Gas water heaters have a gas control valve allowing more or less gas into the unit in return increasing the heat that it can produce. This water heater gas valve has a pilot light and thermostat to help it do what it needs. There can be some issues or problems when one of these may be damaged, problems such as a faulty gas valve, faulty thermostat and or a non-functional pilot light. these problems can be identified if the water is not being heated to the correct temperature or if you noticed a reduced heat from your water or the opposite can happen where your water is too hot. Take a look at your water heater tank and inspect for any dirt or debris build up in the heating chamber if there is you will need to flush your water heater.
What Does A Water Heater Gas Control Valve Do?
As mentioned before the water heater gas valve controls the amount of gas entering the water unit. The control valve is then ignited with the pilot light then heats the thermocouple. The thermocouple when is warm then signals the gas control valve allowing the burner to start heating the water within the tank. This is a joint partnership between all parts and this is one of the main reasons why the whole unit must be replaced. The gas control valve also acts as a safety feature it will shut down to prevent the water getting too hot that can cause serious damage and pressure to the tank.
Troubleshooting Gas Control Valves
Gas control valves rarely have issues more than usual the problems can be related to a faulty thermostat, pilot light or even a gas burner. The usual or more likely issues come from the thermocouple and this is quite easy to replace but if you can see that the thermostat, gas burner or pilot is not working or worn down its best to replace them first before replacing the water heater gas control valve.
How To Replace Water Heater Gas Valve
WARNING: Natural gas can be extremely dangerous to work with, and the gas should always be turned off before attempting to repair a gas water heater. If you are not comfortable working in such a dangerous environment, contact a professional.
Gas control valve replacement process is quite simple there is also an easy to follow video to help if there are any issues with this process. On new gas water heaters you might have wires that connect from the control valve to a thermal fuse in the burner compartment. This is a new safety feature that will turn off the gas encase of a flood or fire. They must be reconnected as they are this is vital to ensure safety in your home.
Step 1– Buy The Materials
Visit your local hardware store and bring your old gas control valve with you and ask for assistance if you’re not comfortable deciding on the correct replacement.
Step 2– Shut Off Gas
Turn off all the gas entering into the unit and turn the gas control knob to the off position turn the gas control valve to off also.This will ensure that there is not gas entering the tank. make sure you do not smell any gas if you do I recommend calling the gas company to take a look as you may have a serious problem.
Step 3– Turn The Water Supply Off
Turn off the water supply to your water heater tank and begin to drain the tank of water as this will help make your job a little easier. once all has been drained check the discharge pipe and disconnect it from the tank.
Step 4– Remove the Old Valve
With a pipe wrench remove the gas control valve from the tank check the video for help. all heaters are different do try to check how they are removed by looking in your owner’s manual.
Step 5– Fix New Gas Control Valve
The same way you removed the old one attached the new control valve using a pipe wrench start by hand then use your wrench ensure it is tight to prevent any leakages.
Re-attach discharge pipe, make sure its attached to the valve outlet. not that not all water heaters have this.
Turn on the water and fill the tank back with water at the same time open the gas valve and gas knob. once all is back to how it used to be performed a gas leak test.