If you’re experiencing a lack of hot water, check the pilot light and thermostat to make sure they’re not tripped. You can also try flushing the tank to clear out mineral build-up.
If your water heater is approaching the decade mark, it might be time to consider replacing it. A new unit can save you energy costs and prevent future problems. For professional help, contact Water Heater Repair Denver now!
Just like the heating elements in your oven work to heat up food, your electric water heater’s upper and lower heating elements work to heat up your hot water. When one of the elements burns out, it can leave you with a limited supply of hot water in your home.
If you are experiencing this problem, it may be time to replace the heating element. The good news is that it’s a fairly easy project to do, though it does require some electrical knowledge.
Before you start working on the replacement, test your heating element using a multimeter. This will give you a clearer picture of what’s going on and determine whether you need to replace both elements or just one. Once you know which heating element is faulty, drain and refill the tank to get rid of any air that has collected inside.
Once the tank is empty, turn off the power to your water heater by turning off the breaker in the service panel or by removing the fuse that controls the circuit. Next, remove the access panels to the lower and upper thermostats and the plastic safety guard. Be careful not to touch any wires or electrical terminals. You can also reset the circuit breaker and high-temperature cutoff reset button, located above the upper thermostat, to see if that resolves your issue.
Now that the access panels are removed, you can disconnect the 2 wires from the upper and lower heating elements using a heating element wrench, which is a special tool designed to hold the metal fins of the water heater element. After the wires are disconnected, use a socket wrench to loosen the screw holding the upper heating element in place and then remove it counterclockwise. Once the old element has been removed, install a new one, making sure it is the correct voltage and wattage for your specific water heater model.
Once you’ve installed the new element, close the drain valves and water supply valves, and then open your hot water faucet to fill the tank. When the tank is full, connect the electrical wires to the heating element. Refer to the photo you took earlier to ensure you don’t put any of the wiring in the wrong places. Tighten the screw on a screw-in type of water heater element by hand, or use a socket wrench to tighten flange-type heating elements in place, moving clockwise.
If your water heater is taking longer than usual to heat up or you’re having problems with running out of hot water, it could be time to replace the thermostats. The upper and lower thermostats regulate the heating elements, so if either of them stop working, it can cause your water heater to malfunction.
The best way to determine if the thermostats are the problem is to turn off the power to your water heater by shutting off the circuit breaker for it. Once the power is off, you can remove the screws that hold the access panel and plastic safety cover from each of the two heating elements, exposing the thermostats beneath them. Once you’ve removed the access panels and insulation, you can disconnect the wires connecting the thermostats to their terminals and check them for power using a voltage tester.
In many cases, a thermostat can simply be unscrewed and replaced with a new one. However, it is important that you match the thermostat you purchase to the exact type of thermostat on your water heater. If you’re unsure which thermostat to get, take the old thermostat with you to the hardware store or home center so that you can match it to the model number of your water heater.
Once you’ve screwed in your new thermostat, reconnect the wiring by following your labels and using a pair of pliers to loosen any tightly held wires. Then, reinstall the insulation and access panels and close up the plastic safety panel on each element. Before turning back on the power, make sure to readjust each heating element to its manufacturer’s recommended temperature setting.
In addition to thermostats, your water heater may need other replacement parts, such as a thermocouple or gas control valve. These are usually complicated to replace, and it’s best to call in a Carter professional. They will have the tools and training to handle your Water Heater Repair safely. They can also help you decide if replacing your water heater is the right solution for you. If you’re considering this option, a plumber can give you a complete cost estimate for your Water Heater Repair before beginning any work.
Dip Tube Replacement
A dip tube is a long piece of plastic that goes into the cold water inlet and stops about eight inches above the bottom of the water heater tank. Its primary function is to carry incoming cold water down to the bottom of the tank so that it can be heated for use in your home. Water heaters with defective dip tubes are often unable to do this and result in lukewarm or scalding hot water. In the case of older water heaters, a broken dip tube can sometimes leave white plastic particles floating in your hot water. These particles are likely to find their way into your branched home plumbing and can clog faucet aerators or showerheads.
It is a good idea to replace your water heater’s dip tube every year as part of a routine maintenance procedure. You will probably want to drain the tank during this time as well, a task that can be done by attaching a garden hose to the drain valve on the bottom of the tank and running it outside or to a floor drain in the house.
Changing the dip tube is not an easy project and should be performed only by a qualified and experienced plumber. First, shut off the power to your water heater by turning off the circuit breaker for an electric unit or the gas control dial on a gas model. Next, disconnect the cold water pipe from the nipple (a short piece of galvanized pipe threaded on both ends) at the top of the tank by using a wrench to loosen it. You will probably need a flat screwdriver to remove the old dip tube as it is likely to break apart or scatter pieces.
Insert the new tube into its socket, reattach the nipple and cold water supply line and restore power to the water heater and the water supply. Test your new dip tube by putting some of the water from your home’s plumbing into a small bowl of vinegar. If the plastic floats, it has disintegrated and needs to be replaced.
Pressure Valve Replacement
The temperature and pressure relief valve (also known as the T&P valve) is an essential safety feature that ensures your water heater won’t explode. It’s designed to open when it senses excessive heat or pressure inside the tank, and when this happens, a pipe will extend down to the floor and discharge water safely. If your water heater’s T&P valve is leaking or not working properly, it can cause severe damage to your home.
The good news is that the T&P valve on your water heater is relatively easy to replace as a DIY project. But there are a few things to keep in mind before you begin. First, shut off your water heater and let it cool down. Next, remove the cover over the upper heating element to access the high-temperature limit switch. If this switch has tripped, it means there is too much heat or pressure in the tank, and you will need to reset it before proceeding with your DIY project.
During the T&P valve replacement process, you will need a bucket to catch any leaking water. Additionally, you should wear safe clothes, as the hot water can scald you. Once you have a bucket, position it under the discharge tube on the T&P valve. Then, lift the metal lever of the valve slightly so that a small amount of water (about a quarter cup) discharges into the bucket. Repeat this step until you hear the water gurgling and feel a small stream of hot water flowing out of the discharge tube.
Finally, remove the old T&P valve and screw in the new one. Make sure the threads are secure, and then run a little pipe-thread tape along the discharge pipe’s threads to ensure it is watertight. Once you have the new valve in place, open up a hot water faucet to drain any standing water from the discharge line and to test the newly installed T&P valve.
In addition to replacing the T&P valve, you can also add an expansion tank as part of your Water Heater Repair if your water heater has a large water capacity and you are experiencing a lot of scalding. By adding an expansion tank, you can reduce the amount of energy that your water heater uses.