Among the list of problems a homeowner can encounter, a slab leaks ranks high among the worst ones. Basically, a slab leak is one that occurs in the water pipes located under the foundation or in the concrete slab where the house rests. When this kind of leak occurs, lots of potential problems arise – can be severe water damage or humidity issues inside the house or other worse scenarios. This is why it’s very important to perform a slab repair in order to lessen the damages to your home. Otherwise, you will be paying a really hefty sum to get everything fixed.
A lot of homes were built on a concrete slab foundation which is a single layer of concrete that is several inches thick that rests on a bed of crushed gravel. What usually happens is that pressurized water pipes and sewer lines are installed underneath the foundation before pouring the concrete slab. Since these pipes can deteriorate as time passes (particularly copper piping in acidic soil), a slab leak is created.
Although slab leaks are hard to detect, there are some tell-tale signs that point to it being the problem. Among the signs include a sudden increase of the water bill, a very noticeable drop in water pressure, always hearing the sound of water running, finding the carpet or any other flooring to be damp, seeing foundation cracks or settling and spotting mildew in the wall or in the basement.
When you notice any one of the signs above, it’s best to find the slab leak and get it fixed as soon as possible. Why is it so important? For one, further damage can be very costly.
Even though slab leaks are difficult to detect, they are not so hard to repair. Then again, finding and getting access to it is a different story. So the first thing you should do is locate the area of the leak. After that, you will have to work your way through the concrete in order to repair the pipes.
Detecting a Slab Leak
A leaking pipe underneath your foundation can be either a water or sewer line. The biggest sign of a leak is seeing water or damp spots on the floor. In addition, hot water lines that are leaking create warm spots on the floor. You can try walking around barefoot in your home to find the location of a leaking hot water line.
Another sure sign of water lines leaking is hearing the sound of rushing water underneath the floor. Also, a good sign that there is a leak is seeing a really high water bill than what you are used to.
Sewer Line Leaks
It’s a whole different problem when a sewer line leaks. Why is that the case? For one, they can go undetected until visible signs appear indicating a damage to the foundation.
However, there are conditions when leaking sewer lines are easier to detect. For instance, in places with expansive soil, heaving (this is when a slab will swell enough to lift a building) occurs when there is a leaking sewer line. A dome or raised section on the floor is another good indication of a sewer line that is leaking.
Leaks That Are Hard To Find
Often times, slab leaks are hard to find. You will need to use specialized listening devices in order to find the leak. Air is pumped into lines in order to force the remaining water out after the water is turned off. After this is done, a plumber can then listen for escaping air from the damaged pipe. The best way to fix the issue can then be decided once the leak has been identified.
One of the most common fixes is to just re-plumb the entire house rather than just spend money on repairing plumbing that is rather old. This solution is recommended when a home uses old galvanized piping. These kinds of pipes are hard to fix and will continue to leak as they age therefore it’s best to consider re-plumbing.
Getting Access To Slab Leak
In order to fix a slab leak, you need to gain access to it. Doing so needs you to break a hole in the slab using a jackhammer. To expose the concrete slab, the finished flooring should be removed. There is an exception to this though: ceramic tile.
Keep in mind that a lot of dust is created when you open a slab. This is why it’s very important to cover all valuables and furniture before you attempt to expose the slab. Even better, if you have other storage options, it is best if you remove all your items there before doing repair work.
When the hole has been cut, removing dirt reveals the leaking pipes.
Repairing a Slab Leak Caused By Water Lines
Copper tubing is the most common kind of pipe used for water lines located underneath a slab foundation. When copper pipes age, they tend to wear thin and as such, are prone to leaking.
You will need to cut the damaged section of the pipe with a hacksaw in order to repair it. Other tools you can use are a reciprocating saw or tubing cutter. Once you have cut the damaged part, you have to remove it.
After doing all this, solder a new piece of tubing that is combined with copper couplings into place.
