How To Replace A Water Heater Thermostat
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. The replacement of a onethermostat is an ideal time to replace both the upper and lower thermostats at the same time.
Testing the Thermostats on a Dual Element Water Heater
Because the majority of electric water heaters employ both an upper and a bottom element, the procedure outlined below is intended for these models only. A multimeter and a screwdriver will be required for this test. You can get an excellent, affordable multimeter online or at your local hardware shop for less than $20. Putting the UPPER thermostat through its paces:
- Immediately turn off the water heater’s electricity. Remove the panels that provide access to the elements, as well as the insulation beneath them
- Set the upperthermostat to the highest level possible with a screwdriver. Lower the lowerthermostat to its most conservative setting
- Restart the water heater by turning the power back on. Check the two wires above the reset button to ensure that electricity is being sent to the water heater. The voltage should be shown as 240 volts. Check the power on the upper element terminal screws with your multimeter to ensure they are not faulty. If there is no power, the thermostat is defective and must be replaced. Ensure that the lower thermostat is operational if there is electricity.
Putting the LOWER thermostat through its paces:
- Set the top thermostat to the lowest setting possible. Make sure that the lower thermostat is set to its maximum setting. Check to see whether there is voltage on the bottom component. Assuming the multimeter indicates that there is power at the element, take a few minutes for the water to warm up.
- Turn down the thermostat’s temperature setting and listen for an audible click, which shows that the thermostat is operating properly.
- To determine whether there is power at the element if there is no voltage, check the lower thermostat.
- In order to test the top contact screw, place one of the multimeter probes there and another probe on the metal shell of the water tank. It should display a voltage measurement of about 120 volts. The top thermostat, which supplies voltage to the lower thermostat, will need to be replaced if there is no indication of operation. Place one probe on the lower contact screw of the water tank and the second probe on the metal casing of the water tank if a reading is obtained. It should display around 120 volts. If this is not the case, the lower thermostat will have to be changed.
Electric Water Heater Thermostat Replacement
Before working on a water heater, make sure the electricity is turned off or the breaker is turned off. You will need to remove the access panel and the safety cover in order to change the thermostats (do this for both upper and lower access panels on dual element units). Make sure the power is turned off with a voltage meter for the sake of safety before proceeding. Make a basic schematic of how the wires are linked to the diagram and label it accordingly. Remove the wires from the thermostat and set them aside.
In order for the thermostat to sense the internal water temperature, it must be secured in place by means of a particular bracket that clamps down on it tightly against the tank wall. Remove one side of the bracket by gently prying it out while twisting the other side of the thermostat upwards to prevent the bracket from locking back into place. Repeat the process on the opposite side. On dual element versions, repeat the process with the lower thermostat.
To purchase a replacement thermostat, bring the old thermostat(s) with you. Despite the fact that most thermostats are interchangeable, the greatest results are obtained by precisely matching the parts.
If the bracket was broken during the removal of the thermostat, you can purchase a replacement bracket at the same time. When the old bracket is removed, the new one should be placed flat against the tank and dragged downward until it is securely in place.
Each thermostat should be replaced by sliding it uniformly downward into the retaining bracket until it locks into position. Replace the wire in the exact same manner as it was removed. Replace the safety cover(s) and the access panel if they are damaged (s). Restore electricity to the water heater and allow it to run for one hour before checking the hot water pressure. If you believe that a heating element has failed as well, read How to Replace a Water Heater Element for more information.
Gas Water Heater Thermostat Replacement
Gas water heaters employ a different sort of thermostat system than electric water heaters. Generally speaking, on gas water heaters, the gas control valve, which incorporates both an adjustable thermostat and a heat limiting mechanism, is positioned on the outside of the unit, near the bottom. It may be distinguished from other components by the fact that it has temperature and pilot light controls.
The thermostat on a gas water heater will need to be replaced, and the gas control valve will need to be replaced as well. Do you need to change a water heater thermocouple or a water heater element? Refer to this page. Take a look at our articles on the subject!
Test & Replace a Water Heater Thermostat: DIY Guide
Gas water heaters have a different sort of thermostat system than electric water heaters. The gas control valve, which incorporates both a thermostat and a heat limiting mechanism, is often found on the exterior of the unit, towards the bottom, of most gas water heaters. Temperature and pilot light controls are located on this component, which may be recognised by its shape. The thermostat on a gas water heater will need to be replaced, and the gas control valve component will also need to be replaced.
- Refer to this page: That is covered in detail in our publications.
- It’s not too difficult.
- When bathing or cleaning, no one enjoys using cold water.
- In this post, we will look at how to diagnose your electric water heaterthermostat and how to replace it if it becomes damaged or malfunctioning.
How Electric Water Heater Thermostats Work
When you begin to realize that your water heater isn’t operating as efficiently as it should, the thermostat is more than likely the source of the problem, or at the very least a contributing factor. No need to repair the entire electric heater when you can save yourself both time and money by just replacing the thermostat instead. Once you’ve gone over the following instructions, it will only take a few minutes. Electric water heater thermostats function by opening and shutting connections, which allow electricity to pass to the heating components of the water heater.
- Modern home water heaters are equipped with two heating components as well as two thermostats.
- The higher thermostat differs from the lower thermostat in several ways.
- It is quite rare for both thermostats to fail at the same time (although I do recommend replacing both when one fails).
- Whenever a lower heating element or thermostat fails, the top thermostat and heating element will take over and continue to heat water in the upper part of the hot water storage tank.
Are Electric Water Heater Thermostats Universal?
No, not all water heater thermostats are designed to be interchangeable. It is important to note that there are certain differences in thermostats between single-element and dual-element water heaters. Additionally, with dual-element water heaters, there is a differential between the top and bottom thermostats. In order to properly select a water heater thermostat, you must first determine the number of elements and the voltage of the water heater in question. It is possible to obtain this information from the data tag located on the side of the water heater.
