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.
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.
- 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.
Storage tanks can leak as a result of corrosion or other difficulties, such as faulty o-rings, that can occur. 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
Are you in need of money to cover unforeseen expenses? If you have equity in your house, you may use it to finance home upgrades, debt repayment, or the creation of a cash reserve for emergencies. Because interest rates are still at historically low levels, now may be an excellent time to consider refinancing your current mortgage with a new one that has a lower interest rate. **Not all borrowers will be eligible for this program. For additional information about our pricing and terms, please contact us.
Why Is My Electric Water Heater Not Working? 5 Reasons
Warm or cold showers have been the standard in your home, haven’t they? Do you get burned by the water that comes out of the faucet on a regular basis? Alternatively, if your electric water heater has developed a leak, is making noise, or is producing rusty water that smells like eggs. No matter what the situation is, your electric water heater is not functioning properly. Before calling an HVAC specialist, follow the steps outlined below to begin the troubleshooting process. IMPORTANT: If you have a risk of electrocution, you should not begin troubleshooting your electric water heater until you have shut off the electricity to it through the fuse or the circuit breaker.
1. No Hot Water From My Electric Water Heater
Before you switch off the electricity to your electric water heater, make sure that the upper and lower thermostats, as well as the electric heating elements, are getting power and are functioning properly before you do so. If they are not, check the circuit breaker(s) or fuse(s) that are connected to them to determine if they have tripped or blown. To restore the operation of your electric water heater in the event that you have a tripped or blown circuit breaker or fuse, it may be necessary merely to reset the circuit breaker or fuse.
- If everything appears to be getting energy as it should and appears to be functioning properly, but you are still experiencing problems, it is possible that you have a problem with your high-temperature limit.
- When it comes to electric water heaters, the high-temperature limit is preset at the manufacturer and is not intended to be changed.
- To get access to the high-temperature limit reset button on your electric water heater, remove the access panel, insulation, and plastic safety shield from the upper electric heating element on the water heater’s electric heating element.
- In order to reset your high-temperature limit, press the red button located above the top thermostat.
- In the event that this resolves the issue and you are through troubleshooting your electric water heater, you are now free to reconnect electricity to the unit.
- Unless your household’s need for hot water is greater than 75% of the capacity of your electric water heater, you may find yourself running out of hot water on a consistent basis.
Consider upgrading to a larger model or reducing your hot water use by taking fewer showers, installing a low-flow showerhead, or spacing out your dishwashing and laundry tasks across time.
2. Water Is Too Hot
The temperature of the water coming from your electric water heater may be excessive because one or both of your higher and lower thermostats have been set too high, as described above. They should be set to the same temperature, which should be anywhere between 110°F and 140°F, for consistency. The power must be turned off to your electric water heater once again before you can make any changes. You will also need to disconnect and reconnect the cables and remove the access panel, insulation, and plastic safety barrier.
- For the temperatures linked with the letters on the dial, you may need to refer to the owner’s handbook for your particular kind of thermostat.
- Upon completion of temperature adjustments, repair any damaged access panels, insulation, or plastic safety guards on your electric water heater and reconnect the electricity to it.
- Keep an eye out for Part II of our series, Why Is My Electric Water Heater Not Working, which will include further troubleshooting techniques.
- If you are experiencing an emergency and require the assistance of a qualified HVAC specialist, please contact Moore Heating.
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.
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.
Changing the temperature of your hot water heater does not cause it to operate, and this is an indication that your thermostat has failed. 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.
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.
Our staff does not bill by the hour, but rather by the project. In addition, we promise your 100% pleasure with any assignment we perform on your behalf. Continue reading:5 Consequences of a Clogged Furnace Air Filter
Why Is My Water Heater Not Working? 5 Possible Reasons
The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States estimates that over 2.5 million water heaters fail each year in the United States. Hot water is one of the most important things we need in our homes, and it is something that we all require. Fortunately, depending on the specific cause of the problem, repairing a hot water heater can be a rather simple and inexpensive process. A broken heater isn’t usually the end of the world, despite the fact that some sorts of damage are more expensive to repair than others in some cases.
1. Decreasing Water Pressure
Some issues with a water heater might cause it to cease operating completely. Others, such as water pressure issues, can have an impact on performance even if your water heater is still operating at least partially. Having a water pressure problem may be the cause of your just having warm water when you should have hot water, or hot water that doesn’t remain hot when you should have adequate hot water from your electric water heaters. In some instances, very high water pressure might cause the decrease of water pressure to begin.
