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Troubleshooting Your Hot Water Heater – Tips From a Professional Plumber

The water heater in your home is an essential appliance. It provides hot water for your shower, dishes, laundry, and more.

However, this appliance is designed to only last for a while and occasionally needs repairs or replacement. That’s why knowing how to troubleshoot your water heater and what problems to look for is essential.

Check the Thermostat

Whether you’re getting ice-cold showers or the water in your sink turns cold when you turn on the tap, troubleshooting your water heater is necessary. Luckily, you can do some simple things to fix these common issues.

Start with checking the thermostat on your water heater. There are usually two thermostats on an electric water heater-one at the top and one at the bottom.

With the panels removed, locate the upper thermostat and remove its plastic cover. Use a flat-head screwdriver to set the temperature setting on this thermostat to its highest level.

Read the reading and place the multimeter’s leads on the thermostat’s screws. The multimeter should return a “0” value, which indicates that the thermostat is functioning correctly.

You must replace the thermostat if the multimeter does not return a “0” value. You may also need to replace the heating element depending on your situation.

Check the Element

If your water heater is not heating the water properly, it could have a broken element. This is a common problem; you must test the element for continuity before replacing it.

First, turn off the power to the water heater at the circuit breaker panel. Next, check the wires connecting the electrical parts in the upper element heating system to the terminals on the element face with a multimeter.

The resistance should read between 10 and 30 ohms; if it reads zero, the element is not working and must be replaced by a plumber Bellevue.

The element on your water heater will be labeled with a number indicating its wattage. It is essential to know this wattage so you can replace the part when necessary.

Check the Pressure

Your hot water pressure is one of the most critical components of a properly functioning water heater. It helps keep water from freezing and is crucial to your daily shower experience.

Fortunately, testing the pressure on your water heater is relatively easy. All you need is a simple pressure gauge and some tools that can be purchased at most hardware stores.

First, you’ll want to ensure your shut-off valve isn’t partially closed. This can happen accidentally, such as if your child bumped it into something while playing or if someone brushed it as they passed by.

If you need help with the cause of low water pressure, call in a plumbing professional to help. They can identify the problem and fix it quickly. They’ll be able to determine if it’s caused by something that needs to be replaced or if it’s just a temporary issue that will pass once you’ve done some maintenance on your water heater.

Check the Wiring

If you have an electric water heater, check that the circuit breaker is off and the electrical connections are connected correctly. This is because an electric water heater uses 240 volts with significant amperage.

This can lead to severe injury or even death if not correctly handled. That is why it is always better to have a professional do this repair for you.

The wire supplying power to your electric water heater is usually a 10/2 Romex cable. This type of cable has a black wire that is the “hot” conductor, a white wire that is the “neutral” conductor, and a bare copper wire that is the ground conductor.


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