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
The Spruce Tree
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.
In the service panel, turn off the electricity to the water heater. The access panel, insulation, and plastic safety barrier from each of the water heater’s heating elements should all be removed before continuing. Keep all cables and electrical terminals away from your fingers. Using a non-contact voltage tester, check the cables to make sure the power is turned off. On both thermostats, double-check the heat setting: Both of them should be at the same temperature as well. 115 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit is the suggested setting.
The other thermostat should be set at the same temperature as the first.
Activate the circuit breaker for the heater.
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
Leaking valves and plumbing connections are the most common causes of water leaks, although they can also be caused by issues with the tank. In order to prevent serious damage to a property, it is critical to repair any leaks as soon as they are discovered.
Rust-Colored Water or Bad Odor
Water leaks are often caused by leaking valves and plumbing connections, but they can also be caused by issues with the tank itself. Water leaking into a property may cause substantial damage, therefore it is critical to repair the leak as quickly as possible.
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 Test, Troubleshoot & Repair an Electric Water Heater Thermostat: DIY Guide
Every year in the United States, around 1.5 million water heaters are replaced. That’s a significant amount of money. However, not all water heater issues are severe enough to warrant the purchase of a new heater. Some electric water heater thermostat problems might be resolved by doing a DIY repair at home. And that is exactly what this tutorial is all about. Let’s have a look at how to test and repair an electric water heaterthermostat now, shall we? Before we go any further, what exactly is the purpose of an electric water heater thermostat, and how does it function?
What Is The Purpose of an Electric Water Heater Thermostat?
We wash our clothes, do the dishes, and take a nice shower every day. However, the amount of hot water we consume for these tasks is not the same. Furthermore, the thermostat is essential since it regulates the temperature of the electric heater. An electric water heater is, at its most basic level, a piece of electrical equipment that consists of three components: a heating element, a thermostat, and a switch. Electric water heaters are used to heat water for various purposes. As a result, the thermostat functions as a switch that is actuated when the temperature of the water changes.
- When it senses a drop in water temperature, it will activate the elements, causing them to generate heat.
- So, how does it determine if the water is cold or hot to drink?
- Furthermore, there is no insulator at the point where the tank meets the thermostat.
- Having stated that, when electricity is introduced into the device, the heating element becomes extremely hot and begins to convert the power into heat.
- Finally, the high limit switch keeps the hot water from becoming scorching hot while it is running.
How Does An Electric Water Heater Thermostat Work?
We use hot water to wash our clothes, do dishes, and shower. Although these activities require hot water, they do not consume the same amount of hot water. Furthermore, the thermostat is critical since it regulates the temperature of the electrical heater. The most fundamental component of an electric water heater is a piece of electrical equipment consisting of three parts: a heating element, a thermostat, and a switch. Electric water heaters are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. As a result, the thermostat functions as a switch that is actuated when the temperature of the water changes.
A low water temperature is detected, and the components are activated to generate heat.
Consequently, how does it determine if the water is cold or warm?
Furthermore, there is no insulator in the section where the tank contacts the thermostat.
The heating element becomes extremely hot as soon as electricity is applied to it, converting the electricity into heat. Afterwards, it heats your water to around 120°F, converting it from cold to hot. Finally, the high limit button stops the hot water from being too hot to handle.
- We use hot water to wash our clothes, clean the dishes, and shower. We do not, however, utilize the same amount of hot water for these tasks. Furthermore, the thermostat is critical since it regulates the temperature of the electric heater. The most fundamental component of an electric water heater is a piece of electrical equipment consisting of three parts: a heating element, a thermostat, and a switch. As a result, the thermostat functions as a switch that is engaged when the water temperature changes. One of its key functions is to regulate the amount of electric current that enters the water heater and distribute it to the other thermostat (if there is one) or the heating element. When it senses a drop in water temperature, it will activate the elements, which will generate heat. Keep in mind that the thermostat is not in touch with the water in the tank at all. The question is, how does it know if the water is cold or hot. A clip secures the rear of the thermostat to the tank, preventing it from moving. In addition, there is no insulator at the point where the tank meets the thermostat. As a result, when the outside temperature is low, the temperature within the tank is similarly low, and this is what the thermostat detects. As a result, when electricity is introduced into the device, the heating element becomes extremely hot and begins to convert the power into heat. This then heats your cold water to around 120°F, converting it to hot water. Finally, the high limit switch keeps the hot water from being too hot to handle.
