Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working? Know When To Replace Or Repair It

Posted on: 24 February 2017


Has your electric hot water heater suddenly stopped working, causing you to no longer have hot water in your home for showering or cleaning? If so, you are probably wondering if the entire unit needs to be replaced or if it only needs repair. The key will be identifying what is causing the problem, which should let you know what course of action you should take. Here is what you should know about it.

Know About Electrical Problems

When dealing with an electric hot water heater, more often than not, the problem is related to electricity not getting to the unit. Start at the most basic level of troubleshooting by inspecting your fuse box for the circuit breaker. It's possible that you had a circuit breaker trip and shut down the electricity going to the electric hot water heater, and everything with the unit is actually fine. Check out the switch, flip it back to the proper position if it's tripped, and see if that did the trick. Electric hot water heaters should have a standby light that tells you that the unit is receiving power. Look for it and verify it is on.

If the circuit breaker shuts back off after the heating element kicks on again, it could be a faulty circuit breaker that needs to be replaced. The problem could also be due to tank's heating element malfunctioning. Have the problem professionally diagnosed by a plumber to determine the cause. 

Know About Heating Element Failures

The electric hot water heater will have a heating element that is submerged, with larger tanks having multiple heating elements. These elements can have scale growth on them due to constantly being exposed to the water, which can cause a mechanical failure to occur over time. This happens due to minerals like calcium that build up on the heating element and eventually cause it to fail. 

When you have power going to the unit, but any water coming out is not hot, it is most likely due to a failure with the unit's heating element. You will need to have a plumber swap out this part for a new one.

Know About Tank Failures

One failure that requires complete replacement is when there is a hole that forms in the tank. It's not possible to fix holes formed by rust without the risk of the hole reforming, so you'll need to get a brand new tank to ensure its stability.

For more information, contact a company like Bilz Plumbing & Mechanical Inc.