One of the most-used and least-thought-about appliances in your home lives tucked away in either your basement or an out-of-the-way closet. Your electric storage tank water heater. We do remember it, though, when we run out of hot water. Although problems are not common, they do come along from time to time. Let’s take a look at the most common problems you’ll see with electric water heaters. Safety tip: Remember to UNPLUG the appliance before you start troubleshooting.

 

Temperature problems

Problems with water temperature far outrank any other water heater problems. Thankfully, repairs tend to be inexpensive for these types of issues.

water heater circuitNo hot water

When you have no hot water at all, check your circuit breaker to make sure a breaker has not been tripped. If the circuit has been tripped, switch it off and back on again to reset it. If the problem is not the breaker, you will want to check the hot water temperature reset button above the upper thermostat inside the heater. In electric water heaters, failed heating elements or a faulty thermostat can also cause no hot water. If this is the case, you will need to check both the upper and lower elements and thermostats and replace whatever is malfunctioning.

Not enough hot waterwater heater tank size chart

Tank size. The primary cause of not enough hot water is a tank that is too small to meet your family’s needs. If your family has grown since you bought your home or if you have added newer water-using appliances (i.e. dishwasher, washing machine) your tank may not be able to keep up with the increased demand. In this case, the best option is to replace your tank. The Department of Energy provides guidelines on sizing your water heater tank needs. We also encourage you to consider multiple options such as our tankless or on-demand water heaters.

Electrical issues. A thermostat that is set too low can also explain why there is not enough hot water. Other culprits can be a failed upper water heater, a faulty thermostat or loose wiring. The elements can also become encrusted with sediment which prevents them from heating the water adequately.

 

Water too hotwater heater thermostats

This problem most likely stems from a thermostat that is set too high. You will have to access the thermostats for each element to lower the temperature. If you are unable to lower temperature settings, your thermostat has most likely failed and will need to be replaced.

 

ball valve inletLeaks

The second most common problem with electric storage heaters is leaking. Leaks present significant safety hazards and should be dealt with as soon as they are discovered.

From the top

While water leaking from the top of the tank poses a less immediate threat, you still need to address it in a timely manner to keep it from becoming a more serious issue. Water leaking from the top of the heater tank can come from only a limited number of sources, most of which can be easily remedied. Check the ball valve in the cold water inbound line. If this is the source of your leak, simply tighten the nut securing the handle to the valve. Another potential leak site is the temperature and pressure relief valve on the top of the tank. If this is leaking, you will most likely need to replace it. If water is leaking from any of the pipe joints, you will probably want to call in a professional to make repairs.

leaking tpr drain pipeFrom the bottom

Water under your tank can be coming from a loose heating element gasket, simple condensation, or a little run-off from the TPR valve releasing some water. It can also be a case of corrosion rusting out the bottom of your tank, in which case, the tank will have be replaced.

 

CONCLUSION

Electric water heaters don’t generally have problems, but when they do, you’ll know what to look for. If you decide to replace your water heater, we’d love to talk with you about your options. Water heating isn’t just for tanks anymore!  As with any type of plumbing issue, if you feel uncomfortable troubleshooting or managing repairs, give us a call! We offer 24-hour emergency service and welcome the opportunity to serve you and your family.

Water Damage Water damage is one of the worst things that can happen to your home. Not only can it damage certain rooms and furniture, it can also rot wood, spread bacteria and cause mold infestations. Unfortunately, water damage is inevitable for all homes and buildings. This is true regardless of where you live. Water […]

Some plumbing issues are minor nuisances that you might ignore for a while until it bothers you too much. A leaky faucet, a slow drain, a running toilet that you have to jiggle the handle to get it to stop, are examples of potentially minor plumbing issues. Some plumbing issues require attention immediately before they turn into a disaster. Keep your plumber’s number handy if you notice these potential problems:

Leaks

 

Any signs of leaks such as water spots on ceilings or walls or under your sinks should be taken care of immediately. Catching a leak early may result in just needing to dry out the wet surfaces.

Leaking Water Heater

 

You probably don’t look at your water heater often so if you do see water around it take action now. It could be a crack in the internal tank. A small puddle can turn into gallons of water damaging walls and floors. Water heaters have limited life spans. Frequent inspections and maintenance is good practice.

A big Increase In Your Water Bill

 

This could indicate a leak in your underground pipes. It could be from a constantly running toilet that you never use or a leak in a part of your house that you don’t frequent.

Sewer Gas Smell

 

You’ll need a plumber if you have cracks in your sewer lines. Some sewer gas problems are easy to solve such as keeping the water level up in your drain traps by pouring a cup of water down the drain.

Mold and Mildew

 

Look out for mold and mildew on any surfaces. Check in closets and back of cabinets. A leak can go undetected for a long time and grow mold in a widespread area.

A Wet Spongy Lawn

 

A wet lawn when the weather has been dry could indicate an exterior water main leak.

Frozen Pipes

 

Thawing your pipes as soon as possible can prevent a burst pipe resulting in flooding. Your plumber can thaw your pipes and help you to prevent it from happening again.
 A good thing to do right now is to make sure everyone in your household knows how to turn the water off to the whole house in case of an emergency. If you have an instance that you need to call a plumber, it might be a good time to get a complete plumbing inspection to prevent other instances.

As a homeowner, it is always important to be concerned with the integrity of your property. This is especially true if you live in a region that is more prone to natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and even something as common as a water main break. You never quite know what the unexpected might throw your way, so it is always important to know how ready your home is. It is time that you learned if your home is really ready to survive these natural disasters. You never quite know when a natural disaster could be heading your way, which means that you need to know how your home will be impacted.

Here are some things to consider when it comes to your home and natural disasters:

Earthquake

This is a type of natural disaster that s not quite as common as you might think. In most cases, your home will not have to withstand a very powerful earthquake. However, it is possible that an earthquake could occur in the region where you live. In most cases, the amount of shaking that occurs with a typical earthquake is minimal. This also means that the amount of damage that occurs as a result is not too extensive. Even though most earthquakes are small, there could come a time when earthquakes are larger and cause a lot more damage. When an earthquake occurs, it is a good idea to make sure that you turn off the gas. If a line ruptures due to the earthquake, it could cause a lot of damage to your home. This means that you should turn of the gas before this has the potential of occurring.

Flooding

Another natural disaster that you need to determine if your home can withstand is a flood. Flooding is common in certain areas and the amount of damage that occurs ranges depending on the amount of flooding that occurs. Floods can sometimes happen as the result of another natural disaster, which means that they have the potential to be twofold. You typically have warning when the risk of flooding is on the way, which means that you should take precautions like elevating all of the appliances in your home and putting sandbags into place on your property.

There are always steps that you can take to make sure that your home is prepared for any natural disaster that may come your way.