The voltage is inscribed on the end of the heating element, and it may be read with a magnifying glass.
There are more than 50 different household tank-style electric water heaters available on the market, and the thermostats on the majority of them are designed to be interchangeable. When making a purchase, it is important to thoroughly read the product description.
Typical household water heater thermostats are seen in this photo, which includes an upper and lower thermostat for each. Because it is located above the lower thermostat, the thermostat on the left has a high limit switch, which can be identified by the red reset button. The upper thermostat is in charge of controlling both the upper element and the lower thermostat, respectively. When you look at it from this angle, you can see the bottom thermostat, which regulates the lower element. For a replacement kit that includes two heating elements, upper and lower thermostats, and seals, we offer theRheem SP20060 Electric Water Heater Tune-Up Kit, which can be purchased on Amazon.com for about $30.
A universal upperthermostat produced by Rheem is what we’re looking at here.
It is a Rheem lower thermostat that is universal in use.
The thermostat seen here is for a water heater with a single heating element. The thermostat is very similar to an upper dual-element thermostat, with the only variation being the amount of wire terminals on the thermostat. In this case, the single element thermostat has just two terminals on the right side and four on the left side, as you can see in the illustration. If you require a single-element thermostat, the Camco 07843 Single Element Water Heater Thermostat with HLC is a good option to consider purchasing.
The following is a list of the supplies you’ll require:
- In addition, you’ll need a 1/4-inch nut driver or a flathead screwdriver, two Phillips screwdrivers, an analog or digital multimeter/voltmeter, and a new thermostat.
How to Test a Water Heater Thermostat for Continuity – Step-By-Step
We must examine the thermostats for continuity in order to identify whether or not the thermostat has failed. You’ll need an analog or digital multimeter for this, which you can get here. WARNING: Working with electricity is extremely hazardous and can result in death. Before dealing with wiring or electrical connections, be certain that the power is turned off. Follow these procedures to determine which thermostat is malfunctioning.
Step 1: Turn the power off
Make your go to your circuit board and locate the water heater breaker to switch off the power supply. Discover and switch off the breaker that is labeled “water heater” or “hot water” in the electrical panel box where the water heater is located.
Step 2: Remove the outside access covers
To remove the access cover from the upper and lower thermostats, use a 1/4-inch nut driver or flathead screwdriver to pry them off. Fold the insulation back over the thermostat to prevent it from being damaged. To keep the insulation out of the way, use tape to hold it in place. Remove the plastic cover that covers the thermostat on the inside of the house.
Step 3: Confirm power is off to the water heater
Remove the access cover from the upper and lower thermostats with a 1/4-inch nut driver or a flathead screwdriver.
Fold the insulation back over the thermostat to protect it from the elements. Insulation should be secured out of the way using tape before continuing. Remove the plastic cover that covers the thermostat on the interior of the house.
Step 4: Check the high limit reset button
If the manual reset switch, also known as the high limit reset button, has been tripped, it should be replaced. This button will trip on occasion if any of the following conditions are met:
- There is a short circuit between the thermostat contacts
- The thermostat is out of tune
- The heating element has failed
Step 5: Disconnect the wiring
Take a photo with your phone or a digital camera to use as a reference if it becomes necessary to identify which cables are connected to which terminal in the future. To detach the wiring from the thermostat terminals, unscrew the terminal screws using a Phillips #2 screwdriver and pull the wiring away from the terminals.
Step 6: Check the thermostat with a multimeter
Set the resistance of the multimeter to the lowest ohms possible (typically x10). Using your fingers, squeeze the probes together and adjust the needle to zero to calibrate your meter. To check the resistance of a digital multimeter, set it to the lowest possible value of resistance (usually 200), or, if your multimeter has an option for resistance with tone, choose it. Take one of the black probes from your multimeter and insert it into the screw terminal on the left side of the instrument. Take the red probe and connect it to the other left-side terminal on the other side.
- This means that the thermostat is not functioning properly and must be replaced.
- For a demonstration, please see the video above.
- As soon as you have finished testing your water heater thermostat, you may either reconnect the wire and close the access cover, or you can proceed to the next step, which is replacing the thermostat.
- How to Test and Replace a Faulty Water Heating Element is a step-by-step guide that explains how to accomplish this in further detail.
How to Replace a Faulty Water Heater Thermostat – Step-By-Step
Once you’ve discovered which thermostat is faulty, it’s time to begin the process of removing and replacing it. Insider’s Tip: As previously said, it is typically a good idea to change both thermostats and heating components on a yearly or biannual basis. The reason for this is that if one of the heating components is beginning to fail, it has the potential to short out the replacement thermostat shortly after it has been placed, causing it to fail. Some of the stages will be repeated in this section.
For those who have not yet tested their thermostats, we will first go through the preparatory processes.
Step 1: Turn the power off
Make your way to the circuit breaker box and look for the switch labeled ‘Water Heater’ or anything along those lines.
It should be turned off, making sure to turn off both switches if it is a 220v switch. If you’re not sure which water heater is causing the problem because of outdated stickers or labels, get a professional to turn them off for you.
Step 2: Remove the outside access covers
Remove the cover panel that corresponds to the thermostat that has to be replaced and set the cover panel aside. The coverings for water heater tanks are often located on the side of the tank. Ensure that you do not loose any of the little screws by using the 1/4-inch nut driver or a flathead screwdriver for this section. Remove the insulation from the thermostat as well as the plastic protective cover that covers it.
Step 3: Confirm power is off to the water heater
Each wire should be tested with your multimeter/voltmeter. This may be accomplished by grounding one of the lines and checking each terminal one at a time until the problem is resolved. Even if you have shut off the power at the circuit breaker, you should always double-check your work using one of these meters to ensure that you have not electrocuted yourself. Connect the top and legs of the multimeter at the same time, using the multimeter connectors. The meter should read 0 at this point. Touch each leg of the water heater while the black connector is in contact with it to ensure there is no electricity.