The single element type is comprised of a single element thermostat as well as a single element heating element. Tanks are often lower in size since only a single thermostat is required to regulate the temperature. Two thermostats and two heating elements are found in the dual element water heater, on the other hand. The majority of water heaters are dual-element water heaters, which is what we’ll be focusing on throughout the remainder of this article. A single element heater, on the other hand, may be checked and changed in the same manner.
- The thermostats for electric water heaters generate heat in the tank by enabling energy to flow into the elements of the water heater.
- The top thermostat, which is also the principal thermostat, regulates the heating element in the top part of the unit, as well as having a high limit switch.
- Keep in mind that the high limit switch, which is placed in the same region as the higher thermostat, includes a reset button that activates when the water temperature becomes too warm (over 170F).
- A 240-volt power supply is used to heat the water, which is subsequently heated by the higher heating element.
- The problem is that only the water in the upper part of the tub becomes heated, while the water in the lower half is either chilly or lukewarm at best.
- As the bottom heating element gets 240 V, it warms the water in the bottom region to the temperature that has been specified before the process is completed and turned off.
Problems with Electric Water Heaters
Sometimes, when your heating elements or water heater thermostats fail, you will notice a difference in the performance of your device. If the upper element or thermostat in your water heater breaks, the water heater may be unable to provide hot water. And whether it’s the bottom element or the thermostat that’s defective, you’ll find that you’re running out of hot water quite soon as well. These, on the other hand, might be a result of the cold weather or pipes that are not properly insulated.
However, it is possible that this is due to the thermostat being set too high or the changing of the seasons.
A defective electric water heater may also take an excessive amount of time to reheat the water in your water heater. Other issues might arise as a result of improper tank maintenance or excessive water pressure at home.
How to Test an Electric Hot Water Heater Thermostat and Fix it: Step by Step Guide
We’re going to test both the thermostats and the heating components in our unit to be certain that we’re not dealing with a false alarm. It’s important to note that if your elements are open and grounded, the algorithm may produce a misleading result, which is why we’re also evaluating them. It is necessary to have a Flathead and Philips screwdriver, as well as a digital multimeter, in order to carry out the test described in this section. Let’s get this party started.
Step 1: Turn the power source off
Locate the water heater breaker panel on your circuit breaker panel and switch off the water heater or the hot water supply.
Step 2: Remove the outer access panels
With a flathead screwdriver or 1/4-inch nut driver, pry up the top and lower thermostat access panels on the unit’s left and right sides.
Step 3: Remove the insulation
You have two options for removing the insulation: either entirely remove it or fold it over the thermostat. As well as removing the plastic safety barrier that was covering the thermostat and heating element, Also, use tape to hold the insulator in place as you work on this step, and be careful not to yank the wiring out as you work.
Step 4: Check the high limit switch button
Check to see whether the red high limit reset button has been triggered by accident. If it has, you should push it. The red switch button may trip on occasion if the heating components fail, if the connections on the thermostat have fused closed, or if the thermostat is not calibrated properly.
Step 5: Disconnect the wires
Using your Philips screwdriver, disconnect the wires that are entering each terminal on your computer.
Step 6: Turn the temperature setting to the highest
Make sure that the temperature on the top thermostat is set to its maximum level, and that the scale on your multimeter is set to RX1.
Step 7: Check the thermostat and heating element with a multimeter
Set the resistance of your analog or digital meter to the lowest possible value, which should be 200 ohms. You should hear a click sound at this point. Then attach the black probe to the screw terminal on the left side of the screw terminal. In addition, connect the second red probe to the other terminal, which is still on the left side of the board. Then, using your reading, check to see if the thermostat is still operational. As long as the meter shows zero or a reading that is very near to zero, your thermostat is in proper operating order.
Step 8: Repeat the process for the right side
In addition, lower the top thermostat on the right side to its lowest setting and connect the probes to the screw terminals on the left side. This should also return a zero as a result of the condition.
