7 Tell-tale signs of a Water Heater not working
During the hot summer months, I’m perfectly willing to take a lukewarm shower to keep cool. To the point where on a hot and humid day, I would even prefer to be splashed with cold water. However, when winter arrives and it’s time to get out the jackets, turn up the heat, sip hot chocolate, and cuddle under the covers, the water heater is generally the unsung hero of the day. When the snug layers and hot beverages aren’t enough to keep me warm, a warm shower or bath is the ideal remedy. Understanding the early warning indications that your house’s vital system is beginning to fail is a crucial skill to have as a homeowner.
Additionally, keeping up with regular water heater operations around your house will help you avoid costly repairs and replacements down the road.
No need to be concerned – here are seven frequent water heater problems, as well as advice on what to do if you detect any of these warning signals of trouble.
1. You don’t have enough hot water
Do you have hardly enough hot water to take a single shower every day? Do you wash the dishes and realize that you’re doomed if you want to take a warm bath afterward? I’ve been there myself: My water heater was inadequate to service all of the units in my apartment building, and I was so anxious for a hot bath that I heated water in my kettle and then poured it into the tepid water in my tub. It’s possible that your water heater isn’t producing enough hot water in these situations; nonetheless, you shouldn’t be boiling water in a kettle on your stove since it’s potentially unsafe.
According to HomeTips, moving the temperature dial on your water heater to a higher setting, waiting around 30 minutes, and then testing the water temperature at a faucet is a simple solution to this problem. Make verify that the circuit breaker is still in the “on” position and that the associated switch is still in the “on” position, as this might have caused the thermostat to become stuck on a different setting. A specialist should be contacted right away if you have an electric water heater that is constantly tripping the circuit breaker.
When all else fails, consider emptying the water tank to eliminate sediment and increase the unit’s overall efficiency.
Consider having a professional plumber check the pipes to determine the source of the problem and repair the necessary parts.
Important note: If you consistently feel as if you don’t have enough hot water rather than experiencing a recent lapse in supply, your water heater may be too small for your needs and needs to be replaced.
As a result, you might want to think about upgrading to a newer unit with a larger tank or investing in a tankless, on-demand unit.
2. You have varying water temperature issues
The water might be too hot for one second, too chilly for the next, and occasionally exactly perfect in between. The fact that your water temperature is fluctuating is easy to overlook, but it might be an indication of a far larger problem with your water heater that will only worsen with time.
Check to verify that your water heater’s thermostat is adjusted to the temperature you wish. Consider lowering the thermostat to a cooler setting if you notice the water is too hot to the touch, for example. HomeTips offers some sound advice: Before making any adjustments, make a mark on the current setting with tape or a marker. If the thermostat changes on its own, you will be able to detect it. The manufacturer stated that if the water is regularly excessively hot or cold even after the thermostat has been set to the proper temperature, you may need to replace the thermostat or heating element, according to Sears.
A problem with the bottom element is likely to be the cause of your shower running out of hot water too rapidly.
Another key point to notice about unit size is that a 40-gallon heater, for example, is designed to meet a demand of around 30 gallons.
While a 30-gallon capacity is plenty for one person, two persons would most likely require 40 gallons of storage space.
3. You have a leaking water heater
Check to be that the temperature on your water heater is adjusted to the proper level. Consider lowering the thermostat to a colder setting if you notice the water is becoming too hot to the touch. HomeTips offers sound advice: Before making any adjustments, tape or mark the current setting with a marker. You’ll be able to see if the thermostat changes on its own this way. According to Sears, if the water is regularly excessively hot or cold even after the thermostat has been set to the proper temperature, you may need to replace the thermostat or the heating element in the water heater.
A problem with the bottom element is likely to be the cause of your shower’s rapid depletion of hot water.
The Spruce underlined another significant point about unit size: a 40-gallon heater, for example, is designed to meet a need of around 30 gallons of water.
When it comes to one person, a 30-gallon capacity is sufficient; however, two individuals would most likely want 40 gallons.
In order to accommodate a family of three, Lowe’s suggests selecting a model with a capacity of at least 50 gallons, and increasing the capacity from there for families with four or more individuals.
When diagnosing a water heater problem of this nature, it is extremely vital to be cautious. SF Gate Home Guides recommended that you unplug the electricity or turn off the gas to the unit before attempting to repair it. This will allow the unit to cool down before proceeding. It is possible to check the water heater from there to establish where the leak is coming from. Starting with the unit itself, ensure sure all of the inlets, fasteners, connections, and pipes are secure and haven’t fallen free.
After that, inspect the unit’s bottom for signs of excessive leaking.
A significant leak, on the other hand, indicates that something is wrong and that you should contact an expert for assistance.
4. You notice reduced water flow
It is possible that a build-up of scale or silt in your water heater, or within the tubing that links the unit to various places throughout your home, is causing the changes in flow rate or pressure. This is not a warning sign that should be ignored and dealt with later, since the accumulation will only worsen and may result in you being without much-needed hot water in the heart of winter.