- It is important to note that because the valve is such a sensitive device, it can easily overcorrect for high temperatures and pressures.
- One solution to this problem is to provide a safe haven for your high-pressure water to escape.
- You will be able to reap the benefits of your high water pressure and warmth without experiencing any loss of consistency in the process.
- In the event that you’re experiencing low water pressure, it’s possible that you have loose fittings someplace, a hole in your water tank, or some bolts that need to be tightened.
- However, if the water tank itself is damaged, the repair process may be substantially more expensive than anticipated.
2. Thermostat Problems
Thermostats are electrical instruments, much like any other electronic device. Modern technology has made it less probable for electrical components such as the thermostat to fail than for gaskets or pieces of pipe to break. Despite this, it is always conceivable that the thermostat will malfunction, and there are several easy techniques to determine whether or not this is the source of your difficulties. Many water heaters include two heating components to keep the water warm. It is possible for one or both to fail.
Nevertheless, when your thermostat malfunctions, it will frequently simply shut off one of your heating components.
As a result, there are frequent shortages of hot water and lengthy wait times for more hot water. These hints might assist you in determining whether or not your thermostat is the source of the problem.
3. The Pilot Light Is Out
“Can you tell me why my water is not becoming hot?” Alternatively, if your water is not heating at all, the problem may be caused by an extinguished pilot light. Gas water heaters rely on a pilot light to ignite the gas in the system, which then heats the water to a comfortable temperature. Although the water heater may appear to be “off,” the pilot light remains on, providing a tiny flame ready to be used anytime the heater needs to heat up more water. Pilot lights are incredibly dependable gadgets that may be used safely for many years without ever needing to be re-lit or replaced.
Alternatively, your gas lines, like everything else, might corrode and break down with time, just like everything else.
However, while repairing faulty gas lines may be a costly endeavor, re-igniting a pilot light is a straightforward and inexpensive solution in many circumstances.
4. The Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
You already have a basic understanding of the TPR valve. The temperature and pressure relief valve is the official name of this device, and it is responsible for allowing your water heater to “blow out some steam” when it is under excessive pressure or heat. The TPR is critical because, if it is not there, pressure may build up in your water heater tank to the point where it bursts. When a TPR valve fails, you may experience low water pressure and lukewarm showers on a consistent basis. If this occurs, make sure it is repaired as soon as possible by a qualified specialist.
5. A Dirty Electronic Ignition
Some water heaters do not require a pilot light because they employ electronic ignitions. While a pilot light is an extremely durable instrument, electronic systems are capable of providing near-perfect dependability in many situations. Even electronic ignition systems, on the other hand, are susceptible to failure. In order to determine when it is necessary to switch on and ignite some gas, your electronic ignition water heater relies on a sensor. The ignition may function flawlessly, but a defective sensor may cause the ignition to inaccurately report that it is unable to perform its function.
Don’t Let It Get You Down When Your Water Heater’s Not Working
In this article, we hope you learned something useful about what could be going on when your water heater isn’t working and what you can do to fix the problem. Check out our other sites if you want to learn more about how to take care of your plumbing requirements and where to locate reliable support.
How to Reset an Electric Water Heater in Two Easy Steps
Take a look at this. It’s a chilly Monday morning in the Arctic. If your husband hadn’t threatened to suffocate you in your sleep, you would have pushed the snooze button at least a seventh time before you finally got out of bed in the morning. Instead, you sigh heavily, pull the covers back over your head, and go to the restroom. You turn on the shower, wait for the beautiful steam to rise up over the curtain, and then step into the shower with your feet up. But, two milliseconds after you finish soaping up, your pleasant hot shower turns into sleet on the ground.
The hot water is gone bleepity-bleep-bleep, and I have no idea what occurred.
But what about that one? What about the one where shampoo gets into your eyes? I’m talking about the one when you’re fumbling around for a towel in an attempt to keep your teeth from chattering? That surely qualifies as one of the Top 10 Most Unpleasant Moments of Home Ownership on our list.
Why Electric Water Heaters Quit
So, what exactly is the source of Hot-Showerus Interruptus? Alternatively, if you have an electric water heater, it is likely that the unit’s reset button has been activated. Those buttons have a tendency to trip at unpredictable intervals. However, it frequently occurs as a result of the following:
- The thermostat in the device is not working properly
- Even the reset button itself isn’t working properly
- The high-limit switch, which is a component of the unit that prevents water from becoming excessively hot, is no longer operational. There is a short in the heating element. There’s a snag in the wiring someplace
Recall that the reset button on a water heater has a vital function: it interrupts power in the case of a malfunction, such as a power surge or a malfunctioning thermostat, to prevent further damage. If your water heater loses power on a regular basis, it is probable that there is an issue that needs to be repaired by a competent Culpeper County plumbing contractor. Please keep in mind that the combination of electricity and water may be extremely harmful, if not lethal. Never be afraid to bring in a professional to double-check your work.
