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Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting Guide

Symptom

Check

Click on underlined items for further information

No hot water

  • Check the circuit breaker or fuse box
  • High temperature limit switch (ECO - Energy Cut Off) may have tripped. Determine if a problem exists and reset the switch.
  • Upper thermostat may have failed and requires replacement
  • Heating element may have failed and requires replacement

Not enough hot water

  • Thermostat set too low, increase temperature. Caution: Too hot can lead to scalding and burns
  • Sediment in tank, drain sediment
  • Thermostat may not be flush with the tank
  • Thermostat may have failed and requires replacement
  • Heating element may have failed and requires replacement
  • Dip tube may be damaged
  • Cold water supply may be connected to the wrong side of the water heater
  • Water heater too small, replace with larger capacity model

Takes too long to reheat water

  • Thermostat set too low, increase temperature. Caution: Too hot can lead to scalding and burns
  • Sediment or lime in tank, drain sediment
  • Heater too small, replace with larger capacity model
  • Lower heating element may be faulty and requires replacement
  • Lower thermostat may be faulty and requires replacement

Pressure relief valve is leaking

  • Water temperature too high, turn down thermostat
  • Water pressure too high, use a pressure reducing valve in supply line
  • Valve has failed, requires replacement

Drain valve is leaking

  • Many water heaters use a low quality valve which can be difficult to close tightly. Use slip joint pliers to turn the valve all the way closed. Caution: Too much force may snap the valve off
  • Valve has failed, requires replacement

Condensation on tank

  • Cold water entering the tank can result in external condensation. Ventilation may be inadequate
  • Eventual replacement with a larger tank may help

Tank is leaking

  • Determine if the leak is from pipes or valves
  • Determine if it is the result of condensation
  • If the tank is leaking, the water heater must be replaced

Hot water has an odor

  • Results from naturally occuring bacteria. An alternative anode may be available to resolve the problem. Contact the manufacturer

Hot water heater is noisy

  • Noise can occur for many reasons and most do not signify a problem
  • Lime scale on the element results in steam pockets in the scale
  • Sediment in the tank
  • Low water pressure results in spot boiling
  • Voltage exceeds heating element's rating



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