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Gas Water Heaters in Garages

  1. Water heaters in garages should be up 18″ off the floor in order to prevent fires caused by the pilot light igniting possible flammable gases in the garage.
  2. Remove the water heater and install a platform to place the unit on that is 18″ tall.
  3. Move pipes to accommodate the new height.
  4. Install earthquake braces.
  5. Reinstall the water heater.

Water Does Not Get Hot

  1. The water does not get hot because the water heater is not heating the water
  2. For gas water heaters the pilot may be out, the gas may be turned off, or the regulator is worn out. Regulators may be replaced but in most cases it is better to replace the water heater.
  3. For electric water heaters the circuit breaker may be off, the reset button on the elements may be off, or the elements may be burned out. Elements may be replaced by draining the water heater and replacing the elements, but you may just want to replace the water heater.

Hot Water Runs Out Quickly

  1. Hot water running out quickly could be from one of two problems: thermostat set too low or dip tube corroded out.
  2. Water heaters have a dip tube on one of the connection sides so that water will circulate through the tank.
  3. Remove the connection nipples and check for a tube. Replace if necessary.

Shower Scalds or Freezes

  1. It’s the old problem of shower water getting suddenly hot or cold.
  2. Replacing the shower valve 10with a pressure balanced valve will solve the problem.
  3. Otherwise you must avoid using other fixtures when in the shower.

Hot Water Takes Too Long to Arrive

  1. There are two solutions to getting hot water to the fixture faster: a closer water heater, or a circulation line.
  2. A circulation line circulates the water back to the water heater for constant hot water in the pipes.
  3. Nibco makes a gravity fed circulator that requires no power called Just Right. If that won’t work you will need a pump.
  4. Be sure to insulate circulation lines.

Earthquake Preparedness

  1. Water heaters should be properly braced in case of a seismic event.
  2. Consult the local authority for requirements.
  3. Water heaters should be strapped with a manufactured brace for such purpose.

Water Heater Leaks

  1. Water heaters can leak from different locations. If it is leaking from the relief valve or drain valve they can be replaced.
  2. If the tank itself is leaking you will need to replace the water heater.

Replacing the Water Heater

  1. First you will need to shut off the water, power or gas to the water heater and drain it.
  2. If the drain valve doesn’t work it is clogged with calcium and will need to be removed and cleared with screwdriver.
  3. Disconnect and remove the old water heater.
  4. If the water heater is installed in a garage it will need to be on a platform 18″ above the floor.
  5. The relief line should extend to the floor or outside of the building or into a drain.
  6. Install earthquake braces if required.

Lighting the Pilot

  1. Follow pilot lighting instructions printed on the water heater.
  2. If you have no instructions, you will need to turn the valve to pilot.
  3. Depress the knob or button and light the pilot.
  4. Once the pilot is lit hold the button for a few minutes and then release it.
  5. Turn the knob to on.
  6. If the pilot refuses to remain lit you probably need to replace the thermocouple.