It is possible that a build-up of scale or silt in your water heater, or within the tubing that links the unit to various places throughout your home, is causing the changes in flow rate and pressure. A warning sign that should not be ignored and dealt with later is one that will only worsen with time and may result in you being unable to use your hot water in the heart of winter, when you most need it.
5. You’re hearing some concerning sounds
It is possible that a build-up of scale or silt in your water heater, or within the piping that links the unit to various locations throughout your home, is causing the changes. This is not a warning sign that should be ignored and dealt with later, as the accumulation will only worsen and may even result in you being without much-needed hot water in the heart of winter.
Like other frequent water heater problems, the first line of defense will be to drain the tank and remove any residue that has accumulated. If the sounds persist even after you have flushed away the burning buildup, it is probable that you will need to repair the heating components. If, on the other hand, you hear the boiling sounds described above, don’t waste time attempting to resolve the problem yourself. Rather, contact a professional for quick assistance.
6. You have smelly or discolored water
Your first line of defense, like with any other frequent water heater problem, will be to empty the tank and remove any residue. The heating components will most certainly need to be replaced if the sounds persist even after draining out the burning accumulation.
You should not waste time attempting to fix the problem yourself if you hear the boiling noises indicated above. As an alternative, get quick assistance from a specialist.
In order to identify whether the foul odor and discoloration are caused by a problem with the source water or the heater itself, the first step is to conduct a test. To do so, turn on a faucet and run both cold and hot water through it. Check your findings against the following professional advice from HomeTips:
- The following odor and discoloration can be seen in both hot and cold water: Problem with the water supply at the source
- Only cold water is available due to a source–water issue. There is just hot water because of a water heater problem.
The installation of water filters and softeners to remove iron, copper, and other minerals from the water before it reaches your faucets is the best answer if you have a source–water problem on your hands. Iron, copper, and other minerals are removed from the water before it reaches your faucets. Hot water scents and discolouration, on the other hand, necessitate the cleansing of your water tank. Sears recommended draining the tank, filling it with 32 ounces of bleach, then flushing it again to eradicate odor-causing germs and remove rust, according to the manufacturer.
Draining the tank and running hot water for a few minutes should reveal whether or not the strange smell and colors have disappeared.
Due to the fact that this demands a significant amount of plumbing skills and experience, many homeowners may seek professional assistance in order to finish the replacement process.
Before re-lighting the pilot, switch off the gas valve control and wait for the gas smell to dissipate before turning it back on again.
7. Your water heater is on the older end of the spectrum
A five-year-old water heater is significantly less durable and dependable than a modern water heater constructed just five years ago. If you have recently acquired a new water heater, you may anticipate it to operate quietly, efficiently, and mostly without maintenance for at least 10 years at a time. Older machines, on the other hand, can hum, pop, and clang while producing disappointingly tepid water as they near the end of their useful life.
If the age of your water heater is in the double digits – and especially if it is exhibiting any of the warning signals listed above – it may be time to replace it with a modern model to save money. Not only will your showers be more relaxing, but you may also see a reduction in your monthly expenditures. In the opinion of HouseLogic, modern water heaters can be up to 20 percent more efficient than older, traditional ones, resulting in savings of up to $700 in energy bills over the water heater’s lifespan.
Avoiding issues with regular maintenance
Professional inspections and hot water heater maintenance should be performed on a regular basis. A lot can be done to assist keep the functionality and efficiency of your hot water heater in good working order. For example, by draining out your tank every few months, you may avoid the scale and sediment accumulation that is so frequently the source of hot water difficulties. Aside from that, you’ll want to examine critical components on a regular basis to ensure that they’re in perfect working order.
Insulating the unit and hot water pipes can also help to improve efficiency by minimizing energy loss and overworking of the system.
To be safe, you should always switch off the electricity to the heater’s circuit before completing any chores.
During the winter months, scheduling expert inspections and repairs is more difficult, and the costs may be greater as a result of the reduced demand.
Preparing for water heater problems before they occur is usually a wise tactic to employ. View this video to learn how plans from TotalHome Warranty by HomeServecan assist you with the expenses of covered appliance and home system repairs.
DIY Water Heater Testing and Repair
Occasionally, the heating elements on electric water heaters break long before the water heater itself fails, but changing them in a hot water heater is a simple Do It Yourself repair.
The majority of the time, replacing one or both of the heating elements will address the problem if your electric hot water heater is taking a long time to heat up, running out of hot water more quickly than it used to, or not delivering any hot water. Water heater repairs are simple, and replacement components are affordable ($8 to $20), and they are easily accessible at home centers, hardware shops, and appliance parts dealers across the country. How to test the heating elements, remove one if it’s defective, and replace it with a new one will be demonstrated.
