch button is tripped, it impedes the flow of electricity to both the top and bottom heating elements. If the switch button is tripped, it is pressed in order to be reset.
Additionally, the technician checks for voltage at the input terminals of the higher thermostat from where voltage is transferred to the lower thermostat plus heating element. Lack of voltage at the terminals signals a problem with the higher thermostat. Consequently, it is replaced. If the upper terminals are receiving power but the lower heating element is not heating up, then the problem is with the lower heating element or the lower thermostat, which must be replaced.
Homeowners detest loud, cranking noises produced by their hot water systems when generating hot water supply. Overtime, water mineral residues can buildup on the upper and lower heating elements resulting in all manner of sounds during heating. The technician will uninstall the heating elements from both the upper and lower thermostats and either clean or change them.
Leaks from the TPR valve
It is common for a little amount of water to slowly trickle from the temperature pressure relief valve during the water heating process. However, if the leak is exceeding a full bucket of water in a day, chances are that the relief valve is faulty, especially if it's an aged valve and needs replacing with a new water heater relief valve.