Repairing a Slab Leak Caused By Sewer Lines
Since dealing with sewer lines can be trickier, you might need the services of a plumber. One, sewer line issues are harder to detect and two, there are health issues involved when dealing with such lines (e.g. exposure to human waste). The kind of pipe you might have in your home also depends on the age of your property. So you can have cast iron, clay or PVC pipes.
Special rubber couplings can be used to fix the issue but they are not ideal for pipes located underneath concrete slabs. They might be good for connecting different kinds of pipes but they are not useful in this situation. In addition, the rubber boots can deteriorate as time passes, particularly when used outdoors.
You would often initially notice a leaking shower drain as water damage on the wall or ceiling in the room below. This problem can occur due to a variety of reasons, with the most obvious being a crack in the drain that requires to be fixed to stop the leak. Here are the steps that you can take to repair a leaking shower drain:
1. Make Sure That The Leak Is Really Coming From The Drain.
To affirm that the leak is coming from the shower drain and not from a broken seal between the floor and the bathtub, you can use a funnel and try to pour a small amount of water directly down the drain. If you do not find any typical signs of leakage, then you can fill the tub to try and look for leaks again. By running these tests, you will be able to identify the source of the problem.
2. Make An Access Panel To The Drain.
Go to your bathroom and locate the pipes that are leading to the shower. The most common place that you will find them is under the flooring or above the ceiling of the room below the bathroom. Before you start cutting or disassembling anything, first place a metal pan or drop cloth on the floor to catch any water and spills that may pour or leak during the process. Then, cut a panel using a drywall saw in order to create access to the pipe. Carefully remove the piece in order for it to be placed back in the exact area after you complete repairing the shower drain. Depending on the design of your home, you might have to go through a closet or attic to be able to access the plumbing system.
3. Remove The Component That Is Causing The Leak.
Try to find the source of the leak on the piping system. Usually, it is indicated by dripping or discoloration of an area. Then, remove the part of the drain—the drain body, gasket or strainer body—using a pair of pliers and remove the strainer with a screwdriver.
4. Replace The Shower Drain.
Check the shower drain repair kit you have purchased for some instructions that will guide you in dismantling and reassembling this fixture. However, keep in mind that you only need to repair the part that is broken if all other pieces still fit together. Using a combination of old and new parts, reassemble the drain and make sure all components are securely in place.
5. Test The Drain And Then Replace The Drywall.
Test your shower drain by turning on the water in a small stream and then check the pipe downstairs to see if a leak still develops. If everything seems to be dry, patch the wall you cut using the drywall mud and mud knife, and then cut away and remove any piece of ceiling with watermark damage.
With these steps, you can say “good bye!” to a leaking shower drain and keep the areas near it intact and dry.
Did you notice a leak where your toilet bowl meets the floor? If so, then you probably have a broken or bad seal between the toilet horn and the drain line. Keep in mind that a small pool of water beneath the toilet can eventually rot the floor and the framing underneath, which require larger repair costs, so you should fix it as soon as possible. Here are steps you can follow:
1. Loosen The Bolts And Pull The Toilet Bowl.
Unscrew the water closet nut using a wrench, and if the bolt spins along with the nut, grab the former above the latter with locking pliers. Then, loosen the nut just enough for you to squeeze in a close-quarters hacksaw blade to saw through the bolt. Before you pull the bowl, make sure that you have already shut off the water supply valve and removed the water line that leads to the tank.
2. Clean Up The Drain Hole.
After removing the toilet, stuff a rag into the drain line to prevent sewer gases from getting into the house and wax chunks from entering the pipes while you are cleaning. Scrape the old wax from the toilet horn and flange using a knife, and then clean up old caulk and debris from the floor around and under the toilet.
3. Prepare For The Installation Of New Parts.
Thoroughly clean off some wax residue with mineral spirits, set a reinforcement ring over the toilet flange to line up the water closet bolt slots and mark screw locations on the floor. Drill a clearance hole through the masonry or the tile with a hammer drill and a masonry bit, and make sure you stop when you reach the subfloor. A broken flange is usually caused by a rocking toilet or over-tightened flange nuts.
