Troubleshooting Checklist for an Electric Water Heater
Electric water heaters have a similar appearance to their gas-fueled counterparts. In order to limit heat loss from the heated water, they both employ an insulated steel storage tank jacket, with insulation between the storage tank and the tank jacket. The primary difference between electric and gas water heaters is the source of heat used to heat the water. Electric upper and lower heating components that extend into the water tank heat the water in an electric water heater, which is powered by electricity.
When it comes to electric water heaters that provide little or no heat, the most common problem is a faulty heating element, which is a pretty affordable component that is quite simple to repair.
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
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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
When there is too much hot water, it may be almost as annoying as when there is not enough hot water. If you’re encountering this problem, it’s possible that one or both of the thermostats on your water heater are set too high.
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
Is your water heater making noises? If so, what are they? Is there a low rumbling or popping sound when you turn it on? What if it’s a high-pitched whine instead? It’s possible that the sounds you’re hearing is the sound of boiling water. When there is a significant amount of sediment building in the bottom of a tank, it can cause the bottom of the tank to overheat, which can result in the water boiling.
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.
Water Heaters: Common Problems & Troubleshooting Tips – Oehlert Bros.
In order to remove the sediment from the tank, the first approach to attempt is to drain it completely. The tank may need to be replaced if this does not alleviate the situation completely. Candace Madonna and The Spruce
4 Most Common Water Heater Issues
- Troubleshooting water heater temperature issues– Water heater temperature issues are among the most typical difficulties that you’ll experience with your water heater. Here are three types of water temperature difficulties, as well as the most likely causes of each and how to deal with them:
- Ice cold water is frequently caused by a lack of electricity, a defective thermostat, or a faulty heating element in the water heater or faucet. To begin, rule out power as a potential suspect by resetting tripped circuit breakers and replacing blown fuses as needed. After that, double-check that all power switches are switched on and that all power indicators are on. Finally, ensure sure the thermostat is receiving electricity by checking the power cord. A malfunctioning heating element or thermostat might be to blame if your water isn’t getting hot enough. If your water isn’t getting hot enough, the problem could be caused by an undersized water heater, crossed hot and cold connections, or a crossed hot and cold connection. To rule out a crossing connection, shut off the water supply and turn on a hot water faucet simultaneously. If water continues to flow, you may have a crossed connection. Beyond that, we recommend that you consult with a professional to check the thermostat on the water heater’s heating components and to determine whether or not your water heater is adequately sized. A hot shower or bath typically indicates that the thermostat is set too high, which is a sign of a hot water heater. Consult your water heater’s owner’s handbook for information on how to modify the thermostat temperature – In order to get the optimal combination of heat and efficiency, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a temperature of 120° F.
- There are many different reasons why water leaks occur, including the following:
- Insufficient temperature and pressure (T P) relief valve, insufficient water pressure, overheating, a jammed valve, an unnoticed plumbing connection leak, loose heating element bolts, a damaged gasket, an overflowing water tank are all possible causes.
- Check for any visibly loose plumbing connections and tighten (but not overtighten) them if necessary to decrease the leak’s severity. After that, inspect the loose heating element bolts and tighten them as necessary. If the gasket around the heating element is still leaking, you will most likely need to replace it (we recommendhiring a professionalto do this). Check for leaks on or around the storage tank, since storage tanks often corrode from the inside out, and you may be witnessing the beginning of the end of your water heater’s service life at this point. It is possible to eliminate tank leaks entirely by upgrading to a tankless water heater
- The equipment lasts almost twice as long as a traditional tank and occupies only one fifth of the area in your basement. When your tank’s inner lining is corroded, it might result in discolored water. This is most typically caused by a faulty anode rod. Obtain the services of a competent water heater expert to assess whether repairing the anode rod would resolve the issue
- If not, replace the water heater
- Strange noises coming from your water heater– The most common source of strange noises coming from your water heater is sediment buildup. You may make an attempt to resolve this issue by flushing the water heater – watch this video for instructions on how to accomplish this. Call us if the problem persists after you have flushed your water heater or if the sediment accumulation is too large to remove. You may need a new water heater installed.
