Common Electric Water Heater Problems

This time we’ll discuss some common problems with electric water heaters. Because of the safety issues involved with electric water heaters I don’t recommend anybody but a professional plumber work on them.

1) No hot water

A) Possible tripped breaker at the home fuse box
B) Possible high limit switch activation due to electrical grounding, excessive temperature, failed heating element or failed thermostat

2) Intermittent hot water

A) Failed lower heating element
B) Failed lower thermostat
C) Failed upper heating element
D) Failed upper thermostat

3) Dripping temperature and pressure relief valve

A) Excessive water pressure
B) Thermal expansion
C) Excessive water temperature
D) Damaged relief valve

This is about as much as we’re going to get into the electric water heater. Remember a few important facts when dealing with all water heaters. Nothing is worth your personal safety so always call a professional plumber. Most water heater repairs are going to cost at least 25% of their replacement value so let’s not be like the teenage boys installing a $2000 stereo system in a $200 car. The average life span of any water heater is about 10 to 15 years. Be smart and have your professional plumber install a new water heater if repairs are necessary on an 8 year old or older unit. And water heaters don’t normally just stop working when it’s time to replace them. They usually burst. It may be a small leak or a flood. Don’t gamble. In this case, the odds are not in the house’s favor.