Why Does My Water Heater Keep Turning Off? – Troubleshooting Hacks

When it comes to home equipment, water heaters are one of the most expensive investments. Having one at home may not necessary. However, I need it at home since I’m not a fan of cold water. I couldn’t bear taking a bath without using hot water. Moreover, my heater saves me from the cold weather.

As I invest my money to purchase a gas water heater, I make sure that I maintain it in good condition. Since I’m using it frequently, my worry lies on its durability. On the brighter side, heaters are sturdy enough to last longer with proper maintenance. Moreover, despite being a pricey investment, there were still ways on how I can save money since it uses reparable spare parts.

Why Turning the Water Heater Off is Not a Good Idea?

Technician servicing heating boiler

When it comes to proper maintenance, one fallacy about water heaters is that turning it off is better than leaving it on. Since shutting it off can save energy consumption, I also considered this idea when I purchased my heater.

I turn my heater off every time I’m on business trips or vacation, and I end up having a hassle moment in turning it back on. The worst thing is that I don’t have any hot water to use when I yearn for a soothing bath. It’s more hassle because it’s taking me too long to reheat the water.

Another point why turning the heater off is not recommendable is that it’s prone to repairs and replacements. As I yearn to save money through energy consumption, I end up spending more on repairing or replacing it.

Getting to Know the Reparable Gas Water Heater Parts

The best thing about my gas water heater is that it includes reparable and replaceable spare parts. Not unless the heater is deemed broken, I will not have to replace the whole component. Moreover, it’s easier to fix or substitute spare parts first to lessen the expenses. Here are the replaceable and repairable spare parts of my heater:

  • Anode Rods
  • Flexible Anode Rods
  • Heating Elements
  • Element Wrench
  • Thermostats
  • Timers
  • Water Connectors
  • Push-Fit Water Connectors
  • Water Heater Installation Kits
  • Gas Connector
  • Gas Connector with Valves
  • Gas Shut-Off Valves
  • Gas Venting
  • Gas Burner Assembly
  • Dip Tubes
  • Temperature and Pressure Relief Valves
  • Air Eliminators and Automatic Air Vents
  • Scale Inhibitor
  • Earthquake Straps
  • Thermal Expansion Tanks
  • Drain Pumps/Drain Valves
  • Hot Water Hose
  • FloodStop Systems
  • FVIR and Flame Arrestor

In case there’s a need to repair something inside the heater, these are the items that you can repair or replace to fix it. Part of the maintenance is checking these parts to see which items are still in good condition.

I prefer to leave my heater open to save more than what I would’ve spent. However, I also experience some dilemmas. Even though I leave my heater open, one problem leads me to the question; “Why does my water heater keep turning off?”

 

Steps on How to Prevent a Gas Water Heater from Shutting Off

Plumber Repairing Electric BoilerWhen I started experiencing the problem in my gas water heater, wherein it keeps on turning off even if I’ll leave it on. As I checked the component, I was able to explore all the parts. I was able to check and fix the problem before it gets worse. Here is my step-by-step checklist in troubleshooting my heater:

  1. Check the air inlet screen. When I checked the bottom part of my filter, I noticed that the air inlet screen is too dirty to function well. It’s blocking the air, which my heater’s gas burner needs. I had to remove dust, lint, and pet hair to clean it. On the other hand, some plumbers can offer the service, yet I prefer to do it by myself.
  2. Check the thermopile. If the air inlet screen is not too much dirty, or the dust isn’t clogging the way of the air to pass through, the next thing to check is the thermopile. I noticed my faulty thermopile beside the pilot burner, and it can’t power up because it’s too dirty. The best solution I did was to take it out and clean it.
  3. Check the thermocouple. If the thermopile is excellent, the next thing to check is the thermocouple. This part shuts the gas off as the pilot light stops lighting. I noticed that a faulty thermocouple could compromise the performance of the heater because it doesn’t let the pilot light stay on. I had to get the part out for a repair since it’s beyond my knowledge.
  4. Check the gas valve. When my heater doesn’t heat the water, I immediately checked if the gas valve is still in good condition or not anymore. This valve burns the pilot light, which is responsible for heating the water. I took my broken pipe out, and I gave it to a competent plumber for a repair.
  5. Check the tank. When I encountered another shut-off, but the parts are fully working, I checked the tank immediately to see if there are leaks. The leaking water will undoubtedly extinguish the pilot light. I tried covering the holes with adhesive materials before replacing it. I also seek help from professional plumbers to check my tank to avoid further leakage.
  6. Check the humidity. High humidity can also affect the condition of the tank. Since I live in a humid area, my tank sweats. It causes water to drip on the heater’s thermocouple. Once the water meddles, it’s causing the malfunction. Although it’s inevitable, I make sure to check the thermocouple from time to time to see its condition.
  7. Check the exhaust vent. Digging the inside parts of my heater, I also found out that a blocked exhaust vent can trigger the problem. Once there’s a blockage on the vent, it overheats the burner chamber. Once the component overheats, it leads to the burning of thermos-resistor. I also check the vent from time to time to clean any possible blockage for prevention.
  8. Check the Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant or FVIR system. When my water heater shuts off again, yet the majority of the parts are functioning well, I checked the FVIR system. Once this system fails, it’ll avert the combustion of air as it reaches the radiator. It can put the pilot out as the burner kicks on. I tried troubleshooting it, yet I still needed the help of a reliable plumber.

Keeping my water heater in excellent condition is one of my priorities. I wouldn’t want to spend on a new heater just because I failed to maintain it properly. Hence, I make time to drain the water occasionally to prevent undesirable blockage of sediments. Also, I leave it on every time I’m out of the house for a couple of days.

At cases that my water heater randomly shuts off, I check the parts inside the components to see where the problem sits. These steps are guiding me to determine how I can troubleshoot my heater without spending extra on services or replacements.

If you find this article useful, share it as well to people you know. It can help them fix their heaters first before consulting to plumbers or servicing companies.

Related Topic: Ways on How to Install Flexible Water Heater Connectors

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