Step 4: Disconnect the wiring
Take a photo with your phone or a digital camera to use as a reference if it becomes necessary to identify which cables are connected to which terminal in the future. Disconnect the wiring from each terminal on the thermostat with a Phillips screwdriver #2. Remove the thermostat from the wall.
Step 5: Remove the defective thermostat
Take a photo with your phone or a digital camera to serve as a reference if it becomes necessary to identify which wires are connected to which terminals in the near future. Disconnect the wire from each terminal on the thermostat with a Phillips screwdriver size 2.
Step 6: Insert the new thermostat
Inserting the new thermostat into the retaining bracket that holds the old thermostat in place will allow you to precisely position the new thermostat. Reconnect the wires to the relevant terminals by twisting them together. If necessary, you can refer to the photograph you took previously for guidance. Check to see that each wire is securely linked to the next. Check to see that the thermostat is securely attached to the water heater, otherwise the thermostat may not operate correctly. After that, adjust the thermostat to the temperature you like for the water.
These modifications may be accomplished with the use of a flathead screwdriver.
The following is an insider’s tip: If you intend to replace your heating element with your new thermostat, you will need to empty the water heater first.
Check out our post on how to empty your water heater, as well as additional water heater care advice.
Step 7: Reattach the cover panels
Now that you’ve completed the replacement, it’s time to seal everything up and double-check your work for mistakes.
Remove the plastic protective cover and insulation and replace them with new ones. Reattach the outside access panels if they have been removed.
Step 8: Turn the power back on
Following the completion of the installation, return to the electrical box and re-energize the circuit breaker (if necessary). Hot water recovery will take around one hour to complete, but you should be able to use hot water within 15 minutes after turning on the faucet. Over the next several days, make sure to check on the water heater on a regular basis.
Water Heater Thermostat FAQs
Electric water heater thermostats are typically pre-set by the manufacturer to 110 or 120 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the model. You have the option of increasing the temperature to the maximum setting, which is typically 150 degrees Fahrenheit, if necessary (65 degrees Celsius). The maximum water temperature setting should be no greater than 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius), since a higher setting might provide a scorching threat to small children and the elderly.
Should water heater thermostats be set to the same temperature?
In fact, the top and lower thermostats should both be set at the same temperature. The dip tube is responsible for delivering cold water to the bottom of the tank. Having consistent settings across the tank helps to keep the temperature consistent throughout the tank.
What would cause a water heater thermostat to burn up?
A malfunctioning heating element, a power surge, or just the passage of time can cause a water heater thermostat to burn up. When internal components of water heater thermostats wear out, they become faulty and fail. Even with regular electric currents, an older thermostat may experience failure. If the manual reset switch on your water heater thermostat does not work, the thermostat will need to be repaired or replaced. Replacement of both thermostats and heating elements should be done at the same time because if one of the heating elements is beginning to fail, it may cause the new thermostat to short out shortly after it is installed, which is not recommended.
Simply said, that’s the whole story! Water heaters aren’t too difficult to maintain, and replacing a thermostat can be completed in a matter of minutes if you know what you’re doing and have the right tools. The most important thing to remember while working with electrical equipment is to avoid taking shortcuts. Although it is possible to change your water heater thermostat in a short period of time utilizing the correct skills and tools, doing so is not recommended. DISCLAIMER: The information provided on HomeInspectionInsider.com is not intended to be professional guidance.
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As an affiliate, HomeInspectionInsider.com participates in a variety of affiliate programs with other websites. Hubert Miles receives a commission for recommending visitors and commerce to these businesses.
5 Easy Steps For a DIY Water Heater Thermostat Repair
Hot water is a luxury that most of us can’t imagine not having at our disposal. Consider all of the numerous ways you use hot water in your daily life – for dishes, for clothing, for bathing, for mopping, and so forth. Having a malfunctioning water heater in your home will give you a sense of how critical and vital your water heater is to your daily routine and way of life. Water heaters are available in a variety of configurations, including electric, propane, and natural gas. Each operates in a slightly different way, but they both provide the same purposes, which include heating water and storing it until it is needed again.
When the thermostat in your water heater malfunctions, you will be unable to monitor or control the temperature of your hot water.
When Should You Repair Your Water Heater Thermostat?
When it comes to your water heater, there are a few tell-tale indicators that you should be aware of and pay attention to. Some of the indicators listed below may indicate that your water heater needs to be serviced or repaired.
Your Water is Too Hot
The presence of very hot water is a strong sign that your thermostat is set too high. Other external variables, such as the changing of the seasons, may also contribute to this problem, and you should adjust the suggested setting when the weather changes from cold to warm. If you are unable to reduce the temperature of your water, you may need to replace the entire thermostat or do a thorough inspection for any wiring problems. Find a professional to assist you in resolving thermostat wiring difficulties in order to avoid injury or more harm.
There’s Not Enough Hot Water
Cold weather conditions can also contribute to a lack of hot water availability. It’s possible that you have chilly pipes that aren’t properly insulated, or that your thermostat has failed. There are a variety of additional concerns that might arise, including loose wiring, broken equipment, and a hot water tank that is too small for your needs.
Water Takes Too Long to Reheat
It is also possible that chilly weather temperatures are a contributing factor to insufficient hot water availability. The problem might be due to uninsulated cold pipes or a malfunctioning temperature control. Other concerns that might arise include broken components, frayed wiring, and a hot water tank that is too small for your needs (if you have a large family).