Do you require a water heater replacement or water heater servicing for your Pennsylvania residence? Put your trust in the professionals at Oehlert Bros. For additional information, or to receive a FREE, no-obligation quote for a water heater update, contact us now!
Common Water Heater Problems (AND WHAT TO CHECK)
Please keep in mind that this content may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may gain a small profit on purchases made via our links. Tank-type water heaters, on the other hand, are rather straightforward items. While all of their components are vital, there are just a handful of them when compared to the number of components in other appliances. The majority of repairs may be done on your own without spending a lot of money. However, if the problem is with the water tank itself, a new water heater is typically the only option.
There are categories for both electric and gas water heaters to make it easier for you to find what you need.
As is always the case, if you are not totally confident in your ability to do the repairs yourself, you should seek the assistance of a professional plumber.
Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting
(Click here to get to the section about GAS water heater issues.) (Click on image to expand)
Water Leaking From the Top
One of several possibilities exists when you suspect you have a leak at the top of your electric water heater. It is possible that the cold inlet or hot outlet pipes are loose, that the T P valve has broken, or that the inlet valve is leaking. All of these issues are simply resolved. For further information, read Water Heater Leaking from the Top of the Water Heater.
Water Leaking From the Bottom
Normal condensation, a leaky electric heating element gasket, or a tiny quantity of water being ejected via the overflow pipe because the T P valve is opening to relieve excess pressure in the tank are all possible causes of an electric water heater leaking from the bottom. It’s possible that the water heater’s actual tank is leaking, in which case the only solution is to replace the water heater. For further information, read Water Heater Leaking from the Bottom for a detailed explanation.
No Hot Water
The water in an electric water heater is heated by two heating elements that are connected together (in most cases). There are several possible causes for absolutely no hot water, but the most likely is that the circuit breaker has tripped. Check the breaker box first. If that is not the case, it is possible that the heating components have failed and need to be replaced.
It’s also possible that there’s a problem with the limit/reset switch on the thermostat. It may have tripped because the water was far too hot, or it could have just failed and required replacement.
Not Enough Hot Water
Two heating elements are used to heat the water in an electric water heater (in most cases). You should examine the breaker box first since the most typical reason for no hot water is because the circuit breaker has been tripped, which you should do first. It’s possible that the heating components have failed and that they will need to be replaced if this is not the case. Additionally, the limit/reset switch on the thermostat may be malfunctioning. It may have tripped because the water was far too hot, or it could have just failed and needed to be repaired or replaced completely.
Water is Too Hot
Once again, this is most likely connected to the thermostat(s), which are set to an excessively high temperature. Simply get access to the thermostat and make the necessary adjustments. During the shift from the cold to the warm seasons, this may also be required. Please see this page for our recommended temperature setting. If you are unable to get the water temperature down to a satisfactory level, you may need to replace the thermostat, or there may be a wiring problem (recommended to call a pro if the later).
Water Takes Too Long to Reheat
One of the disadvantages of electric water heaters is that they are inefficient. Recovery time (the amount of time it takes to reheat the full supply of water) on an electric model is approximately twice as long as it is on a comparable gas type. The amount of time it takes to heat water might vary significantly across different kinds of water heater. In most cases, newer is preferable. Accordingly, if it is taking longer than normal for the hot water to recover, there may be a problem with the heating elements (including sediment build-up on them) or the thermostat, and these components may need to be changed.
However, we recommend that you conduct some study on thetankless vs tank water heatercomparison before making a decision.
Low Hot Water Pressure
The majority of people who complain about poor hotwater pressure live in older homes with 1/2-inch diameter galvanized pipe that enters and exits the water heater. The only way to overcome the automatic limitation of water pressure is to install new 3/4-inch plumbing, which enables for more water to flow through it. Water pressure problems can be caused by a variety of factors including sediment, calcium deposits, and corrosion in your plumbing or sink aerators.
