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How To Troubleshoot & Repair An Electric Water Heater

Electric Water Heater

An electric water heater should be a safe and reliable source of hot water for your home. Your family relies on hot water for many daily activities. For this reason, it’s important to get to the bottom of any issues quickly. In this article, we take a look at how to troubleshoot and repair your electric water heater.

Please keep in mind, Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric strongly discourages making dangerous water heater repairs yourself. If you lack the experience, please call a professional.

First Things First: Turn Off The Power

Electric water heaters are dangerous to work on with a live electrical current. There’s no getting around it. So before checking any parts of your water heater, make sure you’ve turned the power off on your circuit breaker.

No Hot Water

This is one of the main electric water heater problems. This is usually because your water heater isn’t receiving power. Alternatively, the limit switch may have tripped. The first thing to do is to check your water heater’s circuit breaker. You’ll find this in the service panel. If the breaker has tripped, simply flip the breaker switch up again. This will restore power to your water heater. Failing this, you’ll need to reset the temperature limiter on the heater. Remember that this can get tricky, and you may want to call in a professional plumber to sort it out. If you’re determined to try it yourself, here’s how to approach it:

  1. Turn off the water heater’s breaker in the service panel.
  2. On the water heater, remove the heating elements access panel and the insulation.
  3. Next, press the red button. This is the high-temperature cut-off reset button.
  4. Finally, replace the insulation and the access panel, and flip up the circuit breaker

Failing these steps, you should call a professional to help.

The Water Is Too Hot

As nice as hot water is, our bodies can only tolerate so much hot water. The most likely problem is that one of your water heater thermostats is set incorrectly. Here’s how you check the thermostat setting:

  1. Once you’ve turned off the power in the service panel, remove the access panel.
  2. After removing the insulation and the safety guard, check the temperature on both the thermostats. They should both be between 115 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. If one or both of the temperatures are off, adjust the setting using a screwdriver.
  4. Finally, repeat the first two steps in reverse to secure your water heater.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, your thermostats may be altogether faulty. In this case, you’ll need to call on a plumber to replace one or both of your thermostats.

Not Enough Hot Water

Alternatively, you may not be getting enough hot water. This could mean that your water heater could be too small for your household’s hot water demand. A water heater should provide 75% of its total capacity.

For example, a 40-gallon water heater is designed to cater for 30-gallon demand. You have two options if this is the case. Firstly, you can try and limit the length of showers that your family takes. This may also involve the installation of a low-flow shower head to save hot water. Secondly, you may need to upgrade your water heater with a larger unit. A reputable plumber will be able to advise you on the correctly sized water heater for your home’s needs.

Water Heater Leaks

Water heater leaks are a little more complicated to solve. First, you’ll need to find the location of the leak. Check the connections surrounding the cold-water inlet and the hot-water outlet. If either of these connections is loose, it may simply need to be tightened with a pipe wrench. Next, you’ll need to check the temperature and pressure relief valve. This is located on the side, or the top of the tank. The drain valve located at the bottom of the tank will also need to be checked. The drain valve should be completely closed and watertight. Finally, inspect the condition of the internal tank for any corrosion. As you can see, finding the location of the leak can be challenging. In cases like this, it’s best to call Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric to help. They cover all water heater needs.

The Electric Water Heater Specialists

At Art Plumbing Ac & Electric, we specialize in all electric water heater repairs. Our certified team of technicians will fix your electric water heater in no time. Instead of risking it yourself, rather get in the professionals. With reasonable rates and a quick turnaround time, you can trust us to get that hot water working again. Call us today at 1-561-391-1048.