A Step-by-Step Guide to Repair a Water Heater Thermostat
A water heater’s thermostat is responsible for regulating the temperature of the water. It is possible that if the temperature is adjusted too low, the water will cool before it is sent to the faucet. Furthermore, if the temperature is set too high, you run the danger of being burned or scalded by the water temperature that is emitted from the faucet. In the event that you do not have hot water, here is how to fix a thermostat:
- Figure out where the upper and lower thermostats are
- The power supply of both thermostats should be checked. To establish whether the thermostat will or will not function, press the button to reset it one more. If there is no power to the upper system, the thermostat should be replaced. The top heating element should be replaced if your upper system is getting electricity but there is no hot water coming out of it.
If the temperature of your water isn’t just correct, you may easily adjust the thermostat by yourself.
Here are three simple things that Sacramento people may do to protect themselves.
1. Locate Your Water Heater’s Temperature Control Knob.
It’s simple to adjust the thermostat on your own if the water temperature isn’t just perfect. Here are three simple things that citizens of Sacramento may do to protect themselves.
2. Look for the Small Black Line or Arrow above the Knob.
If the temperature of your water isn’t just perfect, you may easily adjust the thermostat on your own. Here are three simple precautions that Sacramento citizens may do to protect their homes.
3. Adjust the Temperature Somewhere Between 105 and 120 DegreesFahrenheit.
What factors should you consider before deciding whether to repair or replace your water heater? In most cases, if there isn’t a leak, the damage is minimal and can usually be fixed quickly and simply. For example, tank wear and rust are two of the most prevalent types of problems you’ll observe with your water heating system. These are often minor concerns that may be resolved with minimal effort. If your tank is leaking, it is preferable for you to replace it rather than attempt to fix it.
Additionally, leaking tanks can result in hazardous water damage to your personal belongings, and if the water isn’t cleaned up immediately, mold-breeding fungus can form.
- The drain valve
- The cold water inlet
- And the hot water inlet. In addition to the anode rod, the dip tube and the pressure release valve are also included.
You should call a local specialist if you are experiencing problems with your water heater in the Sacramento region to decide whether it needs to be replaced or repaired.
How to replace an electric water heater thermostat
Replacement of the thermostat in an electric water heater is covered in detail in this do-it-yourself repair guide. The thermostat regulates the temperature of the water by turning on and off the heating element on and off. If the thermostat stops operating, the element will either not turn on at all, resulting in cold water, or it will stay on for an excessive amount of time, resulting in scorching water. Replace a faulty thermostat with a replacement part that has been approved by the manufacturer.
- How to replace the thermostat on an electric water heater with this video repair instruction.
- Warning: It might be dangerous to do repairs or maintenance on appliances or power equipment without proper training.
- In an effort to decrease the danger, make use of the right tools and safety equipment as specified in the applicable handbook and adhere to all of the guidelines.
- A qualified technician, on the other hand, should be called in for some repairs or maintenance.
How to adjust your water heater temperature
Replacement of the thermostat in an electric water heater is explained in this do-it-yourself repair tutorial. For the purpose of maintaining the water temperature, the thermostat alternates between turning on and off the heating element. Because to this failure, the element either does not turn on at all, resulting in cold water, or it turns on for an excessive amount of time, resulting in boiling water. Using the original manufacturer’s replacement part, repair or replace a faulty thermostat.
Replace a water heater’s theromstat using this video tutorial!
If you decide to do repairs or maintenance on your own, you are taking on the risk of injuring yourself or your property.
Never proceed unless you are sure in your ability to complete the repair and that you understand all of the stages. A qualified technician, on the other hand, should be called in for certain repairs or maintenance.
The correct temperature range
It is recommended that your water heater be set within a specified temperature range for a variety of different reasons. A low temperature setting not only results in hot water that is merely lukewarm at best, but it can also promote bacterial development, which can lead to illnesses such as Legionnaires’ disease. This may be avoided by adjusting the temperature of the water heater to a level at which the bacteria Legionella cannot survive. A temperature of at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) for water heaters is recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to prevent Legionella and other germs from growing in the water.
- The time it takes for third-degree burns to occur at 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66 degrees Celsius) is less than two seconds.
- Not to mention that a water heater that is set too hot might result in an excessively expensive power bill.
- The greater the distance between a faucet and the water heater, the greater the amount of heat that will be lost as the water flows, especially if the pipes are not insulated.
- When determining the appropriate temperature for your family and household, use your best judgment.
- Make an adjustment, test it, and continue the process until you’ve found the ideal temperature setting for your house and water heater, which may take many attempts.
Adjusting water heater temperature
The interface used to control the temperature of a water heater will differ depending on the kind and model. Fortunately, the majority of water heater models can be modified in the same way. For example, most contemporary gas and electric water heaters are equipped with a thermostat concealed behind an insulated access panel. Electric water heaters are frequently equipped with two thermostats: one at the top of the tank and another at the bottom. Furthermore, most tankless water heaters include a display with a temperature reading as well as controls for altering the water heater’s temperature.
Turn on the water in the bathroom or kitchen sink and let it to run until the water is completely hot before using. Then, to get an accurate reading, place a thermometer beneath the surface of the water.
The process of adjusting a tankless water heater is quite similar to the process of adjusting your air conditioning thermostat. Adjust the temperature by using the digital control panel, which may be adjusted up or down as desired.
Gas or electric water heaters
Some gas water heaters include a dial towards the bottom of the device that may be adjusted simply by turning it – no tools are required for this operation. Nonetheless, most current tank water heaters (whether gas or electric) require a bit more effort, but the process is still straightforward and should only take a few minutes.
- The temperature of certain gas water heaters may be adjusted by turning a dial towards the bottom of the machine – no tools are needed for this. Some tank water heaters (whether gas or electric) require a bit more effort, but the process is still straightforward and should only take a few minutes.
- If your water heater has two thermostats, make sure they are both set to the same temperature. The temperature on the top thermostat should be a few degrees higher than on the bottom thermostat.
- Replace the insulation and re-install the access panel, if necessary. Reconnect the water heater’s power supply
- It is possible that you may need to relight the pilot light on a gas water heater.
Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments, you should wait at least three hours before checking the water temperature once more. It is possible that you may need to make more modifications in order to get the desired temperature. If you’ve increased the temperature and are still getting chilly showers, it’s possible that your hot water heater has to be serviced or completely replaced. Is the energy efficiency of your home high? Here are five different methods to find out. CNET’s Guide to Smart Livingis a one-stop shop for tips, techniques, and how-to guides that can help you live a more intelligent life.
How to Replace a Water Heater Thermostat
Depending on why your water heater has stopped operating, it may have failed to obtain a temperature measurement. If this is the case, do you know how to change the water heater thermostat? If this is the case, you’ve come to the correct spot. Before purchasing a new replacement component, you should ensure that your old thermostats have been thoroughly tested. The replacement of thermostats is a waste of time and money if the thermostats are not the source of the problem. These are the operating instructions for electric water heaters.
How to Test a Water Heater Thermostat
You may not be able to receive a temperature reading from your water heater if it has stopped operating, but do you know how to replace a water heater thermostat? If this is the case, you have arrived to the correct location. Test your current thermostats before purchasing a replacement item to ensure they are in working order. The replacement of thermostats is a waste of time and money if the fault is not with them. Water heaters that are powered by electricity are covered by these guidelines.
- Turn off the electricity to the water heater
- Remove the access panels and insulation to gain access to the thermostats and heating/cooling elements. By rotating the dial in the middle of the higher thermostat to high and the lower thermostat to low using a screwdriver, you may set the top thermostat to high and the lower thermostat to low. For greater temperatures, turn the knob clockwise
- For lower temperatures, turn the knob counterclockwise
- Restore power to the system
- Check the wires above the reset button on the thermostat with a multimeter (we recommend theUEI UTL33T digital multimeter) to ensure that they are reading 240v. Inspect the higher element for power by checking the terminal screws on the upper element. If there is no electricity, it is necessary to replace this thermostat. If you do discover that there is electricity, then check the lower thermostat setting. Set the lower thermostat to high while keeping the upper thermostat at low temperature. As before, check certain that there is voltage, this time to the bottom element.
- If there is electricity and the water begins to heat up, the lower thermostat is most likely in excellent working order. When you lower the temperature of your water heater, you should hear a clicking sound. That’s the sound of your thermostat turning on. If there is no voltage, then check the lower thermostat by putting one probe of the multimeter to the top contact screw and the other probe to the metal of the tank. If there is no voltage, then check the upper thermostat. Unless you receive a reading, you will need to have the higher thermostat repaired or replaced. If you obtain 120 volts, you know that the higher thermostat is working properly. Remove the probe from the top contact screw and touch it to the bottom contact screw while still contacting the tank with the other probe. Repeat this process with the other probe. If you only receive 120v, that’s ok. If you receive nothing, it is necessary to replace it.
Replacing a Water Heater Thermostat in 8 Steps
Keep in mind that this is for electric water heaters only:
- First and foremost, turn off the electricity at the breaker
- Remove the access panel(s) and insulation so that you may gain access to the thermostat and adjust it (s). You may have one or two access panels on your property. The majority of water heaters contain two heating elements/thermostats. Make use of the voltage meter to ensure that the power is entirely turned off. Photocopy the wiring within each panel so that you can refer to it later when you’re putting everything back together again. Remove the thermostat’s wire from the wall
- To remove the thermostat, you must first remove the complete bracket that keeps it in place. Pry out each side one at a time with a twisting motion, being careful not to damage the skin. Don’t try to force it, or you’ll end up breaking it. It’s important that you don’t have to replace that part as well, so take your time with this step and do it correctly. Replace the wire after inserting the new thermostat into the bracket and securing the bracket in place. Reconnect the electricity and let your tank a few minutes to warm up before using it.
Enjoy Your Newly Working Water Heater
Cut the electricity at the breaker for your own safety first, then continue. Remove the access panel(s) and insulation in order to get access to the HVAC system (s). Access panels are available in a variety of sizes. Typically, two elements/thermostats are used in a water heater. Make sure the power is entirely turned off with the voltage meter. You should take a picture of the wiring within each panel so that you can refer to it later when you are putting everything back together The thermostat’s wires should be disconnected.
Using a twisting motion, pry off each side one at a time, but with care.
You don’t want to end up having to replace that part as well, so take your time and do it well the first time.