Water Heater is Making Strange Noises
Popping, hissing, slamming, knocking, or other weird noises coming from your water heater are most likely caused by scale buildup on your heating elements or an excessive amount of sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank. Among the other sources of noise include a leak someplace, too much pressure inside the tank, and loud pipes as a result of the tank’s natural expanding and compressing.
When your water heater makes noise, there’s usually nothing to worry about, but it should always be checked out for your own peace of mind.
Dirty or Rusty Colored Water
Popping, hissing, pounding, knocking, or other weird noises coming from your water heater are most likely caused by scale buildup on your heating elements or an excessive amount of sediment buildup at the bottom of your tank. A leak someplace, excessive pressure inside the tank, or loud pipes as a result of natural expanding and contracting are all possible reasons of noise. Although it is generally unnecessary to investigate whether your water heater is producing noise, doing so for peace of mind is always a good idea.
Smelly Hot Water
Bacteria in the hot water tank is the most common cause of odorous or stinky hot water. Homes that utilize well water as their primary water supply are more prone to their water emitting a foul odor than other types of homes. Periodic cleaning of the water heater may temporarily alleviate the sulfur or rotten egg smell from your hot water, but to permanently eliminate the sulfur or rotten egg smell from your hot water, you will most likely need to replace the anode rod. Better better, try using a powered anode rod, which will eliminate the odor while also extending the life of the rod.
To learn more about how to troubleshoot an electric water heater in greater depth, please watch the video below:
Gas Water Heater Troubleshooting
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Water Leaking From the Top
The image may be seen in more detail by clicking here.
Water Leaking From the Bottom
There are several possible causes of water leaking from the bottom of a gas water heater, including moisture (try raising the thermostat), a leaky or loosedrain valve, or the T P valve draining some water through the overflow line as a result of overpressurization in the tank. The replacement of the water heater is required if the corrosion in the water heater tank is the cause of the water leak. Additional information may be found at Water Heater Leaking from the Bottom.
No Hot Water
The very first thing you should check is whether or not you have gas flow and whether or not your pilot light is turned on. If this is the case, the problem might be with the thermocouple, which is not accurately recognizing that the pilot light is on and, as a result, is not igniting the gas. It is possible that the thermocouple will need to be changed (or simply cleaned). For water heaters that utilize electronic ignition, check your circuit breaker box to determine whether the circuit breaker has been tripped.
More information may be found here.
Not Enough Hot Water
Not having enough hot water or running out of hot water too soon can be caused by a number of factors, including not having the thermostat set at a high enough temperature (especially in the winter months), a malfunctioning thermostat, or a broken or damaged dip tube, which allows the incoming cold water to mix with the hot water on top of the water heater. It’s possible that you’re not getting enough hot water simply because your water heater tank is too small for your requirements.
Despite the fact that you may have a 40-gallon tank, only around 28-30 gallons of useful hot water may be available at any given moment. It’s possible that you’ll be upgrading to a bigger water heater or a tankless type in the near future.
Water is Too Hot
The most likely explanation is that you have the thermostat set too high. This is especially prevalent during the transition from the colder Winter months to the warmer Spring and Summer months, when people forget to lower the thermostat after boosting it to accommodate for the colder Winter temperatures. A malfunctioning thermostat that requires replacement is a less common scenario. Do you have issues with the installation of your water heater? Then this post is written specifically for you.
Water Takes Too Long to Reheat
The thermostat may be set too low, the burner orifice may be too dirty or blocked and require cleaning, the gas pressure may be too low, or the vent flue may be too dirty and require cleaning. If your gas water heater appears to be recovering too slowly, the thermostat may be set too low. For many, the problem is merely a result of having a water heater tank that is too small for their family’s requirements, and the tank is never given an opportunity to fully recover.
