Electric Water Heater Problems?

Maintaining your electric water heater is vital if you don’t want to have to replace your electric water heater sooner than expected because of problems. Electric water heaters, like most other major appliances, are expensive, and a few simple routine tasks can help keep your electric water heater working properly and eliminate problems. A properly maintained electric water heater will keep your water hot and keep your electric water heater problem-free for many years.

The following problems and solutions will help you keep your electric water heater working effectively and efficiently. If you’re having problems with your electric water heater, and if you want to avoid future problems with your electric water heater, the following information will help you fix common problems and prevent future problems.

Dirty Hot Water

If you’ve been surprised by dirty water coming out of your hot water tap, and if your electric water heater seems to be taking much longer than it should to reheat water, more than likely your water heater has a layer of sediment in the bottom. Dirty sediment can cause problems and ultimately destroy an electric water heater, so it’s important to keep your electric water heater in top-condition by draining the sediment on a regular basis.

Draining Sediment

To drain the sediment from your electric water heater, first you must switch off the power to the electric water heater and turn off the cold inlet valve. The cold inlet valve should be located on the left on top of your electric water heater. Turn on the hot water in a sink closest to the water heater, and attach a hose to the water heater outlet valve. The outlet valve should be behind the access panel at the base of the water heater. After placing the end of the drain hose in a floor drain, working sump pump pit, or utility sink, open the drain valve, and allow the water heater to fully drain. Don’t be surprised if the draining process takes a few hours. After the water heater has fully drained, open the cold water inlet valve once again, and allow cold water to run through the water heater until the water is clean and clear.

Electric Water Heater Maintenance

Maintenance is always the best form of prevention, so if you want to avoid dirty hot water and future problems, partially drain your water heater once every three to six months. How often you drain your electric water heater depends upon the hardness of your water. Also, you don’t have to fully drain your water heater as explained above. Simply drain the water into a bucket or use a drain hose. You only have to drain the water heater until the water runs clear, and if you are draining your water heater on a regular basis, the process shouldn’t take long. If you drain your electric water heater regularly you shouldn’t have problems with dirty sediment.

Noisy Hot Water Pipes

If you’re hearing mysterious noises coming from your water pipes, pay close attention to your noisy pipes. If your pipes are noisy only when the hot water is running, chances are the water temperature is set too high. Steam in the pipes will cause the pipes to become noisy. Besides hushing noisy pipes, turning down the temperature of your hot water will help save money on your electric bill, and you’ll reduce the danger of problems such as scalding.

Running Out of Hot Water

If you’ve noticed your electric water heater isn’t recovering as quickly as you feel it should, your electric water heater doesn’t necessarily have problems. You might be using more hot water than you thought, especially if you’re using hot water for simultaneous tasks. There may not be problems with your electric water heater. It is said that an average bath can drain a 40-gallon electric water heater, and once drained, a 40-gallon water heater can take an entire hour to recover. Look for an informational plate on your electric water heater. This informational plate will tell you how long it takes your electric water heater to heat a specific number of gallons of water in an hour.

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