A great indicator to tell if your home’s water is too hot is if there’s steam coming out of the water from your faucet or shower and the water is scalding. The first thing to do is to check the thermostat of your water heater; you may have a faulty thermostat and needs replacing immediately. While most water heater problems are urgent because you need a reliable supply of hot (but not too hot) water, this one is urgent for another reason.
One reason why scalding hot water needs addressing is if you the hot water used reaches 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit, your hot water is putting people at risk who are vulnerable to scalding or burns; including children and elders.
Another reason is that leaving a water heater that’s overheating unchecked can cause it to burst! The reality is that 69% of water heater failures are the result of a slow leak or sudden burst. As you can imagine, this is a costly problem that, in addition to requiring a water heater replacement, also causes water damage.
Reasons Why The Water Is Too Hot In Your Home
So, how can you avoid this dangerous and costly problem? A bit of diagnostic work and quickly attending to the hot water issue will make sure you minimize the risks. What makes the water in your house too hot?
The most likely cause of this problem is a malfunctioning thermostat. Although you’ve kept the thermostat at the same level (around 120 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal), your water heater can heat water to much hotter temperatures. The first thing you should do is to turn down the temperature on your thermostat. Wait a few hours and see if the situation improves. However, if it doesn’t, your thermostat is likely to blame for the boiling water.
How to Replace Thermostat
In gas water heaters, the thermostat is part of the gas valve piece. You can’t replace a thermostat separately from this piece. As you can imagine, working with natural gas and the hot water in your tank can cause serious injury. Only take on this project if you’re aware of the risks and are handy enough to take the steps.
Here’s how you can replace the thermostat:
- Locate the replacement gas valve.
Your water heater unit may have a model or information listed on it so that you can find the right replacement. You can also find universal valves and thermostats.
- Shut the gas off.
You need to turn off the gas inline that goes to the water heater, making sure the valve is perpendicular to your gas line. Keep in mind that this is different from your gas valve on/off switch.
- Wait for the water to cool.
The water in the tank is too hot to handle, so you’ll need to give it a few hours to cool off before continuing.
- Unhook the lines that connect to your gas valve.
These probably include the gas line, thermocouple, pilot light supply line and the main burner supply line. You may also have an electronic igniter to unhook depending on your model. You’ll need some wrenches and possibly a screwdriver to unhook the lines.
- Replace the gas valve.
You’ll want to make sure you get a very tight fit because if you don’t, it could result in a gas leak.
- It’s time to refill your tank.
Close your drain valve and turn on the water supply. You can close the pressure relief valve once some water drains and open a hot water faucet to release the air from the tank and lines.
- Re-install the lines that connect to your gas valve.
Set the gas valve to off. Then, after you’ve tightened everything, you’re ready to check for leaks. Turn the gas line to your water heater on and use soapy water for leaks around your gas valve. If there’s a leak, more bubbles will form.
- Next, you can move on to light the pilot. Your new gas valve should come with instructions to help you through these steps.
Not up for this job? Call your trusted local water heater technician to help you with your thermostat and gas valve replacement.
High Mineral Content
High mineral content can also cause problems with your water heater. It can collect on the heating elements and cause them to overheat the bottom of the tank. This problem has an easy fix: flush your water heater. However, if this is a recurring issue, you may need to install a water softener in your home. A water softener will reduce the mineral content in your water, which will also reduce the sediment that makes it into your water heater.
With a prompt response to a water heater that overheats your water, you can avoid damage to your property and injuries in your family. When you need help addressing your water heater repair in Orange County, call Orange Coast Plumbing.