Water Heater Repairs You Might Need When The Burner Malfunctions In Your Gas Heater

When a problem develops with the burner in your gas water heater, the water won't get as hot as you like, and you may run out of hot water completely. Repairing the burner will probably be high on your list of priorities so you can enjoy a nice hot shower again. Here's some information about water heater burners and what a plumber might do to repair a burner when it goes bad.

The Gas Burner Is At The Bottom Of The Tank

An electric water heater usually has a heating element at the top and bottom of the tank, but a gas heater just has one burner at the bottom. You'll notice a small door on the bottom of the heater with a window that lets you observe the flames of the burner.

A water heater burner can be made of steel or cast iron depending on whether the appliance uses natural gas or propane. There are several components that work together to light the burner and keep it burning, and all of them have to be working properly for the burner to do its job.

The Signs A Burner Might Be Bad Or Dirty

Since the burner is in the combustion area of the water heater, it can get dirty with soot. If you observe the flames through the little window when the heater fires up, you can tell if the burner is dirty by the color of the flame. The flame should be blue when it first lights up. If it's yellow, that means the burner is dirty and needs to be cleaned off.

If something goes wrong with the burner and it doesn't light at all, you'll run out of hot water and the tank won't be able to heat more.

The Repairs That Might Be Needed

Water heater repairs for a problem with the burner could include cleaning the burner and the parts that help it work, or pinpointing the part that's bad and replacing it. Cleaning the burner involves using a brush to get all the soot off the burner and using a wire brush to clean out the tubes. The plumber may even use a vacuum to clean out the combustion area so no debris remains near the burner.

The door that covers the burner can be removed by taking out the screws. The door has a gasket around it that might be damaged during the process, and if it is, it will need to be replaced when the door is put back on. The burner can be pulled out through the small door so the plumber can inspect, clean, and repair it. The plumber may need to replace the igniter, thermocouple, or the burner itself.

Once the combustion area has been cleaned and the burner replaced, your water heater should start making hot water again. Burner parts often wear out or clog up as your water heater ages, but when replaced, the new ones should last for years. However, it's good to clean the burner regularly to keep soot off the parts so the burner can work optimally.

For more information about water heater repair, contact a local plumbing company.