How to select and replace thermostat on electric water heater
|Replacement steps start here|
|Power if OFFDo not empty water out of heater||Turn power OFF Turn off 20 or 30 Amp circuit breaker to 240V water heaterSee basic water heater wiring diagram Or 20 Amp circuit breaker to 120V water heaterCheck label on side of water heater for appliance voltageFigure volts amps watts Wattage is stamped on end of elementsee example|
|Never assume power is OFF/ Use non-contact voltage tester Use non-contact voltage tester on timer, on wire, on outlet to see if power is present.Press button on tester, if single beep then no power is present. If continuous beep then power is present.Never stand on bare ground, always stand on dry boards, do not hold or touch anything metal when working on timer or water heater that has power, tape tester leads to wood sticks, never touch wet water heater, or flooded water heater, or timer that had a short or fire without turning power OFF.Buy:Multimeters at AmazonBuy non-contact voltage tester at AmazonElectric testers at AmazonShop Amazon – Industrial and scientificShop Amazon – Industrial Electric Products|
|How to find age of water heater||How to use ordinary tester/ 120, 208, or 240V:Stand on dry boardsNever touch wet water heater unless power is OFFTape tester leads to wood sticks1. Test black wire to ground wire2. Test black wire to white wire3. Test white wire to ground wireIf indicator lights up, then electricity is present.|
|Newer tanks have foam insulation that may need to be cut back. Insulation must be re-installed.||Do not empty water out of heater Not necessary to wait for water to cool. Can be done with hot water inside tank.Power must be OFF.Use screwdriver to remove covers and insulation from tankSome 240Volt tanks have single access door and single thermostatBuy new parts that match oldBuy parts at hardware storeThermostats and elements are generally interchangeable between brands of electric water heaterException is Whirlpool energy-smart shown lower on page.Thermostats usually covered with plastic protector shield.New protector shield packaged with some new thermostatsPurpose of protector is to protect homeowner from electrocution when pushing reset button or adjusting temperature when power is ON.Older heaters may not have plastic shield.Buy:Upper element terminal protectorLower element terminal protector|
|Take photo of wires. before startingTake photo of wires or draw picture showing location of each wire|
|Larger imageSee large image of overall wiring diagram Wire colors can varyTake photo of wiring before starting.See upper thermostats showing numbers||Steps to replace thermostat Instructions are same for both upper and lower thermostatsPower is OFF, and tested that power is off using steps aboveUse digital camera and take photo of wires or draw picture showing location of each wireRemove wires from thermostatThermostat is held in place by metal spring that snaps over ears on thermostatPull back metal spring on both sides (make a tool using piece of coat hanger wire)Slide out old thermostatPut new thermostat in place, wiggle thermostat around to make sure it is held flat and tight against tank by metal spring Thermostat reads temperature through surface of metal tankUse screwdriver to adjust temperatureSee images showing how to adjust temperature to 120�(or higher if hot water runs short)Re-connect wirestighten screws very firm against copper wireImportant. Push-in red reset button firmly to make sure it is engagedAfter thermostat is replaced, put factory insulation back over thermostat Insulation must cover thermostat to avoid higher water temperatures than desired set point Tank must be full of water or elements will instantly burn outTurn power ONPut ear against water heater to hear bubbly fizzing sound that says water heater is ‘on’If tank is fully heated, water heater will not turn on. If tank is partially heated, then lower element will turn on. If tank is cold, then upper element will turn on.How it works Put access doors back on tank Access doors and insulation are required for thermostat to read correct temperatureIf water heater is still not working,see troubleshooting|
|Burned thermostatWhat caused it?Electricity found path from terminals on thermostat to bare metal tank. But fire did not spread because tank factory-installed covers and insulation were on side of tankAlways connect ground wire to water heaterAlways keep insulation and cover installed on tank.||Inspection finds Burned thermostat or melted wire Turn power OFFReplace partTest wiresTest wires with MultimeterBuy:Multimeters at AmazonResourceHow to test water heater wires|
|Fire safety||Fire safetyAll wires must be same gauge (same diameter). Or connect different gauge wires using push-on wire connectorsOnly copper wire used.Solid wire only. Never use stranded wire.Only copper under screw plate, no insulation under screw plate.Maximum 2 wires under screw plate.Wires must be fully inserted under screw plate. And screw plate very tight against wires.Wires cannot run over top of thermostat or elements, and must be pushed aside.Wires can run over top of other wires, but not at point where wires are making connection to either element or thermostat.|
|Use push-on wire connectors when wires are too shortBuy:Push on wire connectors at AmazonRed 3P connector (shown) for 10-14 gauge wireYellow 4P for 12-18 gauge wire|
|Thermostat must sit flat against tank Wiggle thermostat to make sure it sits flat against tankThermostat sits flat against tank wall so temperature reading is accurate and water heater is protected from overheatingAccess doors and insulation must be put back over thermostat to avoid higher water temperatures than desired set point, which leads to overheating, which will trip ECO reset.|
|See larger||Double-check thermostat wiringCompare wiring with illustrationResources:How to wire thermostatsHow water heater thermostats workRed reset button:ECO energy cut off turns off power to water heater when temperature reaches 150�-170�|
|Adjust temperature on thermostat using screwdriver. Recommended temperature is 120 degrees F for efficiency and to avoid scalding water.If home is running short of hot water, turn temperature up.Thermostat settings are approximate. Calibration is different for each thermostat. Use cooking thermometer to measure water temperature when exact temperature is needed.Problems from high temperature setting include higher bill, faster sediment build-up. Minerals can distill out of water when water is above 140 degrees.Water expands with higher heat. TP valve releases water. Pressure should not exceed 80 psi.Resources:How to adjust water heater temperature9 ways to save with water heaterTest and replace TP valve.Install expansion tank.Inspect for leaks once per year.Test for high water pressure over 80psi that can damage tank and pipesFormulas and terminology|
|Insulation and cover must be over thermostat. Exposing thermostat to cool room temperature will cause tank to overheat.Thermostat cannot read correct temperature unless covered correctly.Buy:Upper element terminal protectorLower element terminal protectorResourceTroubleshoot electric water heater|
|Inspection finds leak/ rust around elementResources:Replace element and gasketInspect anode rodLeaking water heater resourcesHow to install electric water heater|
|Circuit breakers/ push fully OFF / and then fully ONWater heater is tripping breakerHow to replace circuit breakerHow to wire gfciCan AC breaker be used for DC breakerHow to reset circuit breakerNot enough space for circuit breakersCircuit breakersHow to install subpanelWhy you need ground wireMatch breaker and wire sizeHow to wire subpanelSee inside breaker boxHow to wire safety switchHow to wire whole house surge protectorFigure volts amps and wattsFigure correct wire and breaker|
|Add another thermostat to water heaterFor example turn off power to recirculation pump that pumps water from solar panel or secondary tank.or control electric water heater from the gas water heater. or turn off solenoid valve that turns off gas line. or connect to indicator light to notify when tank reaches set point. or connect to solenoid water valve that turns on hot water. Thermostat is mechanical and will work with 12-12 Volt AC-DC, 120-208-240, 277 volt AC electricity.ResourceAdd another thermostat to gas or electric water heater|
|Bi-metal thermostat with magnet for all kinds of DIY projects||Bi-metal thermostats/ fireplace, furnace, cooling fan etc Magnetic. no bracket needed.ON at 120F / OFF at 90 F. use relay if you want OFF at 120F and ON at 90FRated 15 amps @ 120 Volt. Works with any voltage 12-24-28-120-208-240-277Mechanical switch requires no voltage to operate switchBuy90-120 degree F thermostat:Magnetic thermostat kit at AmazonThermostat switches at AmazonAdjustable thermostat 90-120Oven thermostatResources:Bi-metal thermostat switch limitsT36 therm-o-disc|
How to Set How Water Heater Temperature by Thermostat
You might be wondering how to adjust the temperature of your hot water heater. In this section, you will learn all you need to know about your gas or electric water heater thermostat, including how to adjust your hot water heater temperature thermostat and what temperature is optimum for hot water.