4. Prepare For The Installation Of The Extender Ring.
After you have cleaned the flange with mineral spirits and removed all the excess wax, fit the extender ring over the flange and remove any original screws lining up with the ones in the ring. You can then apply a bead of silicone caulk around the ring’s interior edge.
5. Remove The Old Flange.
Remove the old screws of the flange and slip each half of the flange support beneath its edges. Then, lift the flange using a screwdriver or a pry bar if needed. You will have to track down the cause of the leak, repair it and provide a solid surface to support the flange.
6. Install The New Wax Ring.
Place the new wax ring onto the toilet horn with the rounded side facing the bowl. Take note that a toilet often leaks because the ring has lost its seal, which is again caused by a toilet that rocks when sit on. If you find no evidence of other leak problems after pulling the toilet, simply replace the wax ring and reset the bowl to get the job done.
7. Re-Mount The Toilet.
When resetting the toilet bowl, it is important to drop it directly into place. The failure to align it directly over its bolts where the ring meets the flange will distort the ring and ruin the seal.
A valve stem is commonly found in an automobile or bicycle wheels. It is a self-contained valve that opens in order to let gas enter a chamber (e.g. air used to inflate a tire). The valve then closes automatically and is kept sealed using pressure in the chamber (sometimes, a spring or both is used to prevent the gas from escaping). Although a valve stem is mostly found in automobiles or the wheels of bicycles, they can also be used for other applications.
There are different kinds of stem valves, and these are:
Schrader Valve – Consists of a valve stem where a poppet valve is threaded with a spring attached. This kind of valve is used on almost all automobiles and motorbike tires as well as wider rimmed bicycle tires. Also, these types of valves come in different diameters which are used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, SCUBA regulators, engine fuel injection, plumbing and suspension systems.
Presta Valve – This is also called Sclaverand valves or French valves. This kind of valve is commonly used in bicycles and they have a narrower diameter than the narrowest Schrader valve stem.
Dunlop – Also called Woods valves or English valves. This was once popular in Great Britain but it still is used in a lot of bicycle tires in several countries.
These valves are prone to leak, especially when the weather is cold. Although only a small amount of air is released, continually doing so can lead you to have a flat tire. Sometimes, air inside the tire will try to get out of its pressurized compartment. The good news regarding a leaking valve stem is that it doesn’t take long to diagnose the problem and fix it.
Practice Safety First
It’s always best to practice safety no matter what you do. When removing the old core, debris could hit you when air is released. Sometimes, even the old core can hit you. So to avoid any danger to yourself, make sure to wear safety glasses.
Make Sure Your Car Is Parked On a Flat Surface
Parking on a flat surface makes you see the problem much clearer. Also, make sure that you have the brakes on (this is another safety precaution that you have to keep in mind).
Figure Out Where The Leak Is
Let’s say you just topped off the air in your tires but you notice that it is low again after a few days. Before you take your car to the garage, it’s best to see where the problem is. Although the problem may be because your tire has a hole in it, you can always check for a leaky valve stem first. If that is your problem, then it is quite an easy problem to fix. The tools you will need to fix such a leak are a valve core tool and a package of new valve cores.
But first, you need to locate where the leak is. To do this, you can squirt soapy water onto the valve. When bubbles form after doing so then you have a slow leak.
Replace The Valve Core
The valve core tool you need is actually four tools in one. You install and remove valve cores using the forked end. Cleaning and restoring the interior threads can be done using the tapping end. Also, the die end is used to clean and restore cap threads.
To remove the old core, you will need to jack up the wheel. But before you do so, use a lug wrench to loosen the lugs of the wheel. Then, use a floor jack to lift the vehicle off the ground.
