Anyone who’s enjoyed a long, hot shower knows the importance of the hot water heater in their home. Just like any other household appliance, your hot water heater could experience problems that affect the amount of hot water in your home. Some of these issues you can fix on your own, while others require a professional plumber or a full replacement. Here are some of the most common electric hot water heater problems and what you can do to resolve them.
There is Water Leaking
Water can leak from both the top and bottom of your hot water heater. If you find water leaking from the top, it could be a loose cold inlet or hot outlet pipe or it could be a failed T&P valve or leaking inlet valve. If there is a leak in the bottom, it could just be normal condensation. It could also be a leaking electric heating element gasket or, worse case scenario, the actual tank is leaking. Everything except the last example can be easily fixed by a handy homeowner, but if the actual tank is leaking, you’ll need to replace the appliance.
You Don’t Have Enough Hot Water
Do you have to rush to the shower first so you’ll have enough hot water? If so, you may have an issue with the thermostat on your hot water heater and the fix could be simply adjusting the setting. If that doesn’t do the trick, the problem could be a faulty thermostat, loose wiring, a faulty element, or a water heater that simply is too small to serve your family’s needs.
You Don’t Have Any Hot Water
Don’t have a bit of hot water no matter how long you let it run? The most likely culprit is a tripped circuit breaker, so your first stop should be the breaker box. If there’s nothing wrong with the circuits, you probably have a failed heating element and will need a new hot water heater.
Your Water Takes Too Long to Heat
Electric hot water heaters take longer to recover than their gas counterparts and the amount of time each appliance takes to heat water varies from model to model. However, if you’ve noticed that it’s taking longer than usual for water to heat up, you could have a damaged heating element or thermostat, both of which can be replaced without replacing the entire appliance.
You Have Low Water Pressure
If you have an older home, you may have galvanized piping that is old-fashioned and is limiting the amount of water that can get in and out of your house. Unfortunately, the only fix for this is to remove the old piping and install modern ¾ inch pipes that allow more water to pass through.
Your Water Heater is Making Strange Noises
Hearing weird noises coming from your basement? If you’ve identified the hot water heater is the source, try not to worry. It’s likely scale or sediment build-up that, while annoying, isn’t dangerous. However, it’s always a good idea to have a pro come in and take a look if the noises persist or get louder.
The hot water heater is one of the keys to keeping your family happy and comfortable this winter season. If you have an issue with your appliance, it’s always a good idea to have a pro from ASAP come out and take a look.