Low Hot Water Pressure
If you live in an older home, there’s a strong possibility that you have galvanized plumbing with a 1/2-inch diameter throughout your home. This has a significant impact on the amount of hot water that may pass through your home’s plumbing system. The only method, however, to acquire considerably higher hot water pressure than you now have is to upgrade to the newer 3/4-inch plumbing that is commonly seen in modern homes. Certainly not a simple undertaking. You may be able to modestly boost water pressure by clearing out sink aerators or shower heads that tend to become clogged over time, but this will need some effort.
Pilot Will Not Light
A number of factors might be at play when the pilot light on a water heater won’t light despite your efforts to get it to do so. A blocked or damaged pilot light aperture or tube, a thermocouple that is loose or broken, air in the gas line, or a malfunctioning gas valve are all possibilities.
Pilot Will Not Stay Lit
A pilot light that fails to light on a regular basis is just as inconvenient as a pilot light that fails to light at all. Often, thermocouple replacement is required, but there are other possibilities if your pilot light continues to illuminate. Other possibilities include a faulty gas valve or a partially clogged vent, both of which can result in downdrafts that extinguish the pilot light when they occur.
Burner Does Not Stay Lit
A burner that occasionally goes out or generates an unusually high or low flame, or even a whistling sound, is most often caused by unclean or blocked burner orifices, which are common in older homes. A malfunctioning thermocouple or a clogged vent, similar to the situation with the pilot light, might possibly be the source of the problem.
Water Heater is Making Strange Noises
The same as with an electric water heater, hissing, popping, knocking, or pounding noises can occasionally be detected.
Typically, this is caused by sediment buildup in the tank’s bottom, expanding/contracting piping that scrapes against wood framing within the walls, or dirty/clogged portions through which the gas is forced to pass.
Rusty Colored Water
It is common for corrosion to occur on the anode rod or within the water tank itself. While changing the anode rod is not a difficult or expensive task, if the tank begins to exhibit indications of corrosion, the situation becomes more serious. When this happens, it’s just a matter of time before a leak occurs, at which point a replacement water heater will be necessary.
Smelly Hot Water
This is most likely due to a buildup of germs within the tank. Simply raising the temperature to around 140 degrees should be sufficient to kill off the germs, but a thorough cleaning of the tank with chlorine bleach may be required. If the stench returns, it is probable that the anode rod has reached the end of its useful life and will need to be replaced. A more precise answer could be what you’re searching for, though.
- Manuals for Rheem water heaters, A.O. Smith water heater manuals, and other brands.
How to Troubleshoot Electric Water Heater Problems
In a house full of people, if you’ve ever been the last to shower, you’ll know what’s in store for you before you ever step into the bath: bone-chilling, teeth-chattering ice cold water. If you’re having water troubles, even when there aren’t a lot of people in the house, it’s time to take a closer look at your electric water heater. Symptoms of an electric water heater malfunction might include low water temperature, leaks, discoloration, odor, and noise, amongst other things. An illustrated procedure to guide you through the process of troubleshooting your water heater problems is provided below.
Before you start: turn off the power
First and first, safety must be prioritized. First and foremost, make sure that the electric water heater is completely turned off before doing any troubleshooting. This can be accomplished by turning off the fuse or circuit breaker that is attached to the heating unit, as appropriate.
Water temperature problems
Many different sorts of electric water heater difficulties might result in problems with the temperature of the water. The symptoms might range from a lack of hot water to insufficient hot water to water that is too hot. Having no hot water can be caused by a number of factors, including a shortage of electricity, a malfunctioning electric thermostat, or a malfunctioning top electric heating element. To begin, rule out any potential power issues. To begin, reset any tripped circuit breakers and replace any blown fuses that have been discovered.
- Replace the element if it is found to be defective after it has been tested.
- It is possible that the problem is caused by an inadequately sized water heater, crossed hot and cold connections, or a broken heating element or thermostat when the water does not heat up sufficiently.
