Plumbing With A Purpose

Plumbing With a Purpose

Signs Of A Bad Heating Element In A Hot Water Heater And How The Element Is Repaired

Joann Gardner

If your hot water heater isn't making enough hot water, the heating element may be to blame. You may have no hot water or it may run out faster. If your hot water doesn't last as long as it used to, you should call a plumber for water heater repair soon because the element may stop heating water altogether before long. Here are some signs of a bad heating element in an electric water heater and how it is repaired.

Signs Of A Bad Heating Element

You may first notice something is wrong with your hot water heater when you run out of hot water before your shower is finished. It's also possible you'll turn on the faucet and find no hot water at all. You'll want to check the thermostat settings on the water heater and the circuit breaker to make sure the heater is getting power and that the temperature is set correctly. If so, you might suspect one of the heating elements is bad. Heating elements can fail completely or they can short out. One may go bad while the other one keeps working but at a reduced capacity. One way to know for sure is to check the elements with a multimeter. The plumber will do this when troubleshooting the water heater or you can do it yourself if you have a meter and you know how. The multimeter will show if the element is burned out or shorted.

How A Heating Element Is Repaired

Your plumber may need to drain the hot water heater to replace a bad element. First, the water and power are turned off and then the water is drained from the unit. Once that's done, the access panel is removed so the heating element can be reached. Replacing it requires removing the wires and pulling out the old element and putting in the new one. A new gasket is probably needed as well so there will be no leaks. The plumber also checks the wiring for signs of corrosion or damage and repairs or replaces them if needed. Once the new element is in place, the tank is filled with water. The area around the element is checked carefully for leaks before the access panel is put back on. Once the tank is full and power is restored, the water will be checked for the correct temperature once it has had time to heat up.

A bad heating element is a fairly common problem with electric hot water heaters, and it is a routine repair for a plumber. It's one malfunction you'll want to repair right away or you may be living without the convenience of hot water if you wait too long.


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About Me
Plumbing With A Purpose

When was the last time you realized that you had a serious plumbing problem? About a month ago, I knew that I had to make some big changes, so I began talking with different plumbers about getting the job done. I told them that I wanted to replace the bathtub in the bathroom and the sink and faucet in the kitchen, and they took my requests in stride. Before I knew it, my entire home was updated and I felt great about the work. I wanted to start this blog to help other people to learn more about plumbing and repair.