Step 9: Take the meter reading on the lower thermostat
After confirming that the upper thermostat is in proper operating order, repeat the process to ensure that the lower thermostat is in proper working order. Take note that there are only two connections on the bottom thermostat, which is a little number. Check to ensure that the reading is zero before continuing. Assuming that the thermostats are in good working order, you may check the heating components to make sure they are working properly. However, if one or more of the thermostats needs to be replaced, continue reading.
How to Replace A Faulty Thermostat on an Electric Water Heater
It is rather simple to replace a malfunctioning thermostat. Furthermore, purchasing a new one is inexpensive. As a result, even if the problem is with a single thermostat, we’re going to replace both of the thermostats.
Prior to doing so, you’ll need to make sure that all of your thermostats are from the same brand. If you are unable to obtain this product, another one from a reputable brand would suffice. You’ll need a few tools.
- A flathead screwdriver, a Philips screwdriver, a digital multimeter or a voltmeter, and a replacement thermostat are all necessary tools.
Now it’s time to get started.
Step 1: Turn off the power supply to the heater
You don’t want to be working with the electricity turned on. So go to the circuit breaker panel and turn off the electricity to the water heater that is currently attached to it.
Step 2: Remove the outer access panel and insulation
Electric water heaters feature access panels on the outside that protect the thermostat and heating components. Remove the insulating pad and plastic covering by unscrewing the nut, taking care not to contact the wires in the process.
Step 3: Take out the Thermostat
Take a photo of the wiring before you remove the malfunctioning old thermostat so that you can remember which wire goes into which terminal while you’re attaching the new thermostat. Alternatively, you can label the wire. Using your multimeter, you should also check to see if it is turned off. Then, using a Philips screwdriver, remove the screw terminals and separate the wire from the terminals. After that, you may peel the thermostat away from its attachment clamps and bracket. However, proceed with caution so as not to harm the clips.
Step 4: Install the new thermostat
Photograph the wiring before you remove the defective old thermostat so you can remember which wire goes into which terminal when it comes time to attach the new thermostat. You may also mark the wire if you want to do so. Using your multimeter, you may also check to see whether it is turned off. Then, using a Philips screwdriver, loosen the screw terminals and unplug the wiring from the terminal block. After that, you may pull the thermostat away from the attachment clamps and bracket. Take care not to damage the clips by bending them.
Step 5: Set the temperature of your new thermostat
When you’re certain that the wires are correctly connected and you’re through setting up your thermostat, use your flathead screwdriver to adjust the temperature to the ideal setting for you. The optimal temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 6: Replace every other thing you took out
Having completed your setup, it is now time to reinstall your insulators as well as the chamber access panel. After that, reconnect the power supply by turning on the water heater breaker on the circuit breaker panel to the water heater.
Step 7: Cycle test your electric water heater
Following the completion of your setup, it is necessary to replace your insulators as well as the chamber access panel. Connect the electricity supply by turning on the water heater breaker on the circuit breaker once you’ve completed this step.
You should now be aware of the measures to take in order to simply test and replace your faulty water heater thermostat. Working with electricity, on the other hand, may be quite dangerous, therefore take steps to ensure that the power supply to your water heater is always turned off. Another thing to keep in mind is that silt that accumulates at the bottom of water heater tanks is the most significant factor in lowering the performance of water heaters over time. It might also lead to the overheating of your heater.
Make it a point of duty to flush the sediment from your heater on a regular basis to ensure it lasts as long as possible without needing to be repaired or replaced. Other options include installing a sediment filter and/or a water softener in your water supply.
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
First and foremost, safety must take precedence. First and foremost, make sure that the electric water heater is completely turned off before doing any troubleshooting. This can be accomplished by disconnecting the heating unit from the circuit breaker or fuse box.
Several factors contribute to water leaks, including a malfunctioning temperature and pressure relief valve (T P), high pressure, overheating, a jammed valve, a leak coming from an above or nearby plumbing connection, loose heating element bolts, a damaged gasket, or a leaky water storage tank. Check the T P valve by placing a bucket beneath the above pipe, opening the valve and flushing it clean; if it is still leaking, fix or replace it. Lowering the thermostat setting will therefore be necessary to alleviate excessive pressure or heat.