- To rule out a crossed connection, switch off the water supply and turn on a hot water faucet; if water continues to flow, the problem is most likely a crossed connection.
- Finally, if all of the elements are operational, check the higher thermostat first, followed by the lower thermostat, and replace if either of them is not operational.
Most of the time, when water is running too hot, it is because the thermostat has been set too high. Check to see that the upper and lower thermostats are set between 110 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit on both the higher and lower levels.
Several factors contribute to water leaks, including a malfunctioning temperature and pressure relief valve (T P), high pressure, overheating, a jammed valve, a leak coming from an above or nearby plumbing connection, loose heating element bolts, a damaged gasket, or a leaky water storage tank. Check the T P valve by placing a bucket beneath the above pipe, opening the valve and flushing it clean; if it is still leaking, fix or replace it. Lowering the thermostat setting will therefore be necessary to alleviate excessive pressure or heat.
After that, inspect the heating element bolts and tighten them as necessary.
Finally, determine whether or not the storage tank is leaking.
Keep a supply of spare o-rings from a reputable provider such as Apple Rubber on available in case you need to replace an o-ring.
Discoloration or odor
Corrosion inside a glass-lined tank or a malfunctioning sacrificial anode rod can both result in rust-colored water being produced. If the anode rod is deteriorating, a magnesium anode rod should be used to replace it. A decaying sacrificial anode rod can also leak hydrogen, resulting in a rotten egg-like odor from the rotting rod. To remedy this situation, first flush the water heater with a hose. Then, for two hours, soak the tank and pipes in a solution made of two pints of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to 40 gallons of water for two hours.
If the odor persists, try replacing the heater with one that has been lined with plastic sheeting.
A deep, rumbling sound may suggest boiling water, which is produced by overheating as a result of sediment accumulation. This can be resolved by flushing the water heater. When scales accumulate on electrical heating components, a high-pitched, whining noise can be heard in the background. First, cleanse the water heater to get rid of the problem. After that, flush out the scale from the water heater tank and heating components. Finally, use low-wattage heating components with a bigger surface area to improve the efficiency of heat transmission.
Refinance your home
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13 Common Water Heater Problems (Tricks to Fix)
Modern water heaters are meant to last for a long period of time. The majority of them come with lengthy warranties, and you hope to be able to use them without issue for many years in the future. The combination of heat, water, and all of the many components that make them function, however, will always result in issues.
Many problems with your heater are not life-threatening, and the key to repairing them is accurately diagnosing what is wrong with it. Here are our top 13 water heater issues, as well as some suggestions on how to remedy them, to assist you in your diagnosis.
Before you start
Water heaters are available in a variety of configurations, including those powered by gas and those driven by electricity. Electric water heaters are high-voltage appliances, which implies that you should use extreme caution when working with one of them. Before you begin working on the heater’s electrical components, be certain that the power has been switched off – this involves turning off the breaker for your heater at the service panel – before you begin. Another precaution you should take is to use a voltage tester to check all of the wires before you start working with them.
1. No hot water
If you have no hot water, there are numerous probable causes, and you must work through each of them systematically in order to remove each one – and whether you have an electric or a gas-powered heater will determine how long it takes to do so. In the most obvious case, an electric heater is unable to function because no electricity is being supplied to the heater. Begin by looking for tripped circuit breakers and resetting them if they are still in place. If this has happened, there is a simple solution: simply switch the computer off and on again.
- The next step is to verify that the high-temperature cutoff is operational.
- Check to see whether the water is now able to warm up.
- These should be tested and replaced if necessary.
- Ensure that the gas valve is open if you are using a gas space heater or heater.
- Check out numbers 10, 11, and 12 below to discover how to deal with these problems.
2. Not enough hot water or water not hot enough
When it comes to not having enough hot water, the explanation for this will vary depending on the sort of water heater you have. The problem with your heater if it has a tank might be as simple as the tank being insufficiently large for your purposes. If your tank is too small for the amount of people who will be showering, for example, you may run out of hot water before everyone has done their showering. If this is the case, you should consider investing in a new water heater that will match your demands and requirements.