If your heater is reaching its end of life, it may be more cost-effective to replace it than to repair it.
Other Causes of Water Not Getting Hot
Of course, there are a variety of additional factors that might contribute to a shortage of hot water. Before you begin testing the elements, double-check that the circuit breaker is not tripped and that it is in the on position. Press the reset button on the high-temperature cutoff, which is positioned slightly above the top thermostat, at the same time. Although resetting either the circuit breaker or the high-temperature cutoff may remedy the problem, the fact that they were tripped in the first place may suggest that there is an electrical fault with the system in the first place.
Assuming that the heating components are working properly, the thermostats or cutoff switch may be defective.
Video: How to Test Your Water Heater Element
- Power should be turned off at the circuit breaker. Remove the metal covers from the thermostats and heating components to reveal them.
- Pro tip: Check that the power has been turned off by tapping the electrical connections with a noncontact voltage detector.
Test the Wires
- Please keep in mind that if the wires are covered by metal conduit, the tester will not read the voltage. Take off the metal thermostat cover that is mounted on the side of the water heater, peel out all of the insulation, and place the tester in close proximity to the wires that go up to the top of the high-temperature cutoff switch.
- Placing the tester against the metal water heater shell will get the following results:
- Note: If the tester does not light up, it is okay to proceed with the testing of the components.
What’s Inside a Water Heater and How It Works
The vast majority of domestic electric water heaters feature two heating elements: one near the top of the tank and another towards the bottom of the tank. After entering the top, power travels to the high-temperature cutoff switch, and then to the thermostats and elements on each side of the unit. The temperature of the top and bottom components is regulated by two different thermostats. When the water at the top of the tank becomes too hot, the top element goes off and the bottom element takes over to heat the water.
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Complete your do-it-yourself tasks like an expert! Become a subscriber to our newsletter! Do It Right the First Time, and Do It Yourself! Step number three.
Test Continuity for a Burned-Out Element
- Please keep in mind that you will need a continuity tester ($5 to $10) for this stage.
- A continuity tester (about $5 to $10) will be required for this procedure.
- Note: If the tester does not illuminate, the element should be replaced.
Test for a Short Circuit
- The alligator clip should be attached to one of the element screws. Touch the tester probe to the mounting bracket for the element
- Repeat the process on the other screw.
- It is important to note that if the tester light illuminates either time, there is a short. Replace the element with a new one
The Secret of the Red Button
Occasionally, both elements will pass the test, but you will still be unable to receive hot water.
Try pressing the “high-temperature cutoff” button, which is situated right above the upper thermostat, to see if that helps. It may temporarily cure the problem, but if the problem recurs, the heating components should be checked. Step number five.
Remove the Bad Element
- Close the intake valve for cold water
- Start by turning on the hot water tap in the kitchen. Pour water into the tank by connecting a garden hose to the drain valve and opening it
- Close the inlet valve for cold water. In the kitchen, turn on the hot water faucet. Pour water into the tank by connecting a garden hose to the drain valve and opening it.
- Remove the old heating element by unscrewing it using a heating element wrench.
- Pro tip: To spin the socket, you’ll need a long, robust Phillips screwdriver with a flat blade. To free the threads that have become stuck, use a cold chisel and a hammer to loosen the threads that have become stuck.
Install the New Element
- Insert the replacement element into the water heater and tighten it down with the heating element wrench if necessary. Reconnect the wires, checking to see that the connections are secure. Remove the insulation and metal covers and replace them.
Buying Heating Elements
Fitting a new water heater element into the tank and tightening it using a heating element wrench Ensure that the cables are securely connected by tightening the connectors. The insulation and metal coverings should be replaced.
5 Things to Check on Your Water Heater Every Year
The pleasure of relaxing in a hot shower or bath is a small luxury that you want to make sure is always available to you. Despite this, we frequently take our water heater for granted — at least until we are left with nothing but an extremely cold supply. Checking and servicing your water heater on a regular basis will assist to prevent a water heater breakdown and keep your water hot throughout the year. However, what should you be checking on your water heater each year to guarantee that it is operating at peak performance?
Water Heater Age and Condition
Checking the age and general condition of your water heater is simple and quick, and it may disclose a great deal about the status of your water heater. Over time, a water heater, like any other device, may become less efficient and more troublesome, becoming less efficient and more problematic. It is possible for a high-quality, well-maintained water heater to endure for up to ten years; nevertheless, it may require expert maintenance. Water heaters that are of poor quality, that have not been properly maintained, or that are utilized in locations with hard water or sediment may need to be replaced more frequently than other types of water heaters.
Leaks and Connections
Having a leaky water heater may indicate that you require a replacement water heater, or it may indicate that the connections only require tightening or repair. Once a year, inspecting the connections to your water heater can assist to prevent leaks or even floods, both of which can cause significant damage. A leak should be reported immediately to a plumber who has experience working with water heaters so that the source of the leak may be identified and repaired. An input or outlet valve that is loose, a temperature and pressure valve that is malfunctioning, or a heating gasket that is leaking are all possible causes.