After that, inspect the heating element bolts and tighten them as necessary.
Finally, determine whether or not the storage tank is leaking.
Keep a supply of spare o-rings from a reputable provider such as Apple Rubber on available in case you need to replace an o-ring.
Discoloration or odor
A malfunctioning temperature and pressure (T P) relief valve, excessive pressure, overheating, a jammed valve, a leak from an above or nearby plumbing connection, loose heating element bolts, a poor gasket, or a leaky water tank are all possible causes of water leaks. Check the T P valve by placing a bucket under the above pipe, opening the valve and flushing it clean; if it continues to leak, repair or replace it. Lowering the thermostat setting will therefore be necessary to alleviate excessive pressure or warmth.
Check the bolts that hold the heating element in place and tighten them as necessary.
The last step is checking to see if the storage tank has a leak.
Water can seep into storage tanks owing to the presence of corrosion or other concerns such as worn or broken O-rings. Make sure you have a supply of spare o-rings on hand from a reputable provider such as Apple Rubber in case you need to replace one.
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.
Common Water Heater Problems (AND WHAT TO CHECK)
Are you in need of money to cover unforeseen bills? It is possible to use the equity in your house to pay for home upgrades, debt repayment, or to build a financial buffer. Because interest rates are still at historically low levels, now may be a good time to explore refinancing your current mortgage with a new one that has a lower interest rate than your present mortgage. It is possible that not all borrowers will be eligible for this program. For additional information about our pricing and terms, please contact us directly.
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 near 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
One of the drawbacks of electric water heaters is that they consume a lot of electricity. A typical electric model has a recovery time (the time it takes to reheat the full supply of water) that is double that of a comparable gas model, according to the ASHRAE. Between different models, the length of time it takes to heat water might vary significantly. Most of the time, 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 those components may need to be changed.
Thoughtful consideration should be given to a tankless versus tank water heater comparison.
Water Heater is Making Strange Noises
This is one of the disadvantages of using an electric water heater. On average, the recovery time (the amount of time it takes to reheat the full supply of water) on an electric model is twice as long as the recovery time on a comparable gas model. Depending on the model, the time it takes to heat water might vary significantly. In most cases, newer is better. However, if it is taking longer than normal for the hot water to return, there may be a problem with the heating elements (including sediment build-up on them) or the thermostat, and those components may need to be replaced.
However, we recommend that you conduct some study on thetankless vs tank water heatercomparison before making a purchase.
Dirty or Rusty Colored Water
This is one of the drawbacks of using an electric water heater. On average, recovery time (the amount of time it takes to reheat the full supply of water) on an electric model is twice as long as it is on a comparable gas model. The amount of time it takes to heat water might vary significantly across various models. Generally speaking, newer is preferable. That being said, if it is taking longer than normal for the hot water to return, there may be a problem with the heating elements (including sediment build-up on them) or the thermostat, and those parts may need to be replaced.
However, we recommend that you conduct some study on thetankless vs tank water heatercomparison.
Smelly Hot Water
Bacteria in the hot water tank is the most common cause of odorous or stinky hot water. Homes that utilize well water as their primary water supply are more prone to their water emitting a foul odor than other types of homes. Periodic cleaning of the water heater may temporarily alleviate the sulfur or rotten egg smell from your hot water, but to permanently eliminate the sulfur or rotten egg smell from your hot water, you will most likely need to replace the anode rod. Better better, try using a powered anode rod, which will eliminate the odor while also extending the life of the rod.
To learn more about how to troubleshoot an electric water heater in greater depth, please watch the video below:
Gas Water Heater Troubleshooting
(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
Ensure that there is gas flow and that your pilot light is illuminated as soon as possible. It is possible that the thermocouple is not accurately measuring the presence of the pilot light, and as a result, the gas is not properly ignited. Depending on the situation, a new thermocouple may be required (or simply cleaned). You should examine your breaker box to determine if a circuit breaker has been tripped on your modern type water heater with computerized ignition. Find out more about it by visiting this site:
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
A common problem is that you have the temperature set too high. Most commonly, this occurs when people are migrating from the colder Winter months to the warmer Spring and Summer months and neglect to lower their thermostat after boosting it to compensate for the colder Winter temperatures. A defective thermostat that requires replacement is a less likely occurrence. What if you’re having trouble installing a water heater? If so, this post is written specifically foryou.
