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How To Water Heater Repair | Complete Plumbing Guide
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How To Water Heater Repair | Complete Guide

If your water heater is not functioning correctly, you do not necessarily need to immediately call in repair professionals or shell out money for a replacement water heater. Repairing an electric water heater alone can be possible, depending on the nature of the issue. But before diagnosing the problem with your water heater, you'll need some background knowledge.

If you have a gas water heater, the problem could be with the thermocouple, gas valve, or thermostat. Make sure your water heater is plugged in if you have a power vent, a tankless water heater, or an electric water heater. Also, check to see if the corresponding circuit breaker in your electrical panel has been tripped. If it hasn't, then the problem lies elsewhere.

What Kinds of Problems Can an Electric Water Heater Experience?

There aren't many things that can go wrong with electric water heaters, and when there are, finding a remedy isn't too difficult because of how straightforward their operation is. If there was a problem with the heating elements and the thermostat the high-temperature cutoff may trip. There is a possibility that the pressure relief valve will malfunction. The tank is also susceptible to the accumulation of sediment.

How To Repair A Water Heater

1. Turn off the water heater's power supply.

Find the two circuits that regulate your water heater by going through the electrical breaker box in your home and looking for them. To protect yourself from getting shocked while you're working, make sure the switches are in the off position. If you are unsure which circuits control the water heater, consider shutting off the circuits and testing the ports on your water heater with a multimeter. This will help you determine which circuits control the water heater. It should show 0 V on the readout.

2. Turn off the supply of water to your water heater.

The control valve for the water that enters your heater should be located on a pipe above or adjacent to the unit. Make sure the lever on the valve is perpendicular to the pipe by turning it. While you are working on the tank, this will prevent any water from entering the tank.

3. Drain the water thoroughly from the water heater.

Find the drain valve at the bottom of your tank, and then attach the end of a garden hose. Position the other end of the hose so that it is adjacent to a drain, such as the one in your bathroom sink or the one on your basement floor. You can use a screwdriver or channel lock pliers to open the drain valve on the bottom of your water heater. Then, allow the tank to empty fully. Most water heaters have a drain next to them to collect any water that may run off. The water that comes out of the hose may be quite warm. Do not put your hands near it because it is extremely hot and could burn you.

4. Open the access panel leading to the heating element.

Inside your water heater is a panel called the access panel that protects both the thermostat and the heating element. This panel is often situated on one of the water heater's sides or at the bottom of the unit. To remove the access panel, you can use a screwdriver and then set it to the side. Electric water heaters have two access panels, one on the top and one on the bottom, and each panel has its own heating element.

5. Separate the wires linked to the heating element, and label them.

The heating element is often located in the lower portion of the access panel, and it will have two screws attached to it, along with red and black wires that are connected to it. Use your screwdriver to loosen the screws, and pull the wires out of the device. While pulling the wires, use a piece of masking tape to indicate the screws attached to the wires as you remove them.

6. Take the heating element out of the water heater by unscrewing it.

Put a pair of pliers with a channel lock on the hexagonal nut that is located behind the screws. To loosen the connection between the heating element and the housing, turn it counterclockwise. Continue to unscrew the heating element by hand until you are able to pull it out of your tank without any difficulty. If you haven't yet emptied the water from your tank, you shouldn't take out the heating element just yet. If you don't stop it, water will pour out and could burn you.

7. Using a wire brush, thoroughly clean the heating element.

Your heating element may, over time, accumulate calcium deposits from the water, decreasing the unit's overall efficiency. Place the heating element on a level surface, and then use a wire brush with a firm bristle to clean the coil. Make an effort to remove as much of the residue as you possibly can. After cleaning one side of the coil, you should turn it over and scrub the opposite side.

8. Your tank needs to have the heating element reattached.

Start hand-torquing the element back onto the tank while you feed the coil back into the tank itself. After the heating element has been hand-tightened, you can next use your channel lock pliers to further secure it in place. Before using a screwdriver to secure the wires in place, loop them around the screws that correspond to them. You will need to turn the electricity and water supply back on to utilize your tank once more.

When you have reinstalled the heating unit, you should move the breakers to the "on" position so that the water heater may receive power. After that, activate the water valve by pulling the lever in the opposite direction of the pipes until it points in the same direction. After the storage tank has been refilled, you should have access to hot water. The problem may lie elsewhere if the water is not hot after checking the wire connections to the heating element. If they are, then it sounds like you might have an issue with the thermostat on the unit.

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Repairing your water heater as soon as you notice signs of failure is preferable to waiting until you have no hot water before taking action. Making a video call appointment with Video Chat A Pro for DIY plumbing advice is the most important thing for you to do when you have to get your water heater fixed. Many issues can be resolved instantly by our trained and certified plumbing specialists.

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