Remove all the loosened lug nuts by hand then pull the wheel of the axle. Make sure you have an open area or workbench where you can work on the tire. Use a nail to release the pressurized air inside the tire. The valve needle inside the valve stem needs to be depressed using the nail so that air can be released.
Use the valve core tool to remove the old one then use the same tool to screw in the new one. After doing all this, refill the tire using an air pump (use the settings you normally use).
Test Out The Valve Stem
To make sure that the problem has been resolved, you have to perform a test on the valve stem. The test you will be doing is similar to finding out whether you have a leaky valve or not. So after you’ve done everything, squirt a bit of soapy water into the valve. If the fix you did was successful, you will no longer see bubbles after you’ve squirted soapy water.
Put the wheel back into the car then use the lug wrench to reinstall the lug nuts. Use the floor jack to lower the vehicle of the jack stand.
Find Out Other Signs Of Trouble
One sign of trouble could be the beginning of another. This is why you have to regularly check the components of your automobile (or any other kind of vehicle you own). In this case, when you check or fix a leak, try to check the old core threads too. If these show signs of corrosion, you can use the tap end of the valve core tool to clean the interior threads of the valve stem.
Also, don’t forget to get dirt out using a valve stem cap. After all, getting dirt around the core can also be the cause of the problem in the first place.
When air inside the tire has escaped from a leaky valve stem, the problem may have been present for a while. Since this may lead to running on a flat tire, you need to stop the escape of pressurized air. And you also need to do this as soon as possible because the last thing you want is to drive a car with an under-inflated tire or leave your car and then come back to one with a flat tire. Luckily, it isn’t that hard to find where the leak is and fix it.
Whether it is the water pooling under the sink or the dripping sound keeping you up at night, the issues brought about by a leaky faucet can be bothersome and can turn into a full-blown problem if you fail to address them properly. Fortunately, that task of fixing such a component is just simple and inexpensive, which can be easily done by a DIY-er, such as yourself.
1. Gather all the tools and materials that you are going to need for the project. Fixing a leaking bathroom sink faucet usually requires an adjustable or C wrench, a flat-head or Phillips screwdriver, O-rings, replacement washers and penetrating oil, such as CRC or WD-40.
2. Make sure you will not be making matters worse a mess worse by transforming the just-leaking faucet into one where water is gushing through. Before you start using the wrench or screwdriver on the fixture, see to it that the water supply is turned off, from the knob controlling the water coming in from the main line to the handle over the bathroom sink.
3. Remove any decorative component of the handle knob by simply prying it with a flat-head screwdriver. As you will see, underneath the knob is where you will find a screw that mounts the handle to the stem, which you should unscrew to remove the handle. While at it, do not forget to use penetrating oil to help loosen it more easily.
4. With the wrench, loosen the packing nut, which will reveal the stem, which should also be removed. Depending on the type of faucet installed in your bath, some stems would pop right off, while others would twist off from the valve. After removing the parts, check them for damage.
5. If everything is okay at this point, you can then inspect the washer and O-ring inside the valve seat, which could also be the reason for the leak. If these parts are causing the problem, then replace them with new ones. It is very important to make sure the replacement parts are a perfect fit, or else they will still leak after you re-install your faucet. You might want to take your old washer and O-ring to your local hardware shop to verify the appropriate size. You will also have the option to buy a package that includes many O-rings with different sizes.
6. From here on, reassemble all the parts carefully and orderly from the washer/O-ring, stem, packing nut, screw to the handle. Turn the knob gently and slowly to test the running water and check to see if the leak is gone.
Do not ignore that leaking faucet in your bathroom, as all those wasted drops of water can add up to a huge bill. And if the faucet is still dripping after all of the work you have done, then the leak might be caused by corrosion in the valve seat. As you can see, this can produce leaks near the spout if not cleaned over time. If this and other serious plumbing problems are the cause, then it might be best to call on a professional to get the job done for you.
