Water Heater Repair: What To Do While You Wait

26 May 2018
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The hot shower that you've been dreaming of all day is suddenly ice cold. What's going on. You need a hot water heater repair. Or at least, that's what you think. Step number one is to call a professional plumber for a fix. But what do you need to do next? If you have hours (or more) until the water heater repair service technician gets to your home, take a look at what you should do while you wait.

Shut Down the Electricity

This is an important step if the hot water heater is seriously leaking or cracked. If the water has flooded out of the tank and is filling your basement or utility room, it can pose a serious electric shock hazard. Avoid the area, never touch anything that uses electricity or an electrical line that is in or near the water. Even though turning off the power to the area (or your entire house) can help to reduce the risk, it still doesn't make the space completely safe.

Keep yourself, your children, other adults and pets away from the flooded area until the technician arrives.

Turn It Off

If you know how to turn your water heater off, now is the time to do it. You aren't going to use it again until after the expert repairs it. That means you don't need it on, and causing more potential problems, right now.

But if you don't know how to turn the water heater off you should wait. Now is not the time to troubleshoot the plumbing appliance. Pressing buttons and turning knobs, without knowing what you're doing, could cause even more damage to the water heater.

Turn Off the Water

Whether you've managed to turn the water heater off or not, you can still shut down its supply. If you can't find the direct water heater supply valve, you can still stop the water from entering it. Look for your home's main shut-off valve. Even though turning this off will stop the water supply from entering your home completely, if the water heater is leaking, this may be necessary. Just remember, you won't be able to refill flushed toilets, wash clothing or wash your hands until you turn the valve back on.

Clean the Water

Only move on to this step if you're completely sure that there is no electrical shock hazard. A minimally leaking water heater that is pooling or puddling directly under the appliance itself is easy to clean with a few towels. If you know how to drain the rest of the heater (and can do so safely), remove the rest of the water before it leaks out.

If your water heater suddenly stopped working, is leaking or just won't heat well enough, a repair service isn't just justified — it's necessary. As you wait, try to make the space as safe as possible and (I there's no risk) start the cleaning process.