What’s the Right Temperature for a Hot Water Heater?
Have a question about the temperature setting on your hot water heater? Everything you need to know about your gas or electric water heater thermostat, including what temperature is optimum for hot water and how to adjust your hot water heater temperature thermostat, is provided below.
How to Set Your Hot Water Heater Temperature Thermostat Setting
Before you make any modifications to the temperature thermostat setting on your hot water heater, you should first ascertain what the current temperature is set at so that you can establish how much you need to alter the settings. A conventional cooking thermometer may be used to quickly and accurately detect the temperature. You should calibrate your thermometer once you have determined the current temperature setting. Fill a cup halfway with cold water and submerge your thermometer until the temperature dial reaches 32 degrees, or the lowest temperature displayed on your thermometer’s gauge, and then remove it.
Meanwhile, locate the faucet that is closest to the water heater and turn it on until it is hot (while you are calibrating your thermometer).
If your thermostat is set too high, the temperature may be high enough to burn you.
Adjusting aGasHot Water Heater Temperature Thermostat Setting
The majority of gas water heaters are straightforward due to the presence of a clearly readable dial at the bottom of the tank’s bottom section. If you follow the methods outlined below, it is simple and straightforward to alter this dial.
- First, adjust the temperature by turning the knob to the hotter or cooler position, depending on the situation. After that, let it sit for a few hours (around three or four) and then check the temperature again. If the temperature is still incorrect, make another adjustment and repeat the process until the problem is resolved. Do you require assistance? Call Hackler Plumbing for a free estimate. If you want the services of aMcKinney plumber, we can assist you
Adjusting anElectricHot Water Heater Temperature Thermostat Setting
The process of adjusting the temperature thermostat setting on an electric hot water heater is a little more difficult, but still pretty simple. The vast majority of electric water heaters are equipped with two thermostats: an upper and a lower thermostat, both of which are placed beneath two control panels. Setting both thermostats to the same temperature can help to guarantee that your electric water heater operates as effectively as possible. One thing to keep in mind is that some tiny electric hot water heaters only have one thermostat.
Here’s how to adjust the temperature on your electric hot water heater thermostat:
Please keep in mind that you will want a screwdriver to execute the following procedures in order to alter the temperature of your water heater.
- Make sure your water heater is off by turning off the electricity. This may be accomplished by locating your circuit breaker and shutting off the electricity in the area surrounding your water heater
- Then, locate the thermostat(s) on your water heater and turn them on. Typically, they are located behind a control panel that is secured with screws. Remove the cover from the access panel using your screwdriver (s). To access the thermostat, you may need to remove the insulation from your heater if it is properly insulated. The thermostats will be controlled by a dial, and the dials will have a varying reading depending on the manufacturer of the heater. Once the control panel has been removed, you may change the temperature knobs to make the room hotter or colder according on your preferences in terms of temperature. Take care to set both thermostats to the same temperature setting if you have more than one. Replace the control panel covers and the screws with your screwdriver after they have been removed. After that, re-energize your water heater’s electrical system. After many hours, check the temperature of your hot water (about three to four). Continue to follow the above instructions until the water temperature reaches the required setting
- If it still does not, repeat them until the temperature reaches the ideal setting for your needs.
Other Considerations: Water Heater Thermostat Setting Safety
There is one thing you should be aware of: your water heater is fitted with something known as a temperature and pressure relief valve, abbreviated “T P valve.” These can become worn out over time, and one sign that they should be replaced is the presence of water leaking through.
This is a very crucial safety feature. If your unit is old, or if your hot water heater pressure relief valve is leaking after it has been replaced, get it examined by a competent plumbing professional.
How to Replace a Water Heater Thermostat (Ultimate Guide)
You’ve turned on your hot faucet, but the water is suddenly too hot. Have you tried altering the temperature but found that nothing worked? After that, it’s most likely time to replace the thermostat on the water heater. If your water heater has a thermostat, changing it shouldn’t be a major undertaking. We’re here to lead you through the process and teach you a little bit about what to look out for along the way.
How to Replace a Water Heater Thermostat
Replacing a thermostat is a very simple task, albeit the technique varies depending on how many heating components are present in your tank. The majority of electric water heaters on the market today have two heating components. Smaller units or older versions are more likely to have only one. Your tank is equipped with a thermostat that corresponds to each of those heating sources. If your unit has a dual element system, it most likely does, and it will require two thermostats that are similar.
We’ll concentrate on the twin element system because it’s the most common type of water heater.
Because the top thermostat is responsible for supplying electricity to the lower thermostat, replacing both saves time.
- A multimeter or a voltmeter is required. Screwdriver
- A screwdriver with a flat blade
- Various colored tapes or bandages are used. A new thermostat, which should be as close to the old one as feasible
1.Turn the Power Off
The first step is to switch off the power to the water heater. By flipping the breaker to the “Off” position at the breaker box, you may complete this task.