You should check the temperature of your water heater once a year in order to determine how efficiently and successfully the thermostat and water heater are performing their respective functions. Despite the fact that this approach only provides a basic indication of hot water temperature, it is straightforward to use. Do not use any hot water during the one-hour period in which your water heater is operating (if it is a storage style heater). Otherwise, continue to use your water heater as usual to get the water to the proper temperature.
If you observe a significant difference between the water temperature and the setting set on your thermostat, you may need to hire a plumber to assist you in adjusting the thermostat.
Check The Anode Rod
This is a steel wire that has been coated with aluminum or magnesium, which helps to prevent rusting of the hot water tank anode rod. It’s frequently referred to as the’sacrificial’ anode rod since it’s intended to wear away and rust rather than causing rust to occur in the tank itself. It is critical to periodically inspect the anode rod of your water heater to verify that it has not been worn away or coated with sediment buildup. If there is more than 6 inches of steel exposed on the anode rod, if the rod is less than 12 inches thick throughout, or if the rod is coated with calcium buildup, the rod should be replaced.
Especially in places with hard water or a mineral-rich water supply, sediment build-up can cause problems with water heater tanks. Sediment can accumulate at the bottom of your hot water tank over time, causing it to get clogged. This can cause problems with the operation of your hot water tank, resulting in the element, thermostat, and input and output valves all becoming compromised. Emptying and cleaning out the water tank can help to eliminate any sediment buildup that has formed. Once a year inspection of your water heater will assist to guarantee that it remains in peak operating condition and continues to perform properly.
Magnificent Plumbing can provide you with an experienced analysis as well as skilled water heater repair.
Troubleshooting Checklist for an Electric Water Heater
Hard water or mineral-rich water supplies can cause sediment build-up in water heater tanks, which can cause problems. In the bottom of your hot water tank, silt can settle and accumulate, causing it to get clogged. This can cause problems with the operation of your hot water tank, resulting in the element, thermostat, and input and output valves being faulty or perhaps failing altogether. Emptying and cleaning out the water tank will help to eliminate any sediment build-up. Making an annual inspection of your water heater can assist you in ensuring its continued maximum performance and efficiency.
Watch Now: How to Repair an Electric Water Heater
Limited warranties are provided with both residential and commercial hot water heaters. Every tank is equipped with a rating plate that displays the tank’s model and serial number. These numbers specify the year in which the tank was manufactured, and they will decide if the tank is covered by a prorated warranty, which may include the provision of a new tank or replacement parts at no cost or at a discount. Take a picture or write down the information, then contact the manufacturer if the tank is leaking or the element is not working correctly.
The following is something that you can perform before you start diagnosing the issue.
Working with electric water heaters when the power is on is risky since they are high-voltage (240-volt) equipment that can cause electrocution. Turn off the electricity to the water heater’s circuit by turning off the relevant breaker in your home’s service panel before inspecting any electrical components of the water heater (breaker box).
Also, use a non-contact voltage tester to check all of the wires in the water heater to ensure that the power is turned off before touching any of the wires.
How to Fix
Working with electric water heaters when the power is on may be quite dangerous because of the high voltage (240 volts). Shut off the electricity to the water heater’s circuit by turning off the relevant breaker in your home’s service panel before you begin testing any electrical components of the water heater (breaker box). A non-contact voltage tester should be used to check all of the wires in the water heater to ensure that the power is off before touching any of the wires.
No Hot Water
A water heater that does not generate hot water might be due to a lack of electricity, a tripped limit switch, or one or more faulty heating components, to name a few possibilities. As a first step, make sure that the circuit breaker for your water heater is not tripped on your panel of electrical circuit breakers. Switch off the circuit breaker and then turn it back on if it has been tripped. If the heater’s breaker does not trip (i.e., if it is still turned on), attempt the following steps to reset the high-temperature limit:
- Turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater’s circuit at the service panel if necessary. Removing the access panel for the water heater’s upper heating element is a good idea. Carefully remove all of the insulation and the plastic safety shield, taking care not to come into contact with any of the wires or electrical connections
- To reset the high-temperature cutoff, press the red button above the higher thermostat, which is positioned above the upper thermostat. Reinstall the safety guard, the insulating material, and the access panel. Turn on the circuit breaker for the heater. Test each heating element and replace it if required if this does not resolve the problem
“The Spruce” is a song by Candace Madonna.
Inadequate Hot Water
If your water heater is producing hot water but not enough of it, it is possible that your unit is too small to satisfy the hot water demands of your home. Take precautions to ensure that the water heater’s capacity does not exceed the demand.
