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Hot Water Heater Repair Morris County usually requires professional help. But some problems may be easy enough to fix yourself.

Water Heater Repair

Garlic odor or discoloration in your water can be solved by relighting the pilot light (only after turning off the gas control valve and opening windows for ventilation). You can also drain the tank to remove sediment build-up.

The anode rod is the secondary means of protection for your hot water tank. It is a metal rod, typically formed of magnesium or aluminum around a steel wire core, that is inserted into the water heater storage tank. It is designed to degrade so that minerals and other materials in your water will attack the anode rod rather than the steel tank lining. This is why it is called a sacrificial anode. As it degrades, the anode rod will release electrons into the water tank that neutralize ions that would otherwise cause rust on steel and iron.

The length of time your anode lasts depends on many factors, including the type of water in your area and the material your rod is made from. For example, hard water is tough on anode rods and will degrade them much faster than soft water. Also, the chemistry of your water can influence how long the rod lasts, as acidic water speeds up the deterioration process.

Eventually, the anode will be completely spent and should be replaced. You can find instructions on how to do this in your owner’s manual, though it is important to shut off the power to your heater before you try it. Once the anode rod is removed, you will probably need to drain the tank at least partially and may have to remove insulating material to access the hex head screw. An impact wrench will be necessary to loosen the hex screw, which should then be unscrewed by hand.

Once your anode is gone, it should be replaced as soon as possible, ideally with a rod made of a zinc-aluminum alloy. This type of anode is more resistant to corrosion than magnesium and will last longer. If you use a water softener, you will need to check the anode more frequently as the acidic water in the water softener will accelerate the rod’s deterioration.

The most obvious sign that the anode is nearing its end of life is a foul odor in your hot water. The rotten egg smell is caused by hydrogen sulfide gas, which is produced when the anode corrodes. The smell can also be accompanied by rusty-looking water or bubbles in the hot water.

Dip Tube

Nothing keeps your household going like fresh, hot water, and you know what a hassle it is when it doesn’t work as it should. Sometimes the problem is with your water heater, but often it is because of something as simple as a damaged dip tube.

The job of your dip tube is to carry cold water from the top of your tank down to the bottom, where it’s heated for hot water use in your house. It’s a simple job, but one that keeps your house’s supply of clean, hot water running.

Over time, your dip tube will become prone to problems just like the rest of your water heater. Hard water minerals eat away at the plastic, and eventually your dip tube will begin to crack. This allows cold water to escape and mingle with your hot water, resulting in lukewarm supply.

Sometimes the dip tube simply becomes loose at its attachment to the pipe nipple on the cold water inlet at the top of the tank. In that case, you can simply replace the dip tube, but it’s important to make sure your new tube is longer than the old one, or your tank will not get a constant flow of new, cold water.

To remove the old dip tube, drain your tank and then turn off your water’s supply. Then, remove the nipple and connector on the tank’s cold water inlet, and then twist the dip tube counterclockwise to pull it out. Once you have a replacement tube, insert it in place and align it correctly so that it extends to the water at the bottom of the tank. When you’re done, screw the nipple and connector back on, restore power to your water heater, and then turn your water supply back on. Then, test your newly installed dip tube by opening a faucet and seeing if the water is hot or lukewarm. If it’s hot, then your new dip tube has been successfully installed and you can close the drain valve and restart the water heater. Good luck!

Pressure Valve

The pressure valve, also called a T&P valve, is the safety mechanism that prevents a water heater tank from bursting and flooding your home. It works by opening when it reaches the preset limit of 150 psi or so, and lowers the internal temperature. You can test the T&P valve by letting water or steam escape from its discharge tube into a bucket or other container. If you notice a leak from the valve, it may need to be replaced or you may simply need a professional to reset the temperature and pressure settings.

Leaking from the pressure valve is a sign of an issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, as a broken valve can lead to flooding and water or gas escaping. It can also point to other issues with your hot water heater, such as a pilot light that won’t stay lit or a thermocouple that has been improperly installed.

If your pressure valve is constantly leaking water, or if you find a puddle of water near the discharge tube, this is a sign that the T&P valve has caved in and needs to be replaced. This is an easy fix for a professional and won’t require draining the water heater or turning off its power.

Another common problem with the T&P valve is that it becomes stuck and won’t open when needed. This can be a serious problem as it means that the pressure inside the tank is reaching dangerous levels and can potentially explode. To avoid this, you should routinely test your water heater pressure valve and replace it when necessary.

To do a T&P valve test, shut off the power to your water heater and open a faucet to release any pressure. Then, position a bucket under the discharge tube and pull the lever of the valve to see if it opens. If water or steam flows into the bucket, your valve is working as it should. If it remains stuck, you may be able to jiggle it like you would a toilet handle to try to unstuck it, but if not, you will need to replace the valve.


If your hot water heater isn’t producing hot water, check to make sure that other people in the household aren’t using a lot at the same time. If so, the tank may have dispersed the current supply and will need to heat more water before it produces any more. If this is the case, simply wait for about 30 minutes. If you’re still not getting any hot water, check the temperature settings on your electric or gas water heater. They should be set between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If they’re higher than this, they could be inefficient and consume too much energy.

Another common cause for a lack of hot water is a tripped circuit breaker or failed heating element. If the breaker has tripped, reset it by rocking it to the OFF position and then back to ON. If the breaker keeps tripping, try a different fuse in your service panel or reset the high-temperature limit switch on the water heater. You can also turn off the power to your water heater and remove its upper access panel. Look for loose wiring and carefully examine it. If you find any broken wires, repair them before turning the power back on.

A faulty thermostat or heating element can also be to blame for insufficient hot water. These are fairly easy to diagnose, though the process may require some heavy equipment such as a pipe wrench and a pair of pliers. Check the unit’s manual for specific instructions.

Thermostats typically last about ten years before they need to be replaced, so it’s a good idea to replace them on a regular basis.

Water leaking from a water heater is an indication of a serious problem. Since a water heater is a closed system, any moisture outside of it will indicate that something is failing or breaking down. Leaking water isn’t just annoying; it can damage the surrounding area and anything that’s in its way.

If you have a gas water heater, any signs of a leak in the gas line should be reported to your local utility company as soon as possible. If you smell a strong natural gas smell near your water heater, leave the area immediately and call the utility company.