How to Troubleshoot a State Water Heater

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If your State water heater is not producing enough hot water or has developed a leak, troubleshoot it yourself before you call a technician. The problem is often caused by one or two inexpensive and easy-to-replace parts. Make sure you use only State-compatible parts if you are making any replacements. Consult the State website or your owner's manual for a listing of part numbers.

Things You'll Need

  • Owner's manual
  • Replacement parts (if necessary)
  • Circuit tester (for electric water heaters)
  • Check the breaker switch and fuse box if you have an electric water heater. Use a circuit tester to check the heating element and thermostat. Verify that the pilot light is lit if you have a gas water heater. If it is lit and the water heater still does not turn on, the gas control or thermocouple may be defective.

  • Shut off the gas supply or shut off power to the unit at the home's circuit breaker panel, depending on whether you have a gas or electric heater.

  • Add a recirculation pump to your water heater if the hot water takes too long to get to your home once the faucet is opened. The pump will keep the water moving inside the pipe so it does not cool off.

  • Check the water heater for loose plumbing connections or leaks coming from the bottom of the tank. Replace the tank if it is leaking or appears to be corroded.

  • Flush out the water heater's tank if you are not getting enough hot water or there is a strange smell. Connect one end of a garden hose to the drain valve and place the other end outside or in the sink to drain. Close the cold water supply valve and open the drain valve. Turn on a hot water faucet inside the home to drain the tank faster. Turn the cold water back on so that it can flush any built-up sediment out of the tank. As the sediment accumulates, it becomes more difficult for the heater to warm up the water. Once the drain water is clear, close the drain valve and remove the hose.

  • Replace the magnesium rod inside the tank with an aluminum one or add some chlorine tablets if your hot water still has a strange odor after flushing the tank in the previous step.

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