How to Fix
The water heater should be able to provide hot water to a capacity of 75% of its total capacity. For example, a 40-gallon water heater is appropriately suited for a 30-gallon demand. If the demand exceeds the capacity of the heater, attempt to restrict the length of showers, install low-flow showerheads, and spread out dishwashing and laundry to different times of the day rather than doing them all at the same time to reduce the strain on the heater. The failure of one or both of your unit’s heating elements, even if your unit is not undersized, might indicate that one or both of its heating elements have failed.
When hot water runs out rapidly during a shower, it is an indication of a faulty bottom heating element in the shower.
Water Temperature Is Too Hot
Ideally, 75 percent of the total capacity of the water heater should be used to heat the water. For example, a 40-gallon water heater is appropriately designed for a demand of 30 gallons per minute. If the demand exceeds the capacity of the heater, attempt to restrict the length of showers, install low-flow showerheads, and spread out dishwashing and laundry to different times of the day rather than doing them all at the same time to reduce the strain on the system. The failure of one or both of your unit’s heating elements, even if your unit is not undersized, might indicate that one or both of its heating elements have gone bad.
While showering, you may see a steady flow of warm water, which indicates that the upper heating element is malfunctioning. It is possible that the bottom heating element is faulty if the hot water runs out rapidly when you are in the shower. Getty Images / Glow Decoration
How to Fix
To double-check the thermostat settings, do the following:
- In the service panel, turn off the electricity to the water heater to conserve energy. The access panel, insulation, and plastic safety shield from each heating element on the water heater should be removed before continuing. Do not come into contact with any wires or electrical terminals. Using a non-contact voltage tester, check the cables to ensure that the power has been turned off. Ensure that the heat is set correctly on both thermostats: Both of them should be at the same temperature as each other. 115 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit is the acceptable temperature range. Make use of a flathead screwdriver to adjust the temperature to the correct level
- And Set the other thermostat to the same temperature as the first
- For each element, replace the safety guard, insulation, and access panel as needed. Turn on the circuit breaker for the heater.
“The Spruce” is a song by Candace Madonna.
Water leaks are often caused by leaking valves and plumbing connections, but they can also be caused by difficulties with the tank’s drainage system. Water leaks may cause substantial damage to a property, which is why it is critical to repair the leak as soon as it is discovered.
How to Fix
Leaks from water heater tanks can occur as a result of faulty heating components or corrosion in the tank. Inspect the elements for looseness and, if required, tighten them with an element wrench to prevent them from moving. A rusted tank is unable to be repaired and must be completely replaced instead. Turn off the water heater’s power and water supply, and then totally drain the tank to stop the leaks from occurring. “The Spruce” is a song by Candace Madonna.
Rust-Colored Water or Bad Odor
If your water has a brown, yellow, or red tinge to it as it comes out of the faucet, corrosion might be occuring within your water heater tank or in the pipes in your home. If your water comes out smelling like rotten eggs, it’s possible that bacteria has built up in the tank of your hot water heater. A professional plumber may be required to replace the anode rod in the tank, which is something that you should avoid doing unless absolutely necessary. courtesy of KariHoglund / Getty Images
Tank Making Noises
If your water has a brown, yellow, or red colour to it as it comes out of the faucet, it is possible that corrosion is occuring within your water heater tank or in the pipes in your residence. A buildup of germs in the hot water heater tank might be the cause of rotten egg smell coming from your faucet. A professional plumber may be required to repair the anode rod in the tank, which is something that you should seek out if this happens. Getty Images / KariHoglund /
How to Fix
In order to remove the silt from the tank, the first thing to attempt is to empty it. The tank may need to be replaced if this does not alleviate the problem. “The Spruce” is a song by Candace Madonna.
8 Steps to Test Water Heater Element
Have you noticed a significant reduction in the temperature of the water delivered by your water heater? If so, you’re not alone. Every home need hot water in order to do a variety of household tasks. When your water heater, on the other hand, generates lukewarm water that is incapable of serving the intended function, it may be really annoying. While a variety of factors can influence the efficiency with which your water heater operates, a malfunctioning element is one of the most common reasons of water heater failure.
As a result, it is necessary to understand how to test and replace a water heater element.
When it comes to doing your water heater element testing, the following are some of the instruments you should have on hand:
- Hand gloves, a screwdriver, safety goggles, and a digital multimeter are all required.
