State Select Water Heater Troubleshooting

This is a quick guide meant to act as a state select water heater troubleshooting guide. It will help you figure out and fix some of the most prevalent problems facing water heaters, including tank leaking, sediments and lime buildup, gas valve problems, hot water heating, pilot light issues and thermocouple replacement and various other water heating element issues.

At the end of this state select water heater troubleshooting guide, you should be able to single down on what’s wrong with your water heater and quickly fix it.


State Select Junior Model Residential Electric Hot

Gas and Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting

By the end of using this state select water heater troubleshooting guide, you should have a general idea of what the most common water heater symptoms are, how to identify the problems and how to perform repairs on gas and electric water heating systems.

This general guide can be used for repairing most of the water heater brands sold in the US and Canada including; AO Smith, Rheem, American, Bradford White, State, Kenmore, Whirlpool, GE and Ruud. Keep in mind that signs and symptoms of water heater failure among different manufacturers are very similar if not the same.

This state select water heater troubleshooting guide is for both tank type residential electric water heaters and gas water heaters.

Common Water Heater Problems

Detailed below are some of the most common water heater problems faced by owners and their fixes. The main thing you should remember when going through these is that in case you are unable to diagnose or fix any of the listed problems on your own, call a plumber.

Common Water Heater Problems



Discolored Water

  • This is a problem commonly caused by rust and build up of sediments within the tank
  • Fix it: Flush and clean the tank.

Water has Bad Odor

  • This is most likely as a result of bacteria in the tank as the result of the decomposition of the sacrificial anode.
  • Fix:
  • A chlorination procedure is the most often and efficient method used to eliminate bacteria from the system.
  • Alternatively, you can either clean the tank with chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Your last option is to check or replace the anode rod. However, this should only come down to it as a last resort measure.

Low Hot Water Pressure

  • Low hot water pressure is a problem usually caused by buildup of sediment, rust, calcium deposits or other types of debris in the plumbing lines or faucets. This often occurs after the plumbing has been worked on, water heater replaced etc.
  • Sometimes the pressure will slowly decrease over a long period time, particularly if your home has been plumbed with galvanized pipe.

This problem is likely as a result of one of the following:

  • Water shut at water heater not completely open.
  • The faucet stem or aerator is clogged with sediment.
  • The faucet supply line is clogged.
  • The faucet water has been shut off or clogged.
  • The water heater dip tube is clogged.
  • The water line is leaving water heater clogged with sediment.
  • The shut off valve at water heater has malfunctioned.

Check if you are affected by one of the above issues and, since this problem is so broad and the fixes all need to be addressed in great detail, proceed accordingly, depending on your particular problem. If you feel that you don’t have enough craftsmanship to deal with the problem yourself or if the problem persists even after you’ve attempted to fix it, make sure you call a plumber


Relief Valve Dribbling Water

  • Normally, when a water heater heats up water inside the tank, the water expands. When this happens, the water should typically end up expanding back out the cold water inlet, back to the water supply coming into the house. However, the municipal water supply usually acts as a gigantic expansion tank so you probably won’t notice anything. The relief valve should leak from time to time to relieve the tank of excess pressure.
  • However, if the valve is leaking unexpected amounts of water:
  • The spring in relief valve could be weak.
  • The water heater pressure too high.Water shut at water heater not completely open.
  • Fix it: Fix this common by installing a thermal expansion tank to take care of the extra pressure for you.

Relief Valve Releasing Large Amounts of Hot Water

  • This is another common problem that mostly occurs when the valve is opened because of high temperatures. It’s usually as result of a malfunctioning thermostat not doing its job.
  • Fix it: It can easily be resolved by replace the faulty thermostat.

Water Heater Leaking

This is the last and perhaps the most dire problem in our state select water heater troubleshooting guide.

  • Most water heaters have several ports or openings into the tank, such as the pressure relief valve, drain valve, gas control valve and electric heating elements. Check all of these ports for possible water leaks. Be sure to also check the plumbing above the water heater for issues.
  • If, after performing all the checks and you still can't find a leak, you have lots of water on the floor and there’s no way of helping that but to clean it up, but your problem is likely that the water heater tank is leaking. Water heater tanks can't be repaired.
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