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. Another important thing to check is that your water input valve is completely open and not partially closed.
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
Once again, corrosion of the anode rod or the inside of the water tank itself is frequently to fault for this problem. It is not difficult or expensive to replace the anode rod, but it becomes a more serious problem when rust is detected in the tank. When this happens, it’s just a matter of time before a leak occurs, at which point a new water heater will be required.
- Manuals for Rheem water heaters, A.O. Smith water heater manuals, and other brands.
Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting – Repair Guide
For help with your hot water heater difficulties, refer to the troubleshooting guide for electric water heaters below. In the event that you are not confident in your ability to repair your electric water heater yourself, this guide will provide you with a solid notion of what is wrong with your water heater prior to the arrival of the repairman. This advice is only applicable to electric water heaters. Go to hot water heater troubleshooting for solutions to problems that affect both gas and electric water heaters.
It is never a good idea to open access panels when the electricity is on.
Never put your faith in a circuit breaker label.
Specifically, the information in this water heater troubleshooting guide applies to tank-type household electric water heaters. For assistance with testing and replacing water heater parts, please see the links at the bottom of this page.
No Hot Water
1. Inspect the circuit breaker/fuse box for damage. 2. Check the power of the water heater. 3. Inspect the water heater’s reset button/limit switch for damage. 4.Verify the upper thermostat. 5.Verify the topmost element.
Not Enough Hot Water
1. Set the temperature to a low setting. 2. Double-check the items. 3. Inspect the thermostats. 4. Inspect the wiring for frayed or loose connections. 5. Inadequate capacity of the water heater. 6. Inspect the dip/fill tubing on the water heater.
Water Is To Hot
1. Adjust the temperature of the water heater. 2. The thermostat must be able to close tightly against the tank. 3. Look for the presence of a grounded element. 4. Inspect the thermostat’s operation.
Slow Hot Water Recovery
1. Make adjustments to the temperature. 2. Inspect the thermostats. 3. Double-check the items. 4. Inspect the connections between the wires. 5. The accumulation of sediment on the components.
Water Heater Is Noisy
1. Nipples that trap heat. 2. The accumulation of sediment on the water heater components.
Relief Valve Sporadically Releasing Large Amounts Of Water
1. Bring the water to a boil – See above.
Electric Water Heater Breaker Tripping
See point 1 above for how to heat water.
Water heater Leaking
1. Bring the water to a boil – see above.
Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting Repair Guides
Reset Button on a Water Heater – Learn how to test, reset, or replace the limit/reset switch on your water heater. How to Test a Water Heater Thermostat – Learn how to test a water heater thermostat with the electricity turned on or off. Electric Water Heater Thermostat – How to change the thermostat on an electric water heater. Testing a Water Heater Element – Learn how to test a water heater element. The process of replacing a water heater element is explained in detail here. What is the temperature of your water heater and how can you monitor and modify it?
Flush Your Hot Water Heater – Learn how to flush sediment from your water heater with this video.
Greetings and thank you for visiting electric water heater problems!
DIY Water Heater Testing and Repair
Resetting or replacing the limit/reset switch on a water heater is covered in this article. Thermostat for a Water Heater – This video shows you how to test a thermostat with the electricity turned on or off. – An electric water heater thermostat is replaced in the same way as any other electrical component of a water heater. Element Testing in a Water Heater – This video shows you how to test an element in a Water Heater. The process of replacing a water heater element is explained here. What is the temperature of your water heater and how can you monitor and regulate it.
Water Heater Flush – Learn how to flush sediment out of your water heater.
It is the responsibility of water heaterrepair guide.com to provide you with this electric water heater troubleshooting guide. Thank you for reading the page about electric water heater troubleshooting. the top of a new window
Water Heater Reset Button – Learn how to test, reset, and replace the limit/reset switch on your water heater. How to Test a Water Heater Thermostat – This video shows you how to test a thermostat with the electricity turned on or off. An electric water heater thermostat is replaced in the same way as any other household appliance. Testing a Water Heater Element – How to test a water heater element. The procedure for replacing a water heater element is described here. How to Check and Adjust the Temperature of a Water Heater Water Heater Relief Valve- How to inspect and replace the relief valve on your water heater.