Examine them and replace them if required.
Also keep in mind that, during the winter, you may need to raise the thermostat setting since the groundwater you are heating comes at a lower temperature than in the summer.
Check the manufacturer’s specifications to see how many fixtures the unit can handle.
Tankless heaters must also work harder in the winter, so if you are experiencing this issue during the colder months, it is possible that this is the cause of your problem. Upgrades to a more powerful unit may be necessary in your situation.
3. Water too hot
That the thermostat has been set too high is almost probably the cause of the problem, but it is a simple problem to fix. Simply reduce the temperature on your thermostat and you should be set to go. The temperature pressure valve should be checked if this does not solve the problem; if it is malfunctioning, the heater will not shut off when it reaches the proper temperature. This is a potentially dangerous condition, and you will need to replace the valve as soon as you possibly can.
4. Water takes too long to heat
Among the possible causes of water taking a long time to heat are malfunctioning heating elements, silt buildup on the components, and a malfunctioning thermostat, among others. Ensure that you check each of these items in turn and replace them as necessary. If you have a gas-powered model, the problem might be due to the burner – see12 for more details.
5. Low water pressure
Low water pressure is frequently caused by a lack of sufficient width in the pipes. Pipes in older homes are typically 12 inches in diameter, but pipes in newer homes are often 3 inches in diameter. If you live in an older house and are experiencing low water pressure, it is possible that the problem may not stem from the boiler at all. Instead, you may need to consider installing bigger pipes in your home to remedy the problem at hand.
Leaks can occur as a consequence of loose connections, in which case you will need to tighten them using a wrench to prevent further damage. They can also emanate from valves, which can be changed if necessary. If the leak originates from the tank, the situation is more serious since the tank may be rusted. Corrosion will cause your tank to fail completely, and you will have to replace it.
7. Dirty water
If the color of your water begins to change to a nasty rust, you are most likely dealing with corrosion within your tank. The only way to fix this is to replace the tank entirely. However, it is possible that the problem is caused by a failing anode rod; thus, before replacing the tank, flush the tank and replace the anode rod to see whether this resolves the issue.
8. Smelly water
If your water has a foul odor, it is possible that bacteria in your heater is to blame. This is especially prevalent if your water is obtained from a well, as it is in most cases. Flushing your tank may be beneficial, or you may try boiling the water to the highest temperature possible to eliminate all of the bacteria. It may be necessary to wipe it out with chlorine bleach if this does not work. The stench of rotten eggs in your water might be caused by a malfunctioning anode rod, in which case you should replace it immediately.
9. Tank makes noises
It is possible for water heaters to create noise for a variety of reasons. As the water heats up, rumbling, popping, and banging sounds are produced by a build-up of scale in the tank and on the heating components. This is the most prevalent cause of the noises. If this is the case, emptying and descaling the tank may be necessary. To avoid this problem from arising in the first place, you should totally flush the tank out every few months to keep it clean.
Depending on how serious the situation grows, you may be forced to replace the tank entirely. Because of the usual expansion and contraction caused by heat, water heaters and pipes might create noise from time to time. This is completely safe, but there isn’t much you can do to prevent the noise.
10. Pilot doesn’t light
Several factors contribute to the production of noise by water heaters. As the water heats up, rumbling, popping, and banging sounds are produced by a build-up of scale in the tank and on the heating components, which is the most prevalent cause. If this is the case, descale the tank by emptying it and re-filling it with clean water. Once a few months, you should totally flush out your tank to avoid this problem from arising in the first place. Depending on how bad the situation grows, you may be need to replace the tank entirely.
Even while this is completely safe, there is nothing you can do to prevent the noise.
11. Pilot lights and then goes out
If the light comes on but then goes out, the reasons for this might be the same. It is possible that the thermocouple has to be replaced, that you have a defective gas valve, or that the vent has been clogged.
