A year or 2 back our gas water heater broke so we bought a new one, then decided we wanted an electric water heater so bought one of those as well. We plumbed it up so we could run either one or both. We turned off the gas heater and only used the electric. It's been slowly leaking water and some water is inside the middle of the water heater. I'd like to quit using the electric and use the gas instead (cheaper). I fixed the leak but i'm unsure if the gas heater even works or will get a spark. Should I attempt to clean/fix it or just purchase a new one?
The most energy efficient gas water heaters have an enclosed chamber for the burner that you have to unscrew a panel to see inside. This may also result in slow drying out if water got inside.
After you are sure that the burner area is dried out, try to relight the pilot and start the heater using its usual instructions.
When cleaning anything including baby diapers, it is better to sweep off or scrape off as much solid and semisolid material as you can first. (1) Less cleaning fluid or detergent needs to be used, (2) Less of a mushy mess which in turn means that bleaches or disinfectants will be more effective.