How to Clean a Hot Water Heater Without Using Chemicals It is the responsibility of water heaterrepair guide.com to provide this electric water heater troubleshooting guide.
Back to the top of the page
Other Causes of Water Not Getting Hot
Of course, there are a variety of additional factors that might contribute to a shortage of hot water. Before you begin testing the elements, double-check that the circuit breaker is not tripped and that it is in the on position. Press the reset button on the high-temperature cutoff, which is positioned slightly above the top thermostat, at the same time. Although resetting either the circuit breaker or the high-temperature cutoff may remedy the problem, the fact that they were tripped in the first place may suggest that there is an electrical fault with the system in the first place.
Assuming that the heating components are working properly, the thermostats or cutoff switch may be defective.
Video: How to Test Your Water Heater Element
- Power should be turned off at the circuit breaker. Remove the metal covers from the thermostats and heating components to reveal them.
- Pro tip: Check that the power has been turned off by tapping the electrical connections with a noncontact voltage detector.
Test the Wires
- Please keep in mind that if the wires are covered by metal conduit, the tester will not read the voltage. Take off the metal thermostat cover that is mounted on the side of the water heater, peel out all of the insulation, and place the tester in close proximity to the wires that go up to the top of the high-temperature cutoff switch.
- It is important to note that if the wires are covered by metal conduit, the tester will not read the voltage present. The metal thermostat cover on the side of the water heater must be removed, the insulation must be pulled out, and the tester must be held near the wires that run into the top of the high-temperature cutoff switch.
- Note: If the tester does not light up, it is okay to proceed with the testing of the components.
What’s Inside a Water Heater and How It Works
The vast majority of domestic electric water heaters feature two heating elements: one near the top of the tank and another towards the bottom of the tank. After entering the top, power travels to the high-temperature cutoff switch, and then to the thermostats and elements on each side of the unit. The temperature of the top and bottom components is regulated by two different thermostats. When the water at the top of the tank becomes too hot, the top element goes off and the bottom element takes over to heat the water.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Complete your do-it-yourself tasks like an expert! Become a subscriber to our newsletter! Do It Right the First Time, and Do It Yourself! Step number three.
Test Continuity for a Burned-Out Element
- Please keep in mind that you will need a continuity tester ($5 to $10) for this stage.
- Disconnect the wires from the terminal screws using a wire cutter. Attach the alligator clamp to one of the element screws using a hex key. With the tester probe, make contact with the other screw.
- Note: If the tester does not illuminate, the element should be replaced.
Test for a Short Circuit
- The alligator clip should be attached to one of the element screws. Touch the tester probe to the mounting bracket for the element
- Repeat the process on the other screw.
- It is important to note that if the tester light illuminates either time, there is a short. Replace the element with a new one
The Secret of the Red Button
Occasionally, both elements will pass the test, but you will still be unable to receive hot water.
Try pressing the “high-temperature cutoff” button, which is situated right above the upper thermostat, to see if that helps. It may temporarily cure the problem, but if the problem recurs, the heating components should be checked. Step number five.
Remove the Bad Element
- Close the intake valve for cold water
- Start by turning on the hot water tap in the kitchen. Pour water into the tank by connecting a garden hose to the drain valve and opening it
- Note: A water heater element wrench (available for $5 at home centers and hardware stores) is required for thread-in–type elements such as those shown below.
- Remove the old heating element by unscrewing it using a heating element wrench.
- Pro tip: To spin the socket, you’ll need a long, robust Phillips screwdriver with a flat blade. To free the threads that have become stuck, use a cold chisel and a hammer to loosen the threads that have become stuck.
Install the New Element
- Insert the replacement element into the water heater and tighten it down with the heating element wrench if necessary. Reconnect the wires, checking to see that the connections are secure. Remove the insulation and metal covers and replace them.
