Home Plumbers Guide to Troubleshooting a Faulty Electric Water Heater

The thing that we all don’t miss until it’s gone. The infamous water heater. With so many options on the market today from big to small, expensive to budget-friendly; it’s easy to feel a little pressure when you are just settling into that expensive piece of metal you purchased not even a year ago and it’s already acting upon you.

To dive right into this, if you are taking matters into your own hands it’s responsible to follow every and all safety measures that can be executed. The first thing to know is that your power should be turned off when messing with these electric water heaters. They are very high voltage and you will risk serious injury if you are not taking precaution. This power shutdown can be done via a breaker box in your home designated power box. Be sure you understand which switch goes to your circuitry on the heater.

If you have a no-contact voltage tester it can be used now to check all wiring to ensure power is not on or flowing through the circuits.

No Hot Water?

This is the most typical and most frustrating of electric water heating issues.

Several problems could be existing here such as bad heating elements, no power being received, or limit switches being tripped. It’s important to go down the list to eliminate and bring to light your issue at hand.

Step 1: Check the circuit breaker to ensure that it’s not tripped. If so do the normal switching off and back on.

Step 2: In the case that your breaker is still on and has not tripped you can try to reset the high-temperature limit.

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the access panel to the heating element
  3. Remove any safety insulation.
  4. Press the red button which is the high-temperature cutoff.
  5. Replace any safety material and the access panel.
  6. Turn the circuit breaker back on
  7. If this issue isn’t solved test each heating element and replace it accordingly.

Not Enough Hot Water?

One of the first things to consider when facing the issue of getting hot water, but not enough of it; is it make sure the capacity of the water heater meets the requirements of the size of the home. If you know that your unit size is correct and it used to produce the correct amount of hot water there are steps you can take to troubleshoot.

The typical issue is due to one or two heating elements checking out. A consistent flow of warm water is usually a sign that the upper heating element is defective. Whilst hot water that runs out very quickly is a result of the lower heating element going bad.

While these are a couple of the primary issues people run into. There are loads of other issues one could run into. We’ll cover a couple more here to fill in some other more uncommon problems.

Rust Colored Water/Odorous Water

Rust-colored water can come in multiple forms. Brown, red, yellow tints are some of the different intimidating colors that you can run into. This is caused by corrosion within the water heater system or the pipes inside your house. If this water smells it is most likely due to bacteria. You will need to replace the anode rod inside your water heater.

Heater Leaks

When it comes to leaks time is of the essence. Water damage can cause a whirl of pain within your household and will end of nasty if it is caught too late. When a water heater is leaking it can be because of loose heating elements, so it is important to check these and ensure they are of integrity. If they are loose they can be tightened with an element wrench. If the tank is corroded it can not be fixed and must be replaced. Durango Plumbing Website does a fantastic job with installation if this type of job is beyond you.

Still, having issues?

These sorts of things can be overwhelming but the internet is your friend. Outside of the videos, we supply here, you can always look into additional problems/questions you may have by checking out our other posts and pages. Granted we are building our plumbers site it may take time to get the absolute most out of what we have to offer on here. Don’t be afraid to reach out with any personal repair questions or problems you may want help overcoming. Shoutout to Twitter – Plumbing Durango for all the help so far.