Leaking outside taps can be a huge problem. For one thing, they can cause your water bills to rise, leaving you to pay for water that you didn’t actually make use of and seriously damaging your budget for the month. They can also destroy your carefully tended grass and plants and make your lawn or garden look the worse for wear.
Fortunately, fixing a leaking outdoor faucet is something that you can easily do. Read on to know how you can get this project done in no time.
Gather The Tools And Materials You’ll Need
Before doing anything else, make sure to have everything you need at hand. This way, you won’t have to get up in the middle of the repair just to look for a tool you’ve forgotten to bring. When repairing a leaking outdoor tap, you’ll need to have an adjustable wrench, a flat-head screwdriver, a small brush (or an old toothbrush), and plumber’s tape. You can also buy a new washer ahead of time; if you’re not sure what size or type you need, ask your local hardware store if you can purchase a bag of assorted washers. Alternatively, you can wait until you have removed the old washer from the faucet so you can bring it with you to the hardware and buy an exact replacement.
Identify Where The Leak Is Coming From
Check the tap to see exactly where the water is leaking out. Outdoor faucets usually leak in two places: the handle or the spout. Knowing the location of the leak is important since this determines what you need to do next.
Turn Off The Main Water Connection
Before you start the repairs, make sure to turn off the main water valve. This way, you can safely take the faucet apart without worrying that a geyser of water will rush at you!
Fix The Leak
If the faucet is leaking at the handle, use the adjustable wrench to tighten the packing nut (which is located right behind the faucet knob). Packing nuts usually get loose over time due to water pressure and other factors and can lead to leaks. Tightening it usually fixes the problem right away.
Unfortunately, things can get a bit complicated if the faucet is leaking at the spout. If this is the case for your outside tap, you’ll need to take the following steps:
1. Use the adjustable wrench to loosen the packing nut and remove the valve stem (which sits below the nut). 2. Take your flat-head screwdriver and use it to remove the screw at the end of the valve. 3. Once the screw is off, carefully take off the old washer using the screwdriver. 4. Clean the washer seat using the brush to take off any residue that’s clinging to it, then insert the new washer. 5. Replace the screw. 6. Put plumber’s tape on the threads of the faucet for a secure fit, then put the valve back in. Make sure to tighten the packing nut using your adjustable wrench.
Once you’ve finished your repairs, turn the main water connection back on to see if the leak is still there. If it is, you’ll need to call a professional plumber ASAP. This way, you’ll have someone who can troubleshoot your outside tap and know how to repair it in a quick and easy way.
Typically, an outdoor water spigot can last for years without servicing until it would eventually see water starting to continuously spray from its handle or drip from its spout, and you will have no choice but to repair it. For the handle, you can try tightening its packing nut with a wrench or remove its valve stem assembly if the first step fails to stop the leak. If the problem comes from the spout, you will also have to remove the valve stem assembly.
Well, this job can be easy as long as the spigot is not too corroded for you to disassemble; otherwise, it can be difficult. Basically, a spigot has a basic compression valve that tightens a washer onto its seat when you turn its handle, and leaks happen when such a washer or the packing around its handle wears out. All in all, when you are replacing either the handle or the spout, you have to remove the packing nut. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Turn off the water to the spigot, either by turning off the main water supply for your home or by turning off an inline valve that is controlling the water line to the area where the spigot is attached.
2. Unscrew the spigot’s packing nut under its handle using a wrench. If it does not turn, spray it first with a lubricant, which you might have to perform more than once after every few minutes to make it lose corrosion. Then, hold the spigot steady with a pair of adjustable pliers if you need to bear down on a problem nut that is frozen by rust and other corrosive elements.
3. Pull off the nut and the valve out of the housing of the spigot. You can do this by turning the valve over and unscrewing the washer on the end using a Phillips screwdriver. Then, with a flat-head screwdriver, pry the washer out and replace it with a new one.
4. Unscrew the valve handle and pull off the packing nut if the spigot was leaking from this component. It there is a packing washer, then replace it. If there is a packing string, then pull off the old string and wind the new one around the packing threads.