2.Check Upper and Lower Thermostats
First and foremost, it is critical to thoroughly inspect the thermostats before they are replaced. This will necessitate the use of the multimeter and a screwdriver. Begin by removing the access panels and the insulation that has been placed in front of the elements. Next, using the screwdriver, raise the top thermostat to its maximum setting. Then reduce the temperature on the bottom thermostat to its lowest level. Reconnect the electricity to the water heater if it has been disconnected. Check for voltage with your multimeter or voltmeter to see if it is coming through.
- Following that, attach the multimeter to the upper element using the terminal screws.
- Whether there is electricity, check the lower thermostat to see if it is working.
- To remedy this, crank up the lower thermostat to the maximum setting and down the higher thermostat to the lowest setting on the thermostat.
- If there is voltage, it is just a matter of replacing the higher thermostat.
3.Turn the Power off Again
After you’ve determined that one or both of the thermostats in the unit need to be replaced, turn the power back off to the unit.
Do not proceed if the water heater is still connected to the circuit. To check for voltage, use a voltmeter or a multimeter to measure the current.
The thermostats are held in place by specific brackets that ensure that they remain in close contact with the tank at all times. This is done in order for them to be able to detect the temperature of the water. Make use of the screwdriver’s shaft to gently but firmly push out one side at a time, starting with the left side. To remove the bracket, pry one side of it apart while carefully twisting the thermostat upward. If you do this, the bracket will not be able to lock. Don’t be concerned if you break the bracket by mistake; it will be replaced.
5.Disconnect the Wires
Disconnect the wires one by one, starting with the ground. When you are through with one wire, apply a little piece of colorful tape or a band-aid to the wire and the terminal it is connected to. Each wire and terminal set should be labeled with a different color. When you’re finished, you’ll be able to easily reinstall them in the proper location.
6.Remove the Thermostat
This is arguably the most difficult portion, and you should proceed with caution. To begin, unscrew the screw terminals that are holding the thermostat in place using a screwdriver. Each wire should be disconnected from its termination. When you look at the thermostat, you’ll notice that it is held in place by retaining clips. Remove it from the clamps with care, and set it to the side for now. Keep an eye out for danger. Make sure you are careful because if the clips break or bend, you may not be able to repair or replace them.
7.Install New Thermostat
Keep in mind that the replacement thermostat must be an exact replica of the one that was replaced. If this is not the case, it may not function properly or at all. Take your new thermostat and secure it in place with the retention clips on either side. Adjust its position so that it is flush with the tank wall. Reconnect the circuit wires to the appropriate screw terminals on the circuit board. Check to ensure that they are the same as the original wiring. Color-coded tape comes in helpful at this point; simply recall where each color should go and remove the tape.
8.Set the Temperature
Set the temperature on the thermostat once it has been installed. Use the flat-bladed screwdriver to carefully adjust the thermostat to the temperature you want it to be. It’s important to remember that the optimal temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is beneficial for a variety of reasons, including efficiency and safety (1).
9.Replace Insulation and Cover
You’re nearly finished! Replace the insulation so that it completely encircles the thermostat and its electrical components.
Replace the compartment lid and tighten the screws to keep it in place. Reconnect the electricity at the breaker box and allow the device to warm up for at least two hours before using it. Turning on the faucet after two hours will allow you to check the temperature of the water.
Are All Thermostats the Same?
Thermostats for electric water heaters are very straightforward equipment. They operate on the basis of a bi-metal switch located at the rear of the thermostat, which detects the temperature of the water tank. When the temperature of the water inside the tank reaches the desired level, the bi-metal switch is activated or deactivated. This either connects or disconnects the unit in order to prevent the water from overheating while in use. Normal temperature adjustments are accompanied by a clicking sound, which is caused by the metal switch altering the temperature.
- If you are unable to locate a thermostat that is comparable to the previous one, count the number of components in your device and the voltage they operate at before searching for a replacement.
- If all else fails, the majority of domestic water heaters operate at 240 volts.
- The right side of the thermostats used in single-element water heaters has just two screws, which are on the left side.
- It is possible that a dual element thermostat will still function on a single element tank.
Gas Water Heater Thermostats
Replace the thermostat on an agas water heater since it is not as simple as it may appear. For starters, the thermostat on a gas unit is a part of the gas control valve, rather than being separate. Consequently, if the thermostat is not functioning correctly, you would need to replace the entire gas valve. Despite the fact that you might be able to accomplish it if you have prior experience, we strongly advise against it. Working with a number of different gas connections is required while changing the gas control valve.
As a result, we recommend that you call a heating contractor or a plumber in your area.
This is especially true if the equipment is nearing the end of its warranty period or has suffered significant damage.
Not a Faulty Thermostat?
Replace the thermostat on an agas water heater since it is not as simple as it may seem. For starters, the thermostat on a gas unit is a part of the gas control valve, which makes it easier to maintain. You’d have to replace the entire gas valve if your thermostat wasn’t functioning correctly. It is possible that you will be able to complete it if you have prior experience, although this is not recommended. This involves dealing with several different types of gas connections while changing the control valve.
So we advise you to get in touch with either an HVAC company or a plumbing company near you.
Moreover, in certain situations, a malfunctioning gas valve is so expensive that it might be warrantied against the purchase of a whole new unit. When an item is nearing the end of its warranty or has been seriously damaged, this is very important to remember!
Get It Done
Replace a water heater thermostat if you have an electric one because it is reasonably simple to do. Simply turn off the power, detach the wires, and carefully remove the thermostat before replacing and reconnecting them. If you have a gas unit, on the other hand, you should consult with an expert since working with gas is extremely dangerous and there is no room for error. If you’re replacing your electric thermostat, make sure you get one that’s exactly like it. Nonetheless, if your intake water is very hard, be sure to inspect the heating components.
Are you eager to put your skills to the test and replace your thermostat?
Alternatively, if you have any further questions or remarks, please post them in the comments section below.