Top 8 Gas Heater Repair Tips

A plumber working in a water heater
Julia Nichols / Getty Images

Convenient hot water is a staple of our lives. However, we take for granted what it takes to provide this modern day convenience. Well, it's a convenience as long as the water heater works. 

Here is a top list of tutorials explaining how to maintain, repair and install tank type gas water heaters. Also, you will find a discussion on tankless water heaters also known as "on demand" water heaters.

  • 01 of 08
    gas water heater
    50 Gallon gas water heater. © Whirlpool

    Unlike tankless water heaters, standard type gas water heaters use an insulated storage tank. Water heaters are generally very reliable but occasionally they do have problems. These problems can include:

    • No hot water
    • Inadequate hot water
    • Rust colored water
    • Rotten egg odor
    • Low rumbling or popping noise
    • Higher pitched whining
    • Water leaking around base of heater

    This tutorial explains how to troubleshoot and repair your tank type water heater.

  • 02 of 08
    gas water heater
    Gas Water Heater Components. © 2006

    This diagram rich tutorial describes each major component of the hot water tank such as:

    • Tank
    • Dip Tube
    • T&P Valve
    • Burner
    • Burner Control Valve
  • 03 of 08
    Water heater drain valve
    Open the water heater drain valve and discharge into a bucket. © 2015

    By following this easy 5 minute, simple 3-step annual maintenance plan you can extend the life of your water heater even further and save money in the process. It will significantly extend the life of your water heater:

    • Dial Down the Temperature
    • Test the T&P (temperature and pressure) Relief Valve
    • Do a Mini-Flush
  • 04 of 08
    water heater
    Learn to love your water heater.

    Even if you're not ready to replace your water heater with a new energy efficient model, you can still do things to save water, energy and cost. Water heaters come in all types and sizes. There are natural gas, propane, oil, electric, tankless and solar models. They all vary in terms of first cost and operating costs. No matter what type you have, some things will remain pretty typical in terms of how you can reduce your expenses in operating the water heater.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08
    water heater thermocouple
    Water heater thermocouples are used to turn the burner or heating elements on and off. © 2015

    A common reason that the water heater pilot does not ignite or a burner does not stay lit is because of a problem with a thing called a thermocouple.

    Similar to that found on a gas furnace, a thermocouple is used to control gas flow in gas water heaters including older style standing pilot models and newer electronic ignition pilot models (e.g., Piezo Igniter). The thermocouple is part of or attached to a pilot burner assembly and will connect to the gas control valve on the outside of the water...MORE heater.

  • 06 of 08
    Installing a water heater
    Installing a water heater.

    Water heaters are supposed to have periodic maintenance but all too often they are just left to churn away without maintenance and thanklessly make hot water for us, day in and day out. When they've had enough, they quit due to rust and corrosion. The quickest and easiest way to replace a water heater is to have it done by a plumbing professional, but if you can't afford it or really want to do this yourself, then this tutorial will show you the way.

  • 07 of 08
    Tankless Hot Water Heater
    Electric Whole House Tankless Hot Water Heater. © Stiebel Eltron

    Tankless hot water heaters can be a great solution to your residential hot water needs. They're also referred to as on demand hot water heaters because they don't usually store hot water, but rather create it on demand. There are a lot of factors to consider with these units so I'll lay out what you need to know about the tankless water heater so you can make an informed decision.

  • 08 of 08
    groundwater temperature map
    Groundwater temperatures change depending on geographic location. © 2015
    Tankless water heaters are great appliances but are often oversold in terms of their capabilities. Like many great ideas, the marketing hype can often get ahead of the technology and sales people over-commit the capabilities of the product to the consumer. The result is an unsatisfied customer, wasted money and a poorly performing appliance. In this tutorial I will help you separate fact from fiction, and how your geographic location affects tankless water heater performance.