12. Burner goes out
This is most likely a similar issue to the ones that have been reported with the pilot light. It might be caused by a clogged orifice, a fault with the thermocouple, or a clogged orifice and vent.
13. No hot water for bathtub
If you have no difficulties using your shower or operating a dishwasher or washing machine, but you are unable to receive hot water to fill a bath tub, the problem may be related to the type of heater you have in your home. If you have a tankless heater, this is most likely the source of the problem. Tankless water heaters heat water as it runs through them, providing you with an endless supply of hot water on demand at all times. However, if the water passes through the system too rapidly, it will not have enough time to heat up properly.
The water flow required to operate a bath, on the other hand, is significantly higher, and your tankless heater may simply not be able to keep up with it.
Identify the problem early
Often, the most essential thing you can do is recognize an issue as soon as possible and take efforts to resolve it as soon as possible. If you ignore the situation, it will only worsen and will almost certainly result in you having to pay more money in the future. And now that you’ve read this guide, you should have a solid sense of where to begin your search.
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.
Maintaining a realistic expectation of their lifespan of 10 to 15 years is all that is required. If your heater is reaching its end of life, it may be more cost-effective to replace it than to repair it. Find out how to adjust your water heater in this article.
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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Test Continuity for a Burned-Out Element
- Please keep in mind that you will need a continuity tester ($5 to $10) for this stage.
- Disconnect the wires from the terminal screws using a wire cutter. Attach the alligator clamp to one of the element screws using a hex key. With the tester probe, make contact with the other screw.
- 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
- Note: A water heater element wrench (available for $5 at home centers and hardware stores) is required for thread-in–type elements such as those shown below.
- Remove the old heating element by unscrewing it using a heating element wrench.
- Using a heating element wrench, unscrew the old element.
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
Replace your heating element with one that has the same wattage as your existing one. For information on wattage if your old element isn’t labeled, look at the nameplate on the water heater, your instruction manual, or search online using the model number found on the nameplate. Heating elements are secured to the water heater with either a big thread and nut, as illustrated below, or with four bolts and nuts, as indicated in the diagram below. Most home centers carry the type we’ve shown, but if you’re replacing the four-bolt version, you may purchase an adaptor kit.
Low-density parts that are more costly are typically folded back.
Replacement of your old element with a low-density element will result in more efficient functioning and a longer service life.
8 Reasons Your Hot Water Heater is Not Working & How to Fix
When compared to other household equipment such as dishwashers and washing machines, the hotwater heater in your home is utilized on a regular basis. Using this equipment, you can wash dishes, shower, do laundry, and wash your hands in warm water, all of which are common everyday duties. As a result of the high volume of water that your family uses on a daily basis, it is not uncommon for difficulties to arise. Tank-style hot water heaters, on the other hand, are designed with a bare minimum of parts to ensure long-term reliability.
Our experts have put together a list of common problems with hot water heaters, as well as instructions on how to remedy them.
Water Heater ProblemsSolutions
In contrast to a water leak in the bottom of your water tank, a water leak on the top of your system may be quickly and simply repaired. A faulty in-line valve is one of the most prevalent causes of water tank leaks. Water flow may be activated or deactivated using this handle, which is placed at the top of the water tank and is designed to do so. In order to resolve this issue, you will need to tighten the nut that keeps the ball or in-line valve in place. If the leak gets more serious after the fitting has been tightened, you will need to visit your local hardware shop to purchase a new in-line valve for your water heater, which will cost you around $30.
Damaged Pressure Relief Valve
The majority of water heaters are fitted with a pressure relief valve, which is designed to release pressure from the water tank when the pressure in the tank becomes excessive. If the valve on the top of your water heater begins to leak, we recommend that you replace it either online or at a local store as soon as possible. A pressure relief valve is easily removed and replaced, and the procedure is straightforward. Find out more about what size heat pump to buy by reading this article.
