Troubleshooting Electric Water Heater

Ningthoujam Sandhyarani Apr 28, 2019
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With some basic mechanical skills and technical know-how, many electric water heater problems can be fixed on your own. Read on to know more...
Water heaters are one of the popular home appliances that all of us have at home. They are reliable devices used to heat water for domestic uses like cleaning, bathing, and cooking.
Configured with an insulated storage tank, the typical model requires electricity or gas as its energy source. With constant usage and time, even the best electric heater may not function properly as it should. Here, we shall take a look at some common malfunctions.

Troubleshooting Guide

If you have not handled electric devices before, better call a professional repairer. Also, read the user manual to be thorough with the parts and components of the device.
The preparatory steps that must be followed before fixing electric water heaters of any model are switching off the power supply, cutting off the water supply, and adjusting the electric heater to pilot setting.

Problem #1: No Hot Water

Repair Guide: It can be a frustrating situation if you wake up early in the morning and find out that you do not have hot water for bathing. This may be due to malfunctioning of the upper heating element or electric thermostat. 
For correction, reset the thermostat if it has tripped, and also, check for power supply to the thermostat. If there is no power to the heating element, replace the thermostat. If everything else works well, the malfunctioning part is the heating element, which you can replace.

Problem #2: Water Not Warm Enough

Repair Guide: Another common problem is the water not being as hot as you desired. First, check the dip tube and cross connection of the inlet pipe and outlet pipe for breakage. Accordingly, adjust them as required.
If you have a short spell of hot water followed by cold water, the malfunction is with lower heating element. If there is continuous supply of slightly warm water, the problematic part is most likely the upper heating element.
Inspect the thermostats (upper and lower) and both heating elements. Check the upper thermostat for constant power supply; if the result is negative, replace it. If there is power at the upper heating element, you will need to replace the lower thermostat to ensure power supply to the lower heating element.

Problem #3: Rust-colored Hot Water

Repair Guide: This problem has nothing to do with the hardware of the device. There are two probable causes. The first is rust formation in the interior of the tank, which you can correct by replacing the lining.
The second reason lies in the incoming water, for which you need to check the water table or water supply, and scan for any changes in the water characteristics.

Problem #4: Hot Water Smelling Bad

Repair Guide: Stinky hot water or water that smells of rotten egg is not unusual to homeowners. This may be because of bacteria and microbes that make their way to the magnesium anode rod and react with it. 
For this problem, cleaning the storage tank with chlorine and flushing with water is all you have to do. If possible, replace the existing rod with one made from aluminum or zinc to avoid such problems in the future.

Problem #5: Heater Making Noise

Repair Guide: If you hear any disturbing noise as soon as you switch on the heater, the root cause is deposition of scale on the heating elements. Scale formation is due to hard water that you feed in the tank. Clean the heating elements with proper solution to fix this problem.

Problem #6: Water Leaking from the Heater

Repair Guide: If you notice some water leaking from the base of the tank, recall when you bought your device. If the warranty period is already completed, you can do nothing but buy a new one. Or else, you can call a repairer for temporary fixing. But, sooner or later, you need to change the unit.
As you can see, much of these problems have something to do with cleaning the tank and monitoring the water supply, which you can easily do on your own. However, if the unit is not working properly after practicing these tips, call a professional serviceman.