Assuming you have this understanding, let’s follow through two easy steps to get it back up and running.
First, check your electrical panel.
Locate the circuit labeled “water heater” on your electrical panel (which is normally located in the garage, basement, or storage closet), and turn it on.
- If the breaker is currently in the OFF position, flip it to the ON position. If it remains in place, you may generally conclude that everything that has happened has been an accident and that you can go about your business as usual. However, if the switch returns to the OFF position, either immediately or shortly thereafter, contact an electrician. If the breaker is currently in the ON position, flip it to the OFF position.
Then, push the water heater reset button(s).
You’ll locate a reset button on the back of your electric water heater somewhere. It is often crimson in color and is generally seen around the thermostat. It might alternatively be concealed behind a detachable metal plate on the device, which would then be concealed behind some insulation. Once you’ve located the button, press and hold it for a few seconds. While you have the access panel off, check to see if there is a second thermostat and a second reset button hidden within. A professional should be called if the button trips shortly after you press it, indicating that something is not operating properly.
- If the electricity to your water heater has been restored, you’re good to go. (Congratulations on your accomplishment!) Just keep in mind that it will take a few hours for the water in the tank to reheat. If your water heater is still not working, turn off the circuit breaker and contact us so that we can figure out what’s wrong and get the hot water flowing again. If your water heater begins to operate but the reset button trips again, turn the breaker back to the OFF position and call us for further assistance. As previously said, your reset button is a safety precaution, therefore if it continually tripping, there is something wrong with your computer.
Is Your Water Heater Trying to Tell You Something?
Taking a cold shower becomes (kind of) amusing all of a sudden. However, when it occurs again, it becomes a source of aggravation. We’d be delighted to come over and see what’s going on, so please contact us right away. You’ve earned some wonderful, hot baths!
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. It is possible that failure to do so will result in significant harm or perhaps death.
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
There are a variety of reasons why you may be experiencing problems with your pilot light. If it won’t light in the first place, it might be because the pilot light orifice or tube is blocked – or it could simply be that the pilot light needs to be replaced. Another possibility is that the thermocouple is defective or has come away from its socket. It is also possible that there is air in the gas line or that the gas valve is malfunctioning.
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.
Hot Water Not Working? Learn Why!
Consider the following scenario: you’re in the midst of a relaxing, hot morning shower. You then discover that your shower is neither hot nor pleasant without any prior notice at all. Your water is quite cold. Following your shower, you’re undoubtedly thinking one thing (or at least one blog-appropriate thought): what the hell just happened?
So: WhyDidThat Happen?
The situation of the lost hot water is not a difficult one to solve. Your water heater is most likely malfunctioning, and you should investigate more. In order to heat water, electric water heaters make use of electric heating components that are situated in the top and lower regions of the water heater’s tank. If the electricity that supplies power to these heating components is not operating, the heating elements will not function. When the heating components are not receiving electricity, they are unable to generate any further hot water.
Electric water heaters are high-voltage equipment, which means that they require 240 volts to function effectively and are thus more expensive.
For this reason, high-voltage appliances such as your water heater are normally linked to a separate circuit to avoid overloading the system. This circuit gets us to the most typical reason for not having hot water: a clogged water heater.
Circuits Be Tripping
First and foremost, if your electric water heater isn’t working, you should look for an open circuit breaker. A recent trip of the water heater’s circuit breaker is most likely to blame. Whenever circuit breakers trip, they effectively “break” the circuit (get it?) that is delivering electricity to the equipment to which they are attached. The gadget (in this example, your water heater) cannot work unless it receives sufficient electricity. Locate your home’s central service panel (also known as an electrical box, circuit panel, fuse box, or junction box, depending on who you ask).
Even if it isn’t clearly labeled, you should be able to locate it without difficulty.
The circuit that appears to be out of place is most likely your tripped water heater circuit.
If your home is equipped with a fuse box rather of a circuit breaker panel, you will need to change the fuse.
What if that didn’t fix the problem?