5. Push the valve back into the housing of the spigot, screw the packing nut and then tighten it with a wrench. Replace the handle and tighten the screw. Afterwards, you can turn the water on.
More Useful Tips If your spigot has an anti-siphon valve screwed to its spout, and water is spraying from it, unscrew the component and replace it. If the problem involves only a small amount of water leaking from the handle, you might be able to fix it by tightening the packing nut with a wrench.
If you have a frost-free valve stem, then the leak can be more difficult to repair, especially if it is coming from inside the wall or if the valve stem is soldered onto the water supply line, instead of being screwed into it. If this is your case, then you can consult a plumbing supply store for advice.
Toilets that leak cost a lot of money and continued leaking leads to a waste of water. These days, water is a precious need and seeing it wasted because of a leak is just too painful. Your toilet is comprised of many parts and when it starts leaking from the cistern (or the tank if you will), this is a serious issue that needs to be remedied right away.
But here’s the deal: you can only repair your toilet cistern if you know where the leak is occurring. Usually, a leak happens in the water supply fitting (the joint between the tank and the bowl) of the toilet. Another reason for leaks is that the water is escaping into the bowl even when you’re not flushing the toilet. However, if you have a porcelain tank that is leaking, unfortunately the only solution for that is to have the cistern replaced.
Then again, it’s always best to check which other parts of the toilet are leaking. Why is that? Maybe the solutions can be very simple and may just require changing a few parts (that are also inexpensive). And that’s what this article is all about: to help you figure out where the leak is and provide the solutions to fix it.
What You Will Be Needing
Before you do any work on your toilet, make sure you have everything you need. This is important because you don’t want to be going back and forth between the tool cabinet and the bathroom when you have a leak to fix. That said, here’s what you will need to fix a leaking cistern:
sponge, chamois cloth or towels
Fixing a Leaking Toilet Cistern
If the leak is in the water supply line
1. Check the point where the supply line meets the tank. Test to see if there are drips (use your fingers to verify). Also, check the line itself to see if its dripping.
2. See if the jamb nut holding the supply line to the tank is loose. If so, tighten the nut using an adjustable wrench. Make sure to do so carefully. The material a nut and fitting is made of is usually and nylon and when you over tightening it may cause it to strip. If you have a porcelain tank, this might be prone to cracking due to the pressure of nuts that are just too tight. For best results, make sure the nuts are snug with only a quarter turn or so past hand tightening.
3. If tightening the jam but didn’t solve the problem, replace the ball-cock assembly. A ball-cock is a term which is used when describing the water supply valve and float arm inside the toilet tank.
4. Turn the supply of water off at the shutoff valve which is located beneath the tank and near the floor. Drain the tank of water by flushing the toilet. Make sure the tank is really dry by mopping off excess water with a towel, sponge or chamois cloth.
5. With an adjustable wrench, loosen the jamb nut then pull out the old ball-cock then replace it with the new nut. Tighten the new nut but make sure not to make it too tight.
6. Turn the water back on. Check to see if there are still leaks after the tank has filled.
If the leak is in the tank-to-bowl assembly
1. Inspect the bolts holding the tank to the toilet bowl. Check to see if the nuts that are holding it in place are loose. If so, tighten them.
2. After tightening the nuts, check the connection to see if the leak still continues. If that is the case, you have to replace the gasket that seals the connection between the tank and bowl. Over time, these gaskets will lose their elasticity and as such, they will crack if they harden to a certain degree.
3. Shut the water supply through the shutoff valve. This valve is located beneath the tank. Drain water from the tank by flushing the toilet. Make sure any remaining water is dried using a chamois cloth, a sponge or a towel.
4. Loosen the nuts holding the bolts. Use a screwdriver to hold the top of the bolt then with an adjustable wrench, loosen the nuts. Loosen the jamb but that is securing the water supply to the tank.
