Is your electric water heater too slow to heat? That means you are running out of hot water? The first solution that strikes your mind is “Let’s buy a new one”. But we will tell you that it’s easy to repair it.
Let us introduce some DIY steps to easily repair your electric water heater. Here, we will give you an intricate idea to test the heating element, remove it if it is in a bad condition and install a new one. And, in case your heating element is in a perfect condition, the problem can be identified with the thermostat or the cut-off switch.
You must be thinking that it is such a plodding and hectic task to repair and install, but think over it again, it will be a rock-bottom way out. First try to deduce the condition of your heating element by following simple tests:-
1. Test your heating element
First of all, you have to turn off the power at the circuit breaker and detach the metal head. This will get you a reach to the thermostat and the element. You just have to be sure enough that no power connectivity is there.
Now, find the circuit breaker form the main electrical panel that has a marker for the water heater, and switch it off. Proceed with the water heater and test it with the non-contact voltage detector. You can ensure the working of tester by putting the tip into an outlet that has power. In this case the tester will make a beep sound and light up.
After this you can test the wires which connect to the water heater. If there is a metal covering, the tester will not be able to take the voltage readings. Follow an alternate approach and take off the metal thermostat cover (you can find it on the sides of your water heater).
Now, haul out the insulation and grab the tester, bring it near the wires that lead to the top of the high temperature cut-off switch.
This way you can test both the wires and then hold the tester opposite to the metal heater water shell. If the tester lights up, its not safe to test the element, else it is.
2. How to identify whether the heating element is burnt, or not?
In order to conduct this check, all you have to do is an arrangement of continuity tester. This is nothing but a light bulb with a battery, which has two wires attached along. When you touch the end of each of these two wires to a continuous circuit, it makes the bulb to light up. Thus, to expose the elements for testing purposes, you have to detach the two metal covers. After this, take off the insulation and the plastic cover.
When you perform the continuity test, if the electricity flows through the element, then your element is safe. The electricity won’t flow through the burned-out element.
3. Is your heating element shortened?
How would you know that the element in your electric water heater is not working because of short-circuit? If the heating element has short, then the power will flow through its metal pipe. The wires will be disconnected in this case. Now, touch one end to one of the terminals of the screw and, the other end to the element mounting bracket.
Repeat this test on the second terminal as well. In either case, if the element lights up, it has damaged because of short-circuit. You need to immediately repair it.
In all the three above cases, you were introduced ways to identify the type of damage your heating element has suffered. Now, in either of these cases the resultant step is to replace your heating element.
Let’s deduce some easy steps to repair the element of an electric water heater:-
Step 1. Initially you need to drain the metal tank, make sure that you have switched-off the power. Also, the cold water supply valve should be closed at this moment.
Step 2. Now, open the hot water tap in your kitchen. You can now connect a garden hose to your drain. With this, open it in order to drain it.
Step 3. Get a water heater element wrench and start unscrewing the bad element. Turn it counterclockwise, if you get fixed somewhere, you can break it free with a chisel.
Step 4. Now install the new element, using a wrench to tighten it. After this, you can easily reconnect the wires and close the drain valve. Also, remember to fill the tank before switching on the circuit-breaker.
Step 5. If the above testing methods results in the poor quality of thermostats, then you simply have to remove the thermostat. But the complete procedure is a bit complex than replacing the heating element.
So this was easy to perform, right? The next time you experience damage in your electric water heater, you can try these tests. Also, remember to replace your heating element with the one of same wattage. If your heating element does not have the label of power consumption, check your water heater or the instruction manual. From there, you can know the wattage of your heating element.
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