Even if you’ve never attempted to fix a hot water heater and an electric hot water repair process sounds like it’s beyond your capabilities, this guide can help you by simplifying the process. 

Electric water heaters are among the most important appliances in any home. As a cost-effective means of water heating, this system uses electric elements within its steel storage jacket to give you hot water each time you need it. Hot water is an absolute necessity in all homes, and as a result, regular maintenance of these systems is important in preventing frustrating periods without hot water and reducing the necessity of specialised repairs. Routine maintenance ensures the system operates as efficiently as possible, and it will also reduce the incidence of malfunctions. 

However, it is inevitable that at some point in time, issues may arise in the future that require repair. While the process of fixing a water heater may appear to be complex and resource-intensive, there are a number of common problems that you can resolve yourself. By following these specialised tips, a quick hot water heater fix without the help of a hot water plumber should only take a matter of moments. Nevertheless, if you do require any assistance, the team at Alan Oxford’s Plumbing and Electrical is always available to offer you a fast, efficient, and reliable repair solution. 

Step 1: Identify The Problem

Crucial to the process of fixing a hot water heater is accurate problem identification, as this ensures the correct solution is selected and carried out. However, you might be unsure of how to troubleshoot a water heater. A good place to start is to understand some of the most common electric water heater problems. These may include leaky pipes or fittings, malfunctioning thermostats and sensors, broken heating elements, pumps and motors, faulty relief valves, and failed expansion tanks.

To diagnose the issue at hand quickly and effectively, there are a number of simple steps that you can take. Checking the circuit breaker will determine whether the hot water heater no longer has power, and checking the temperature setting is another simple measure to diagnose the problem at hand. Identifying whether your hot water heater is suffering from a leak as a result of corrosion or rust is important, and seeing whether the heating elements have rusted or cracked will determine whether replacement parts are required. 

Identifying the problem early on is imperative, as this prevents the issue from worsening and creating further complications that will require a costly hot water repair.  

Step 2: Gather The Tools and Supplies

Have you identified the problem with your hot water heater? It’s now time to make sure you’re well-equipped to resolve any problems your hot water heater faces. Before you begin your water heater repairs, you must gather the necessary tools and supplies that will be required in the repair process. Some of the most essential tools for a hot water repair include a set of adjustable pliers, a quality screwdriver, a set of wrenches, a voltage testing kit, a multimeter, and Teflon tape.

It’s also a good idea to take precautionary measures to protect yourself from any excessively hot water, dangerous debris with sharp edges, and the potential of electric shocks. A set of rubber gloves is central to this, and protective eyewear ensures that any unexpected splashes and debris do not cause any injuries. These preventative measures will ensure you’re prepared for all possible problems that may occur, keeping you safe at every turn.

Step 3: Prepare The Work Area

Before you begin the hot water repair process, the area must be prepared to prevent any further damages or issues from occurring. The first step in this preparatory process is ensuring the power to the electric water heater is switched off. To do this, you must locate the circuit breaker and switch it off, but if you’re unsure which part is the circuit breaker, you may wish to simply unplug the entire system from the outlet to avoid any confusion. Turning off the system makes sure you do not suffer any electric shocks that can cause you harm and interfere with the hot water heater repair process. 

Following this, you may also wish to clear the ground of any potential hazards, and checking a fire extinguisher is nearby in the event of an emergency is a good idea. A further preventative measure to consider is ensuring you are not conducting the work alone, and making sure someone else is nearby to help you should any emergencies occur. 

Planning ahead to prepare the work area and taking a number of precautionary measures ensures that your hot water repair can be conducted safely and efficiently. 

Step 4: Follow the Repair Steps

Your electric water heater could be suffering from a variety of different problems, but this detailed list of steps will show you how to fix a water heater, regardless of the issues that it faces.

Not Providing Any Hot Water

Is your electric water heater not heating your water at all? This might simply be a result of the circuit breaker tripping. However, if this is not the case, turn off the breaker, remove the upper heating element’s access panel, strip away the insulation, and press the red button. Following this, put each of the parts back into place, and take great care to not touch any wires. This process will reset the high-temperature limit, but if this does not work, it’s advised that you reach out to hot water repair specialists. 

The Water Is Too Hot

If your electric heater is producing is instead too hot, turn off the system’s power, and in this order, remove the relevant access panel, the insulation beyond it, and take away the plastic safety guards. Next, check the temperature on the pair of thermostats. If they are not aligned with each other and at your desired level, use a flathead screwdriver to adjust the temperature settings, ensuring both thermostats have the same temperature. 

Leaks In The System

Plumbing connections and valves may become loose and faulty, and as a result, water may leak from the system. Heating elements may become loose and the tank may become subject to corrosion which can cause a range of damages to your home. To resolve these problems, check each of the elements to see if they have become loose and use your wrench to tighten them. However, if the tank has completely corroded, a hot water repair cannot be undertaken, and you should drain the system and turn off the water supply before a replacement system is installed. 

Discoloured Water and Unfamiliar Noises

A undesired build-up of sedimentary solids can be the cause of unfamiliar noises, because this may cause the base of the tank to overheat and boil the water. To resolve this, the sediment must be removed, but if this does not resolve the issue, it is likely that a replacement tank will be required. 

Similarly, discoloured water may occur due to bacteria infesting the tank, or the system may have corroded. In this case, the anode rod may require reinstallation, or the entire system may need to be replaced, and it is best to enlist the services of a reputable plumber with vast experience in fixing hot water heaters. 

Step 5: Final Checks and Maintenance

Once you have attempted to undertake your hot water heater repair, turn the power supply back on and test the system to see whether it is now functioning properly. To make sure you adhere to a regular maintenance schedule, it’s also important to note down the maintenance that was undertaken as well as the date to ensure you have a log of previous work and can plan for future repairs and checks. Routinely checking the temperature on the thermostats and checking for leaks and corrosion is important in maintaining the system and making sure a hot water tank repair is not required in the near future. 

Still Need Some Help?

Has this guide helped you learn how to fix a water heater? If you’ve followed the required steps, your hot water heater repair should run smoothly and give you access to as much hot water as you require. However, if you’re still not sure how to fix the hot water heater in your home or require specialised repairs and replacements, please don’t hesitate to call on the professional hot water plumbers at Alan Oxford’s Plumbing and Electrical who have all the expertise and experience to resolve the hot water issues you face.

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