If the circuit breaker has not been tripped, it is necessary to inspect the water heater itself. However, before you leave your service panel, make sure to switch off the breaker that is devoted to the water heater. We are confident that you do not want to poke about in your water heater while it is still powered. After you’ve disconnected the circuit that supplies electricity to the heater, you’ll be able to begin your inspection process. To begin, remove the upper element access panel from the water heater.
- Take extreme caution not to come into contact with the wires or electrical contacts.
- The high-temperature cutoff reset button is represented by the red button.
- Replacing the safety guard, insulation, and access panel is the next step.
- If it doesn’t address the problem, you may need to replace the water heater or one or both of the heating components in the water heater.
What if Istillkeep running out of hot water?
Sometimes you have hot water, but it doesn’t feel like you have enough to go around. This might have been created by a teenager, but you can’t get rid of them permanently. It’s also possible that your water heater is just too tiny. It may seem obvious, but the capacity of your water heater must be sufficient to suit your water requirements. If it is too tiny for your home, you will not be able to heat as much water as you require. The size of the water heater tank you’ll require is determined by a number of criteria, the most important of which is the number of people who will be utilizing it.
A 30 gallon tank should be used by one to two individuals.
Finally, if you have five or more people living in your house, you should think about investing in an 80-gallon water tank to accommodate them.
5 or more persons Equals a 50-gallon tank Consider taking shorter showers or installing low-flow showerheads if you find yourself running out of hot water on a regular basis.
You might also restrict the use of the dishwasher and washing machine to times when no one else is using other water-consuming appliances.
What if I my tank is the right size but Istilldon’t get enough hot water?
In this instance, it’s likely that one or both of your heating components are out of commission. “On the fritz” is slang for “not functioning correctly” in your generation. If you’re only receiving lukewarm water, it’s likely that your higher heating element isn’t operating properly. If you are getting hot water but it is running out too soon, it is likely that the bottom heating element is not operating properly. The malfunctioning heating element will need to be replaced in order to resolve this issue.
What if my hot water istoohot?
One or both of the thermostats on your water heater are most likely set to an excessively high temperature. Open up your water heater tank once more in order to double-check your settings. To remove each heating element’s access panel, insulation, and plastic safety guard, first turn off the electricity and then remove them. Don’t forget to avoid touching the wires or electrical terminals once again. Both thermostats should have the heat set at the same temperature. Both of them should be at the same temperature as each other.
To modify the temperature, a flathead screwdriver may be used to turn the dial to the appropriate setting.
What if my water heater is making a popping or rumbling sound?
It’s likely that you’re hearing the sound of boiling water. When an excessive amount of silt accumulates at the bottom of the tank, the tank may get overheated. During this period, it is possible that the water within the tank begins to boil, causing the sound you are currently experiencing. Over time, an overheated tank might result in a slew of additional issues with your water heater. Draining your water heater tank on a regular basis will prevent silt from accumulating in the tank. Try flushing it once more to see if it alleviates the popping sound any more this time.
- So there you have it.
- If you have a problem with your water heater in the future, use these troubleshooting steps to figure out what is wrong.
- Wait for our detailed explanation on how to replace the heating components in your water heater to be published soon.
- If that’s the case, simply give EarlyBird a call instead of submitting an online form.
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
Most likely, there is a problem with the thermostat, which is resulting in insufficient hot water. Depending on the heating element, it may be as simple as changing the thermostat to the required water temperature for that particular heating element. A layer of insulation and an access panel on the side of the tank often conceal the thermostat in electric types of the tank. In contrast to gas versions, an electric thermostat is pre-programmed at the manufacturer and is not designed to be adjusted, but it may be essential to do so on occasion.
There are a variety of other reasons why you may not have enough hot water, including a malfunctioning thermostat or element, loose wiring, or a water heater tank that is too small for your needs.
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, banging, knocking, or other strange noises coming from your water heater are most likely caused by scale buildup on your heating elements or an excessive amount of sediment buildup in 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.
A simple cure may be to raise the temperature of the thermometer to around 140 degrees Fahrenheit in order to destroy any residual germs. To learn more about how to troubleshoot an electric water heater in greater depth, please watch the video below:
Gas Water Heater Troubleshooting
(Click on image to expand)
Water Leaking From the Top
As with an electric water heater, you should first inspect the cold water input and hot water exit pipes and connections to ensure that they are not loose or leaking water. Another possible source of the leak might be a malfunctioning or loose temperature and pressure relief valve or an intake valve. More information may be found atWater Heater Leaking from the Top.
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.
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.