How to Repair an Electric Water Heater

Ran out of hot water? It is simple to repair and replace if necessary the controls and heating elements of most common residential 120, 208 and 240 volt electric water heaters with traditional line voltage controls; not the microprocessor types that are starting to appear in stores. It’s a detailed, comprehensive article with extra help on the discussion page.

Shut off the power. Most water heaters are supplied by voltages that can cause shock; burns and even death need an energized conductor make contact with the body. Shut off power in the electrical panel by taking out fuses or by moving the control of a switch or circuit breaker centered on the water heater to the off position. Entirely remove and pocket the fuses or otherwise secure or lock the panel and place a note on the cover to alert everybody that work is being performed on the water heater circuit. This will prevent the accidental energizing of the circuit while you are working on it.

Remove the upper and if provided lower access panels. The metal covers are often held in place with screws. Take away the screws and save for reinstallation when done. Use a voltmeter or test light to check between wiring terminals and the rooted metal case of the tank to be sure that the power is off. If power remains on, do not continue until you find the fuse or circuit breaker giving power. Lock off or secure the circuit breaker or remove fuses to prevent somebody from turning the circuit on while you’re working on the water heater

Obvious away any insulation preventing accessibility or view associated with settings thermoregulatory and high-temperature switch and heating component. Once the thermal insulation happens to be eliminated, plastic shock protectors are visible. Very carefully fold any wires away through the safety cover. Raise the tab at the very top away through the clip and remove to access terminals.

•   View with plastic shock protector removed:

Look for obvious signs of damage. Water heaters could leak due to the a failing tank – and also due to poorly fitted or soldered cold water supply pipe / hot water output pipe or a poor seal between tank opening and heating element. If allowed to continue steadily to drip, it will cause interior damage to the settings should water enter all of them.

•   Rust coats cables and settings – both external and inside

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