Causes of Failure of Water Heater Element
There might be several factors contributing to your water heater element not functioning properly.
a). Accumulation of Mineral
Consider the following reasons why your water heater element may have failed to function correctly.
b). Trapped Air Pockets
All water heater elements must be operated with their heads submerged in water at all times. If the heat created by an element is not transmitted to the water, it might burn through the copper of the element. A bleed line on the water is required once or twice a year to remove trapped air and sediments from the tank. If this is not done, the trapped air, referred to as “Air Pockets,” will cause the upper element to burn since it is not immersed in water. This has the potential to cause the water heater to fail.
c). Malfunctioning Thermostat
The thermostat’s job is to notify the elements when to heat the water at different temperatures depending on the temperature setting. When the temperature rises over a preset threshold, the high limit switch on the thermostat is activated, and the power is turned off as a result. A faulty thermostat will be unable to regulate the amount of heat provided to the water heater element, resulting in the element finally catching fire.
d). Power Surge
A abrupt rise in voltage, such as that induced by a power surge or lightning, can also cause an element to catch fire and burn. Each element has a certain voltage rating, and any voltage that is higher than the appropriate voltage will cause the element to burn.
e). Breakage of Heating Element
When the heating element within the tank of an electric water heater malfunctions, there may be a loss of hot water. Perhaps the element will catch fire, resulting in the water slowly cooling down. If, on the other hand, there is simply cold water, this indicates that the second element has failed. Aside from these three possibilities, a tripped circuit or a blown fuse might also cause the heating element to trip. It is also expected that the fuse box would be checked in this respect.
f). Bad Wire Connection
Electricity is delivered to the elements by high gauge cables. In the event that a wire falls off a terminal as a consequence of a faulty connection, an element may cease to function. Due to the inadequate connection, it is possible that other issues such as arcing will arise as well. You should pay close attention to anything that has the potential to harm your water heater element and take precautions to avoid it if possible.
Steps on How to Test Water Heater Element
The following are the methods to be followed when testing for the water element:
Step 1: Disconnect from the power source
This is an extremely important phase in the testing of the water element. You can find the circuit breaker that links your water heater at the main electrical panel. Most of the time, it is located in the metal box that is fastened to the wall. The majority of electricians label each circuit breaker with the name of the device it powers. You’ve found the one that says “hot water heater” and you’ve turned that one off. If you are unsure of which circuit breaker is responsible for your water heater, simply turn off the entire power supply to safeguard your own safety.
Step 2: Open the metal box cover
In the process of evaluating the water element, this is a very important step to do. Locate the circuit breaker that links your water heater to the main electrical panel in your home. It is commonly found in a metal box that is mounted to the wall and serves as a storage container. In most cases, the name of the device that each circuit breaker powers is written on the breaker.
You’ve found the one that says “hot water heater” and you’ve turned the switch off. Simply turning off the entire power supply can secure your safety if you are unsure of which breaker is responsible for your water heater’s operation.
Step 3: Detach the insulation
Depending on how old your water heater is, a layer of cellulose or fiberglass insulation will be installed behind the metal cover. Disconnect the insulation and place it to one side. While removing the insulation, make use of your safety gloves and goggles. Check to check if the thermostat is protected by a plastic cover. Pulling off the tab on the thermostat plastic cover will also allow you to remove it. However, because some thermostats do not come with a detachable plastic cover, doing this operation is entirely optional.
Step 4: Confirm that the power is off
You should check to make sure that the power has been turned off once more. Install a noncontact voltage detector next to the wire that connects the element to the thermostat to detect voltage fluctuations. The presence of a beeping sound or flashing lights from the voltage detector shows that the water heater is still connected to the electric source. As a precaution, make sure that the power has been entirely turned off before continuing with the task.
Step 5: Locate the endpoint of the elements in the open panel
A single or two elements will most likely be used in your water heater, depending on the size of your residence. Because they extend deep into the water heater’s open panel, you can’t see the elements themselves. You will be able to observe their endpoints, on the other hand. An element measures around 1 inch in length and is fastened to a plastic plate with the use of screws.
Step 6: Note the reading of your water heater element
Set the multimeter dial to the lowest setting, which is Rx1k, which is resistances multiplied by 1000. You should pay attention to the base of your water heater tank. You will notice the wattage and ohms that have been imprinted. With a 3500-watt water heater, the multimeter will read 16, whereas a water heater with a 4,500-watt capacity will read between 12 and 13. You will receive between 10 and 11 cents for a water heater with a 5,500-watt element.
Step 7: Use a digital multimeter to read the water heater element
Set the multimeter dial to the lowest setting, which is Rx1k, which is resistances multiplied by 1000, or the lowest setting possible. Check the bottom of your water heater tank carefully. Wattage and Ohms will be clearly visible on the screen. With a 3500-watt water heater, the multimeter will read 16, whereas a water heater with a 4,500-watt capacity will read between 12 and 13. You will earn between 10 and 11 cents for a water heater with a 5,500-watt element.
Step 8: Reattach the disconnected parts
Set the multimeter dial to the lowest setting, which is Rx1k, which is resistances multiplied by 1,000. Examine the base of your water heater tank attentively. You will be able to read the watts and ohms that are imprinted. If your water heater is 3500-watts, the multimeter will read 16 cents, whereas a 4,500-watt water heater would register between 12 and 13 cents on the scale. For a water heater with a 5,500-watt element, you will receive between 10 and 11 cents per gallon.
How to Replace an Electric Water Heater Heating Element
The process of replacing a water heater element is rather straightforward. You may learn how to achieve this by watching the video below.
