How To Troubleshoot A Broken Hot Water Heater

When a customer calls about an issue with their electrical hot water heater, we understand it’s an immediate problem. Electric hot water heater issues can trigger a range of problems, consisting of problems with water temperature level, leakages, staining, smell, and sound. Here’s an overview of each of these problems in order to find out the source of the issue.

Turn Off The Power Before Starting

For safety, make certain you shut off the power before you start working on your hot water heater. You can do this by shutting off the fuse or breaker linked to the heating system.

Water Temperature Level Issues

A number of hot water heater problems can trigger issues with the water temperature level. Signs can vary from no warm water to insufficient warm water to water that’s too hot. When there’s no warm water, the issue can originate from absence of power, a malfunctioning electrical thermostat, or a malfunctioning upper electrical heating component.

Start by eliminating power issues. Initially, reset any tripped breaker, and change any blown fuse. Next, inspect if power is being provided to the heating aspect. Evaluate the heating unit, and if it’s malfunctioning, change it. Lastly, if the thermostat is getting power but it’s still not working, change it.

How To Fix A Hot Water Heater

When the water’s not hot enough, the issue can be crossed cold and hot connections, or a defective heating component or thermostat. To eliminate a small heating unit, check to make sure the heating system has 75% of its capability as warm water.

Next, dismiss a crossed connection by switching off the supply of water and switching on a warm water faucet. If the water still flows, try to find a crossed connection. After this, examine the lower and upper heating units for power and electrical connections and change the unit if needed, making sure to clear any sediment.

When water is running too hot, it generally implies the thermostat is set too high. Inspect it to make sure the upper and lower thermostats are set between 110 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Hot Water Tank Is Leaking

Water leaks can be brought on by a defective temperature level and pressure (T&P) relief valve, extreme pressure, getting too hot, a stuck valve, a leak from an overhead or nearby plumbing connection, loose heating component bolts, a bad gasket, or a faulty water tank.

To inspect the T&P valve, put a pail under the overhead pipeline, open the valve and flush it clear of particles. If it still leaks, repair or change it. Next, to decrease extreme pressure or heat, lower the thermostat setting. After this, look for loose pipeline connections, and use a wrench to tighten up any you discover. Make sure you don’t over-tighten.

Troubleshooting A Hot Water Tank

Next, examine the heating component bolts. Tighten them if required. If the heating component is still dripping, remove it and change the gasket. Lastly, examine if the tank itself is dripping. Tanks can leak due to deterioration or other problems such as bad o-rings. Keep some additional o-rings nearby from a trusted store in case you have to change an o-ring.

The Water Is Stained Or Smells

Rust-colored water can be triggered by deterioration inside a glass-lined tank or a faulty sacrificial anode rod. If the anode rod has stopping working, change it with a magnesium anode rod.

A rotting sacrificial anode rod can also release hydrogen, triggering an odor like rotten eggs. To fix this, flush the hot water heater. Then clean the tank and pipelines for 2 hours with a mix of 2 pints of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 40 gallons of water.

If the odor continues, change the anode with a zinc-alloy anode. If the odor still does not disappear, change the heating system with a plastic-lined one.

The Tank Is Making Weird Sounds

A low, rumbling sound can mean you have boiling water, brought on by overheating due to sediment accumulation. Treat this by flushing the hot water heater.

A high-pitched, whining sound can be triggered by accumulation of scales on the electrical heating components. To treat this, initially flush the hot water heater. Then clean the scales from the water tank and components. Lastly, set up low-watt-density heating components with a bigger area for higher heat-transfer effectiveness.