6 Commons Problems with Electric Tank Water Heaters
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6 Commons Problems with Electric Tank Water Heaters

When the “check engine” light goes on in your car, it’s a clear signal that something within the vehicle demands attention. Unfortunately, plumbing repairs aren’t always that upfront and clear. If you have an electric tank water heater, there are a handful of problems that can arise and prevent you from having the hot water you need in your home.

Most frequent repairs for electric water heaters

Areas or parts of an electric water heater that commonly require repair service include the electrical system, heating element, thermostat, anode rod, dip tube, and pressure relief valve. If not addressed right away, each could turn into a larger problem or lead to a complete breakdown, requiring a full system replacement.

1. Electrical issue

If your electric water heater refuses to turn on, the first place you should check is the circuit breakers. If the breaker tripped, try turning it back on. However, if the breaker repeatedly trips, it’s a sign of an electrical issue such as faulty wiring or broken heating element.

2. Heating element

The heating element is powered by electricity and is used to warm up water inside the tank. Depending on your water heater, you may have a single heating element or dual heating element (one at the top of the tank and one on the bottom). Over time, heating elements can burn or short out. If there’s a problem with the heating element, you can lose hot water or notice inconsistencies.

3. Thermostat

Just as for your home heating and cooling system (such as a furnace, heat pump, or air conditioning), the thermostat controls the temperature of your electric water heater. The recommended temperature for water heaters is 120°F. If the thermostat is faulty, the unit will not be set to the proper temperature. It’s important to note that each heating element has its own thermometer, which means dual-element water heaters have two – and both need to be functional for your water heater to perform its best.

4. Anode rod

The anode rod is an important part that helps extend the life of the electric water heater. The rod is made of materials that attract minerals found in water (especially in hard water). Instead of corroding the liner of the tank, these minerals collect on the anode rod. Eventually, the rod will wear out, and it’s designed to be replaced by a new one. If you don’t replace the anode rod, the harsh minerals will begin to collect and corrode the inside of the tank.

5. Dip tube

The job of the dip tube is to maintain a consistent temperature by circulating water throughout the tank. Sometimes, the dip tube can wear out, rust, or break, which results in cold water getting stuck at the top of the tank and hot water at the bottom.  When this happens, you’ll notice inconsistent hot water when you turn on the faucet or shower.

6. Pressure relief valve

The pressure relief valve is a necessary safety feature that discharges water if the pressure or temperature of the tank reaches excessive levels. This action prevents the tank from wearing out, leaking, bursting, or even exploding.  Unfortunately, the valve can get stuck or clogged with sediment. A plumber can test the pressure relief valve and tell you if it can be repaired or replaced.

Electric water heater repair in Fredericksburg, Stafford, and King George Counties

If you suspect there’s an issue with your electric water heater – either one of the areas mentioned above or something else – call the professional team at Robert B. Payne, Inc. right away. Our team is standing by at 540-373-5876.

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