Now that you’ve learned how to test the water heater element, you should be able to solve any issues that arise with this important piece of household equipment.
Please keep in mind that you simply need to follow the following procedures:
- Turn off the electricity
- To obtain access to the element, remove the metal cover from the element. Remove the insulation from the ducts. Using a multimeter, measure the resistance of the water element
- And If an element is defective, it should be replaced. Assemble all of the pieces that were previously separated
Shut down the electricity. To obtain access to the element, lift the metal cover. The insulation should be removed. Using a multimeter, check the resistance of the water element. If an element is defective, it should be replaced. Assemble all of the pieces that were previously separated.
How to Check Your Hot Water Heater
A nightmarish scenario has unfolded. In the middle of February, the temperature outdoors is 31 degrees. You’re shivering from the chills. You head to the bathroom to take your morning shower, and the warm, soothing flow of the boiling hot water instantly relaxes your muscles. The knobs are turned and instead of the delightful heat, you are blasted with an icy shower that feels as if it has dropped from the clouds of the planet Neptune, causing you to freeze to the ground. Checking your hot water heater to make sure it’s operating properly and replacing components if necessary (or hiring a professional to assist you) is simple when you follow this guide.
- If this is the case, replace the blown fuses and wait approximately one hour for the water to warm up.
- Turn off the power to the electrical panel, remove the fuses, secure the panel, and inform everyone in the house (or apartment complex) that you will be working on the water heater circuit at this time.
- Afterwards, remove the access panel and the insulation to have a better understanding of the controls and heating element.
- For the next 30 to 40 stages, use internet primers such as water-heater-thermostat-to for inspiration.
- Morrison right now.
Our service professionals are experts at dealing with complicated furnace and air-conditioning equipment installation and troubleshooting.
Also, if your hot water heater breaks down in the middle of the night, we can assist you. In the event that the hot water heater fails, what doesn’t constitute as “urgent”? In addition to being an Angie’s List Super Service Award winner in 2010, B.A. Morrison is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (rated A+). Learn more at or call us immediately for assistance with your heater at 510-538-9817 for quick assistance.
10 Signs That Your Water Heater Needs Repair
Most of us don’t think about our water heaters since they’re out of sight and out of mind. There is just one thing we know about it: it’s someplace in a deep, dark nook of the house that we will never go to. We don’t give it a second thought as long as it continues to provide us with the hot water we require. When it stops providing us with hot water, though, we are sure to notice. However, there are additional indicators that the water heater need care that are not always connected to the temperature of the water.
Listed below are a few of the most prevalent indications that your water heater may require repair or replacement.
Inconsistent water heat
It goes without saying that the most evident symptom of a problem is that your water is not being heated in a trustworthy and regular manner. It may only reach a lukewarm temperature for a small period of time before dropping back to its previous temperature, or it may just remain chilly. There might be a variety of factors contributing to irregular or variable water temperatures. There are several causes of erosion, but the most prevalent is the formation of mineral deposits, which you will read about a lot in this piece.
They frequently manifest themselves in the form of fine, white particles that accumulate along the water heating channel.
They have the potential to have an influence on and interfere with the systems that generate heat.
However, in older units or in units that have suffered significant damage as a consequence of mineral deposits, the situation may be too severe to cure, and the unit may need to be replaced entirely.
There’s little or no hot water pressure
Your water isn’t getting heated in a steady, regular manner, and this is the most evident symptom of a problem. It may only reach a mild temperature for a limited period of time before dropping again, or it may remain frigid throughout. Different factors might be at play when the water temperature varies or is irregular. In this piece, you’ll learn that the accumulation of mineral deposits is the most prevalent reason, and you’ll hear a lot more about it. In hard water, minerals such as magnesium and calcium tend to accumulate.
If these minerals remain in your water heater for an extended period of time, the less effectively it will perform its functions.
It is often possible to remove these mineral deposits without difficulty, especially if the water heating equipment is recent.
Other possible causes of fluctuating water temperature include a thermostat that has to be repaired or adjusted, a heat regulator with a low temperature setting that prevents water from becoming hot enough, difficulties with the pressure-balance valve, and a heater that is utilizing too chilly well water.
You see leaks
Regardless of how little the rupture, how minor the misalignment, or how poorly sealed the pipe is, any point in your water heating system might experience leakage. Connection points, drain and discharge lines, any of the control valves, or even inside the tank itself, are all potential locations for a leak. Leaks should never be overlooked or dismissed, no matter how little they appear to be. Cracks and cracks may readily grow in size and become more visible, transforming what was previously a somewhat benign leak into a massive pool of accumulating water or dampness in a short period.
The damage caused by a leak that is not addressed immediately might spread well beyond the immediate vicinity of your water heating system’s boiler.
The danger of a mechanical failure and an expensive set of repairs exists if the leak progresses to the point where it becomes a fully fledged flood.