Buying Heating Elements
Replace your heating element with one that has the same wattage as your existing one. For information on wattage if your old element isn’t labeled, look at the nameplate on the water heater, your instruction manual, or search online using the model number found on the nameplate. Heating elements are secured to the water heater with either a big thread and nut, as illustrated below, or with four bolts and nuts, as indicated in the diagram below. Most home centers carry the type we’ve shown, but if you’re replacing the four-bolt version, you may purchase an adaptor kit.
Low-density parts that are more costly are typically folded back.
Replacement of your old element with a low-density element will result in more efficient functioning and a longer service life.
How to Troubleshoot an Electric Water Heater
The water heater is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home. It’s critical to keep it in good working condition. A number of factors can cause malfunctions to occur at various times, but with a few simple tools and a little elbow grease, you should be able to address the majority of them on your own. In this post, we’ll go over some of the most frequent water heater problems, as well as how to examine the components of a hot water heater in order to resolve them. As is typically the case, safety comes first.
Even when it’s not plugged in, use caution.
Water Heater Troubleshooting
While preparing to get into the shower, you notice that the water is ice cold. What is the root reason of the hot water not working? When an electric hot water heater fails to heat water as expected, it is frequently because it is not pulling enough electricity. A broken thermostat or heating element might also result in a shortage of hot water in the shower. As a preliminary step, check to see that your water heater is receiving power. Examine your water heater to see if there are any evidence of power, such as illuminated indicator lights, present.
Ensure that the power cable is properly plugged in if the gadget is turned on but there is no trace of power coming from it.
To restore electricity, reset the circuit breaker at the breaker panel.
We recommend that you hire a professional to replace such components unless you have extensive experience in water heater maintenance and repair.
2. Water is too hot.
While preparing to get into the shower, you notice that the water is very cold. What is the source of the hot water’s failure? In many cases, a non-performing electric hot water heater is not pulling enough electricity. A broken thermostat or heating element may also be to blame for a shortage of hot water. Make sure your water heater is receiving power as the first step. If you see any indicators of power, such as illuminated indicator lights, look over your water heater. Confirm sure the water heater is linked to a power source by turning on the power switch if there isn’t any visual indication that it is.
A faulty circuit might cause your water heater to stop drawing electricity even after it has been plugged in and turned on.
The problem is most likely a malfunctioning thermostat or heating element, which must be changed if you can detect that your water heater is consuming electricity but not generating hot water.
3. Your water heater is leaking.
Water heater leaks can be caused by a variety of factors. A faulty plumbing connection is a typical source of concern. Examine your water heater to see where the water appears to be coming from and what is causing it. If the leak is coming from a specific plumbing connection, valve, or heating element bolt, use a wrench to tighten the connection as much as possible. Take care not to overtighten the screws. It’s possible that excessive water pressure or a faulty gasket are to blame if the source of the leak is not immediately apparent.
It is possible that the water tank itself is the source of the leak.
You should keep in mind that you should never leave an unattended water heater that is leaking.
If you find a leak that you are unable to address right away, turn off your water heater and drain the tank until a professional can attend to it.
4. Your water heater is making noises.
The accumulation of silt in the water heater is the source of the noise. You may be able to resolve this issue by draining and thoroughly cleaning the tank. It may be necessary to replace the tank in some instances.
5. Water is discolored or pungent.
Another indicator of tank or pipe corrosion is the presence of brown or rust-colored water in the tank or pipe. Another possibility is that iron or other sediment is present in your primary water supply. If you detect discoloration only while hot water is being used, the source is most likely your water heater. It is likely that the fault is with your well or municipal water supply if your water is discolored regardless of the temperature.
Some homes have reported smelling sulfur-like odors coming from their water. This is caused by bacteria growing in the tank of your water heater. Flushing the tank, cleaning it, and replacing the anode rod will all help to cure the problem.
How to Affordably Maintain Your Water Heater
Many water heater problems may be resolved on your own, but some will necessitate the assistance of a professional. It is possible to remain on top of maintenance and prevent exorbitant out-of-pocket repair expenses by purchasing a home warranty for a water heater from Liberty Home Guard. Please contact us so that we can help you choose the best plan for your needs. For a free quote, please call (866) 526-1752 or visit our website.