Why Is My Electric Water Heater Not Working? 5 Reasons | Part II
Is your electric water heater giving you trouble? In Part I of our series, we showed you how to troubleshoot issues like “no hot water” and “water too hot.” In Part II, we will discuss problems like leakage, noise, and foul smells!
Can’t find the problem? Call an HVAC professional!
IMPORTANT: DO NOT begin troubleshooting your electric water heater until you have turned off the power via the fuse or the circuit breaker at RISK OF ELECTROCUTION.
3. Electric Water Heater Is Leaking
Is your electric water heater leaking? This could be caused by a variety of reasons, including leaky valves, plumbing connections, loose electric heating elements, and corrosion of the electric water heater tank itself. Inspect your system for loose objects and tighten them with a wrench. If your tank is corroded, it must be replaced. Turn off the power and water supply to the electric water heater and drain the tank to stop the leak, then call in a professional to install a new model. It is important to stop the leak before you cause water damage to your home.
4. Electric Water Heater Is Making Noise
What kind of noise is your electric water heater making? If it is a low rumble, the noise could be due to boiling water in the tank, caused by overheating, caused by sediment build-up in the bottom of the tank. If it is a high-pitched whine, the noise could be due to the build-up of scales on the electric heating elements. In either case, the way to solve the problem is to drain the water tank to remove the sediment or clean the scales off of the electric heating elements.
5. Water Is Discolored or Smells
Discolored and smelly water can be the result of a corroding electric water heater tank, rusting pipes, or a failing anode rod. If it is the tank corroding or pipes rusting, you will need to replace them. If your anode rod is failing, this can be replaced inexpensively, however, it may leave a rotten eggs smell. To remove this smell from your water tank, treat the tank and the pipes for two hours with 2 pints of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 40 gallons of water, then flush them out. Replace the anode rod. If that doesn’t work, you may need to consider replacing your electric water heater tank with a plastic-lined model. For dirty water that is not rust colored, you may be experiencing a build-up of sediment. Drain the water tank to remove it.
If your home uses well water, it is likely for you to have a recurring issue with bacteria in your electric water heater tank. Flush the tank periodically to remove the bacteria and replace the anode rod. You can also occasionally boost the temperature inside the tank to 140 degrees to kill the bacteria.
We hope that by now you have a good idea of what is going on with your electric water heater. If you can’t put your finger on the issue or you don’t feel comfortable making the fix, give us a call at Moore Heating. For over 30 years, we have been providing quality HVAC services to our clients in Alaska and we would love to help you out.