No Warm Water
If you have an electric water heater in your house, the most common reason of a lack of warm water is a faulty heating element, which may be repaired or replaced. Your water heater is equipped with two heating elements, each of which is responsible for heating the incoming water in the water tank to a comfortable temperature. After a heating element begins to fail, you will have little to no hot water to use for showering, cleaning, or doing laundry once the problem is identified. On the other hand, there are a range of issues that might prevent the generation of warm water from a gas water heater from functioning properly.
A thermocouple that has failed in your home may potentially be the source of your lack of hot water.
With the purchase of replacement components, each of these components may be quickly and simply replaced. It is recommended that if your hot water heater is not functioning properly that you either purchase replacement components or call a certified plumber for assistance with water heater repair.
Low Supply of Hot Water
Do you find yourself running out of hot water on a regular basis? Having a fractured dip tube may have resulted in this problem. Designed to move cold water to the base of your water tank so that it may be heated, this tube is a need. A fracture or hole in the dip tube may begin to appear when the incoming supply of cold water is discharged towards the top or center of your tank. Consequently, the cold water stored on the tank’s top will be distributed to the faucets and showers around your home.
Because the procedure of installing a new dip tube is complicated, we recommend that you get assistance from a professional expert.
The minerals in water, such as magnesium and calcium, will begin to accumulate at or near the bottom of the water heater’s tank as it approaches the middle of its life cycle.
In order to remedy this issue, you should cleanse your water heater to eliminate the surplus minerals.
Water is Too Warm or Cold
It is possible to modify the temperature of your shower water if the water seems too hot or too cold in your shower by adjusting the settings on your thermostat. Increasing the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit may allow you to save money on your power costs in the long run. In the event that you are concerned about burning or skin irritation, this is an appropriate temperature to employ. Is this temperature a little too chilly for you? You may also lower the temperature of your shower to 140 degrees Fahrenheit to make it more enjoyable to shower.
Find a competent plumbing or heating contractor in your region as soon as possible to repair or replace your broken thermostat.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is not usually the result of a faulty water heater, as previously stated. It is possible that the flow of water will be stopped before to reaching our kitchen or bathroom walls if you reside in an older property with smaller waterpipes. The only method to completely address this hot water heater problem is to install new 34 inch water pipes in your system’s distribution system. Calcium deposits in water pipes are another sort of issue that can have a detrimental influence on your water pressure.
Water from your water heater will be unable to reach your sinks or appliances in a time-efficient manner as a result of this.
Because repairing water pipes necessitates the removal of drywall, a typical homeowner who does not possess a plumbing license will be unable to resolve the hotwater heater problem. Continue reading: 3 Types of Furnace Vents and How They Work
The water that comes out of your sink in your home should be crystal clear. Do you have water that is discolored in your residence? If you see this, it indicates that the water tank or the anode rod of your water heater is deteriorating. Fortunately, if this problem is discovered in its early stages, it may be resolved. Repair or tune-up services for the hot water heater in your house may be obtained by contacting a local plumber in your neighborhood. A qualified plumbing or HVAC specialist will be able to simply remove and replace the anode rod in your system without causing damage to the system.
Water will seep through the cracks in your house’s floors and furnishings as a result of this.
A fresh new system, which will be specifically designed to suit this hot water heater problem, will be necessary.
Takes a Long Time to Produce Warm Water
Once your water tank is completely depleted, it should not take more than a couple of minutes to refill it with warm water again. If it takes an hour or more for you to obtain warm water from your water heater, this is an indication that the burner orifice has been polluted. A poor supply of hot water, on the other hand, may be resolved by boosting the gas pressure in your water heater. In order to acquire immediate assistance with this hot water heater problem, call a professional technician in your region for aid with cleaning a burner orifice or regulating gas pressure.
The residences in your community can benefit from the services of our team of highly qualified professionals that provide water heater repair and water heater installation.
For all sorts of HVAC and plumbing projects, WM Henderson provides up-front pricing.
In addition, we promise your 100% pleasure with any assignment we perform on your behalf.