5. Remove the tank free from the bowl. Take out the old gasket (this is shaped like a doughnut) and replace it with a new one (make sure to buy the one for your toilet).
6. Replace the tank back on top of the bowl. Insert the bolts and washers and tighten the nuts but make sure not to overdo it. Doing so might cause the porcelain to crack under the strain of the nuts.
7. Turn the water back on and check if there is still leaks after the tank has filled.
If the leak is caused by a leaking flapper
1. Check if the flapper valve isn’t seated correctly. The flapper is the device located at the bottom of the tank and its function is to prevent water from flowing into the bowl until the toilet is flushed.
2. Using food coloring, squeeze a few drops into the bowl and wait for a couple of minutes. You can leave the bathroom if you wish as this might take a while. The purpose of this exercise is to see whether or not the food coloring seeps through the bowl. If so, then it’s the flapper that leaks.
3. Turn the water supply off through the shutoff valve which is beneath the tank. Flush the toilet to drain the tank then wipe off any residual fluid with chamois cloth, towels or a sponge.
4. Inspect the flapper. If it’s no longer soft and pliable, you have to replace it because it has hardened. Snap this off, remove the chain leading to the flush handle, then install the new flapper and re-attach the chain.
5. Turn the water back on and check for leaks when the tank has filled up.
The tankless water heaters of Bosch use “on-demand” technology which makes them a lot smarter and more energy efficient. Essentially, the device only heats water when you need it and it’s off when you don’t need it. This is unlike conventional tanks that work 24/7 even when there is no demand and that is a waste of energy and money.
But even if Bosch designed their tankless water heaters to be advanced machines that can help homeowners save money, their products are not free from slight malfunctions. Having slight problems with a machine designed to be of the highest caliber is not unusual. The good thing is, minor issues can be solved without having to call in a technician for assistance.
This is what this article is for: to guide you on how to deal with simple issues relating to your Bosch tankless water heater.
Knowing How To Troubleshoot Simple Issues Saves Time And Money
While you may prefer to call in professional help when your water heater starts acting up, know that you can save a lot of money and time by trying out a few solutions by yourself. The issue might simply be solved by turning a switch on and off again and you’ve just spent good money on something you could have solved yourself.
This is not saying you should solve everything on your own, but once you run into issues with you water heater, it’s best to exhaust all possible causes before you call a technician to take a look at your device. This way, you can save precious time waiting for the technician to arrive and you can use the money to pay them for something you need for home or for your personal use.
Common Problems With Bosch Tankless Water Heaters And Their Solutions
Here is a list of the issues you will most likely encounter with your Bosch water heater along with how to deal with it:
Issue: The burner does not ignite when hot water is turned ON
If a two-digit code is displayed, refer to the manual that came with your water heater or download the exact one on their official website. But if there is no code displayed, try the following:
Verify power to outlet. Make sure that the heater power button is ON.
Make sure the fuses in the control board are good. You need to remove the control board to access the fuses.
Check if the cold water inlet connection is plumbed to the right side of heater when facing unit.
Confirm that there is at least 0.5 gallons per minute flow of water (the minimum amount of hot water needed to activate the heater). You can verify this by timing how long it takes to get a container filled. Here’s a rough guide: a quart container will take about 23 seconds or less to activate heater.
Clean the inlet filter screen.
Check the water path for obstructions. Shower heads, faucet aerators and whole house filters should all be clear of debris.
Check for plumbing crossover. When this happens in the hot and cold plumbing pipes, back pressure is created on the water flowing through the heater. As such, there will be a higher flow rate than normal needed to activate the heater.
Remove the front cover of the heater with the power button on OFF and the power supply unplugged.
Issue: The water is too hot
The chosen temperature on the heater is too high. Try lowering the output temperature and see if it changes anything.
Clean the inlet filter screen. Doing this can increase flow through the heater.
Check to see if there are any obstructions in the water path. All shower heads, faucet aerators and whole house filters should be clear of debris.