Condensation is collecting around the heater
Water buildup is a common occurrence in both leakage and condensation; nevertheless, the two are not nearly the same thing. It is possible for moisture to build around your water heater even though there are no holes, cracks, or fissures through which leaks may enter. This is due to the process of condensation. Condensation is the outcome of cold water coming into touch with extremely hot components very quickly — in other words, it is the result of combustion. Damp droplets collect on the tank’s surface, which is especially noticeable in gas-powered heaters.
- Condensation should not necessarily be seen as a serious source of concern.
- It is common for it to clean up within an hour or two.
- However, if the condensation does not clear up after a fair period of time, you may be dealing with a far more serious situation than you realize.
- It is possible that you may need to improve airflow around your water heater if it is fuelled by gas to prevent moisture from accumulating.
The water looks brown or yellow
If your water has a visible tint of dirt or rust in it, it is most likely the result of sediment that has accumulated within your water heater. When water comes into contact with metal and continues to interact with it through a network of pipes and containers, rust will eventually appear. That is, in essence, how water heaters operate and function. Water becomes more agitated as the temperature of the water rises. This is something you’ve probably seen everytime you’ve boiled water on the stove.
As a result, when the tank is heated, these compounds become more active and begin to circulate throughout the tank.
Pipes that are over 100 years old are typically to fault.
It’s possible that newer pipes with rust issues were not adequately sealed.
A fracture or break in the glass lining of the tank’s walls is also a possibility, depending on the severity of the damage. If this happens, water will get into touch with the metal surface of the container, which will eventually result in rust if the problem is not handled.
The water has a strange smell or taste
In most cases, water that appears to be dirty or rusty on the surface is caused by sediment that has accumulated within your water heater. The presence of rust is inevitable when water comes into contact with metal and continues to interact with it over time in a network of pipelines and storage containers. A water heater functions roughly in the same way as that. Water becomes more agitated as a result of heating. If you’ve ever boiled water on the stove, you’ve seen something like this happen.
- If this chemical becomes more active, it will circulate around the tank when the tank is heated up.
- Most of the time, it’s the pipes themselves.
- It’s possible that newer pipes with rust issues were not adequately sealed from the beginning.
- Water then comes into touch with the metal surface of the container, resulting in rust if the problem is not handled immediately.
The water heater is unreasonably noisy
Because your water heater is an appliance, you might expect to hear the odd noise from it while it is operating well (if you are the sort that likes to linger around and listen intently to water heaters, that is). It is not necessary to be concerned about quick clicks or soft hums. However, if you hear a torrent of bangs, pops, cracks, or hisses, it is likely that the water heater is being buffeted by the winds of chaos. The collection of mineral deposits and silt, particularly if your water heater is fueled by gas, is the most prevalent cause of this mechanical mayhem, as it has been in the past.
Whenever the heater is turned on, the water beneath this layer becomes heated, but it also rubs up against the sediment.
Although this noise may not be very objectionable, it is by no means innocuous, and it may indicate the onset of more serious issues in the near future.
It can also cause the heating element to burn out.
The water heater is too old
The majority of water heaters are not designed to last indefinitely. An electric or similar-powered water heater has an average lifespan of eight to 10 years, depending on the model. Gas-powered heaters typically last between six and eight years before they need to be replaced. In a few instances, it may be feasible to extend the life of your water heater beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations. However, if your water heater unit is approaching its eighth birthday, even though it appears to be in perfect operating order, it’s time to consider its long-term maintenance needs.
The majority of us who have been in our present homes for less than eight years and have not yet replaced our water heaters are unlikely to be aware of how old our current unit is.
Although the serial number appears to be a jumble of random numbers, you only need to pay attention to the first three.
What else is sold in twelve-packs of twelve?
The letter on the serial number correlates to a certain month of the year — for example, “A” represents January, “B” represents February, “F” represents June, “K” represents November, and so on.
As an example, a serial number that begins with the letters “E11” was created in May 2011, but a serial number that begins with the letters “C02” was created in March 2002. If the date you come up with is more than eight years ago, you should start thinking about replacing your water heater.
It’s been more than a year since you serviced it
Water heaters should be emptied at least once a year in order to wash out excessive sediment and minerals that can have a negative influence on water quality and personal hygiene. Even water heaters without tanks require regular maintenance to ensure that their internal pipes and components are in good working order. Draining the contents of the tank into an exterior drain is performed by a plumber to flush your system. When the tank is fully refilled, the plumber will normally use the opportunity to examine and service other components of your water heater system, such as the rods and vents.
Sharp PlumbingHeating: Your source for complete water heater maintenance and installation
Whether you require water heater repair or installation, Sharp PlumbingHeating can handle it all. We serve Milford, Framingham, Natick, Berlin, and the surrounding regions. We provide high-quality repair services while also working to save our customers money on the normal water heater installation cost. To obtain a quote, please contact us by phone or online.