Always shut off the power to your water heater before doing any troubleshooting or draining.
While an unexpected blast of cold water during your morning shower can wake you right up, it can also signal problems with your water heater. If you own a Richmond water heater, either gas or electric, it is important to understand how to conduct some basic troubleshooting. Learning how to solve basic problems and perform basic tasks, such as draining your heater, can save you money on a repairman and ensure you never take an unexpectedly cold shower.
Basic Toubleshooting Instructions
Adjust the thermostat. Both gas and electric Richmond water heaters have adjustable thermostats. If your water is too cold or too hot, try adjusting the thermostat before proceeding on to other troubleshooting.
Check power supply to the heater. If you have an electric Richmond heater, make sure a circuit breaker has not flipped and the heater is properly connected to the power outlet. If you are using a gas heater, make sure the valve is fully opened and the heater is properly connected.
Reignite the pilot light. Richmond gas heaters use a pilot light to ignite the gas heating the water. Make sure the light hasn't blown out, and if it has, use the ignition mechanism on the heater to light the pilot.
Drain and clean the heater. Follow the instructions in Section 2 for draining your Richmond heater and clean the tank and all heating elements thoroughly. Dust and sediment can build up over time, affecting the efficiency of the heater.
Contact Richmond Customer Service at (800) 621-5622 or call a qualified service technician.
Shut off power to your Richmond water heater. If you have an electric water heater, flip the circuit breaker or disconnect the power supply. If you have a gas heater, shut off the gas line at the shut-off valve.
Shut off the cold water supply to the heater.
Open a hot water faucet in your house or lift the handle on the heater's relief valve to let air into the tank and force the water out.
Attach a garden hose to the heater's drain valve and direct the hose toward a safe area to allow the water to drain. The water will be hot, so ensure no people or animals are in the direction of the draining water.
Open the heater's drain valve and allow the water to fully drain from the heater.
Michael J. Scott
Michael Scott is a freelance writer and professor of justice studies at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a former prosecutor. Scott has a J.D. from Emory University and is a member of the Utah State Bar. He has been freelancing since June 2009, and his articles have been published on eHow.com and Travels.com.