Make sure that the gas type of the heater is the same with the type of gas that is being supplied.
Clean all shower heads and faucet aerators to avoid restrictive outlets. You might also want to upgrade the shower head to one with a higher flow rate as long as it’s allowable by local code.
You might need periodic descaling if you live in an area where water has a high mineral content.
Issue: The water is not hot enough
Check the selected temperature if it’s not too low. Adjust this to a higher setting and see if it solves the problem.
Clean the inlet filter screen as this can increase flow through the heater.
Check to see if the water path has any obstructions. Make sure that all showerheads, faucet aerators and whole house filters are clear of debris.
Verify that the gas type of the heater is similar to the gas that is being supplied.
Check the inlet gas particle screen for blockage. This can be done by looking at the gas inlet connection located at the bottom of the heater.
Make sure that the gas pressure follows what was specified in the manual. If you need a reading, you have to call your original installer or a local certified gas technician to do so.
Check for a plumbing crossover.
Issue: There is low water flow or pressure
There might be too many hot water applications used altogether. Or, there is too much flow being demanded. Your heater can support two 2.0-2.5 GPM shower heads simultaneously or multiple sink applications. A greater draw leads water pressure to drop and flow in the taps will be reduced as well.
Make sure that gas pressure follows the specifications listed in the manual. You may need a gas pressure reading for this and you need a gas technician to do this.
The temperature selected on the heater might be too high for the flow rate being demanded. If so, the motorized water valve of the heater will close which leads to reduced hot water flow rate. The unit does this so that it can reach the selected output temperature. You can try to lower the temperature to allow the valve to open up to increase water flow rate.
Bradford White is known for making a variety of residential electric water heaters that come with good quality, which include high efficient energy saver models, upright energy saver models, utility energy saver models and lowboy energy saver models that are generally a favorite choice among builders, installers and homeowners in areas where traditional and alternative sources of power are unavailable. And with regulatory changes happening from time to time, this company’s electric water heater models that are highly energy efficient have become products belonging to a class of better value.
But like any other product, a Bradford White electric water heater can also experience problems at certain points in their life. Lucky for you, here are some useful troubleshooting tips that you can use during such situations:
1. No Hot Water When you experience this problem, the first thing you should do is to check the unit’s circuit breaker or fuse box. Then, you should try and check problems with the water heater power, reset button or limit switch. Water heat problems can also be caused by the upper thermostat and upper element.
2. Water Is Too Hot This can be resolved by simply adjusting the water heater temperature. You can also check thermostat function and make sure this component fits tight against the tank. Another way is to check for grounded element.
3. Not Enough Hot Water If this happens to you, it might be that its temperature was set to low. You can also check the thermostat, elements, loose wiring and the dip and fill tube.
4. Unit Making a Noisy Sound The most likely reason for this is loose or damaged heat trap nipples or sediment buildup on water heater elements.
5. Breaker Tripping The first thing that comes to mind is a wire that might be shorted in the system. So, you should check for grounded elements, which might be caused by water leaks. This can also be caused by weak or undersized breaker.
6. Slow Hot Water Recovery You can solve this simply by adjust the temperature. If this does not work, then you can check the thermostat, elements, wire connections or sediment buildup.
7. Relief Valve Periodically Releasing Large Amounts of Water This can be a common when the water is too hot. You can follow the troubleshooting tip #2.
8. Water Heater Leaking Check all orifices on the water heater including the elements to see where the leak is coming from. If it is the tank itself that is leaking, then the entire unit need to be replaced.
More Tips If this is the first time trying to repair your Bradford White electric water heater, you will need to know how to utilize a multimeter, and it is important to follow all safety rules when working with electricity. These include always checking the multimeter on a working power outlet; never opening access panels with the power on; never trusting a circuit breaker label; and always checking the water heater power to be sure it is off.
But if you do not feel confident to do the repair work yourself, it might be best to hire a professional to do the job for you.