Why Is My Water Heater Not Heating Water?
June 17, 2019

You have turned on your water heater 30 minutes ago and the water is still cold. It is because one of its components has stopped working. So, shall you call a plumber offering water heater repairs in your neighborhood? Why has the water heater suddenly stopped working? Most of the times, this happens because of one of the following two reasons:

Heater Element

It may be because of a defective element. A residential water heater contains upper and lower heating elements. Most of the times, a defective upper heating element is responsible if it is giving no hot water at all. In case the water is not hot enough, it is because of the lower heating element. You can easily check this problem. You can perform a test without even removing the heating element. You can use a multi-meter to test it.           

First of all, turn off the power. You can find two access covers on side of water heater tank. You can locate the elements by pulling the insulation aside. Remove wires from both heater elements. Set multi-meter scale to the R1 setting. Take measurement between two terminals. There should be between 10 and 20 ohms resistance either heater elements. There should not be any continuity between the body and the terminals. If none of these two tests passes, there is something wrong with the heater element. You can fix this problem by replacing an element. In case you can’t, you can count on professional water heater repair services.

In case you want to fix it on your own, drain the tank and replace an element. Before that, turn off inlet water valve. Remove the water by connecting a hose to drain valve. Now open a hot water faucet and the drain valve. Keep both open until the water level falls below the element opening. However, be careful. Water maybe hot. You can avoid this by opening a hot water tap before draining the tank. Wait till it is dropped to a safe temperature. Remove the old element by using the element wrench of the proper size. The gasket on the replaced element must be intact. And, tighten the element. Close the drain valve after you have reattached the wires to both terminals. Now fill the tank completely. Turn on the power only after checking for leaks.

Control Thermostat

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If the water heater is not heating water at all then you can blame it on the thermostat. The thermostat is defective. There is an adjustable thermostat in the water heater. This thermostat regulates the temperature of hot water. Its range varies from 90℉ to 150℉. Most of the residential electric water heaters have upper and lower thermostat. The temperature of both should be the same. You need to determine which of the two thermostats is defective.

Turn off the water and remove both access covers. Now pull the insulation aside to check the reset button of the upper thermostat. Check if it has tripped or not. Also, make sure that the settings of both thermostats are the same. Check thermostats for continuity using a multi-meter if the water is colder than 90℉. If the temperature is less than 90 degrees and there is no continuity between T2 and L1 terminals on the upper thermostat, the thermostat is defective. Similarly, check for continuity between terminals on the bottom thermostat as well. Replace both thermostats if the test fails.                  

Remove wires, lift up the spring mounted bracket and remove the thermostat. When you are installing a new thermostat, make sure that mounting bracket has maintained a firm contact between the tank and the thermostat. If your water heater is a gas-fired water heater, it has a gas valve controlling its temperature. A dial in this valve assembly allows you to adjust the temperature. You can also find a probe that monitors the temperature of water. If you are adjusting the dial but the water is not heated to the desired temperature, you need to replace the valve assembly. You may not be able to replace the valve assembly on your own. This time you need to hire an emergency plumber for water heater repairs in Chandler.

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