Electric water heater troubleshooting guide

Moncrief Heating and Air Conditioning technician troubleshooting electric water heater

In this post, you'll learn how to properly detect and solve common problems most people experience with their electric water heaters. So which problems are these that require hot water heater troubleshooting? 

You may for instance notice that your heater either: stopped producing hot water, making vibrating or whining noises, tripping the circuit breaker or even turning off over and over. Whichever the case, it's vital you learn how to identify the cause of the problem. 

How an electric water heater works

The two most commonly used water heaters are electric water heaters and gas water heaters. They both function to accomplish the same goal but differ in terms of what heats the water. In an electric water heater, water is heated as it passes through the electric shower head. Gas water heaters on the other hand don't depend on electricity but instead use a gas burner located beneath it to heat water. Some electric water heaters have heat pumps that can greatly help homeowners greatly save money on electricity bills.

A heat pump works the same as a refrigerator, but in reverse. While other electric water heaters use a compressor to suck heat, a heat pump water heater relies on the compressor to transfer heat inside a tank where the hot water you plan on using is heated. However, certain other  factors can cause a heat pump to stop being effective.

Guide on troubleshooting hot water heater

Here are steps to troubleshooting water heaters. But first, do this: Ensure you turn off your heater from the power source! Forgetting to do so could result in electrocution!

  1. If the problem is lack of hot water, it could be as a result of lack of power, malfunctioning thermostat or a malfunctioning heating element. Start by resetting your circuit breaker if it tripped. If the fuse is blown, replace it. The second step is to check if power passes through your thermostat. If it's not working, replace it.
  2. If there's a low rumbling noise or a high whining noise, it could be due to different factors. If you notice a low rumbling noise, it could be due to boiling water as a result of overheating. To solve this, flush the water heater to remove sediments inside. If you notice a high whining noise, it could be as a result of accumulation of scales on elements on the heater. You can solve this by flushing the water heater to clean the scales.
  3. If you notice discoloration in the water coming out, it could be due to corrosion inside the tank or even a faulty sacrificial anode rod. If the anode rod is faulty, have it replaced with a magnesium anode one. Also ensure you flush the electric heater. To fix this it's important you contact a HCAC Specialist Atlanta.