If you live in Salt Lake City and your water heating installation was done by a reliable plumbing company, it would be wrong to expect the system to be damage-proof for life. Water heaters develop problems after months and years of constant use. Basic knowledge of electric water heater repair is important when a repairman is not immediately available or if you misplaced the device’s owners manual and warranty.
The most common problems and fixes listed below generally apply to most brands of electric water heater.
An electric water heater operates on 240 volts and an electrical shock can be fatal. Turn off the power at the source before starting any repairs. Stick a piece of tape to the service panel to keep family members from turning the power back on.
Water Not Hot Enough or Not Hot at All
The most common culprit here is the heating element of the device. If this is so, your best option is to purchase a new one as the repair will be more costly. If the thermostat setting is on low, increase it. Also, check the fuse box or circuit breaker. The energy cut-off limit switch may have tripped. If it did, just reset the switch. Also, check for any blown fuse and replace them.
Another common problem that’s easy to fix. Leaks usually come from the drain valve, the pipes or the tank. Simply tightening the drain valve stops the leak in most cases. If it’s a leaking pipe, check the fittings and tighten all of them. If the leak is caused by a corroded pipe, you can replace the pipe yourself or call in a professional. It’s easy and less expensive either way. If the tank itself is leaking, buying a new one for replacement is the best option here.
Completely drain and hose down the tank to clean out the buildup of sediment and dirt. Replace the drain valve and tighten it.
To avoid causing further damage to your water heater and increase repair costs, know your limitations. If you find these steps too complicated, then you need to call the device’s manufacturer or your local repairman.