6 Most Common Electric Water Heater Problems & How To Fix

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Investing in an electric water heater is a smart, environmentally friendly move. However, that doesn’t mean it will never run into issues. Whether you’re noticing less hot water or vastly differing temperatures, one thing is certain—water heater issues need to be addressed if you want to enjoy hot water again. Here are some of the most common electric water heater problems. 

  1. No Hot Water

On most days, as soon as you turn on the faucet, you expect warm water. But today—no matter how long you waited—warm water never came. So what happened? It could be that your unit’s heating elements may have failed or their electrical connection has been damaged. You should also check your breaker box to see if the circuit for your water heater is tripped. 

  1. Water Leakages

Are you seeing water pooling under or near your unit? You likely have a leak; it's likely due to a faulty valve or plumbing connection. It could also be an issue with the tank. If not repaired promptly, this problem can grow larger and more costly.

  1. Discolored Water

As we all know, water should come out clear and odorless. If the water coming from the sink is coming out brown or rust-colored, you have an issue with your electric water heater. This could be one of your water heater anode rod problems. The anode rod within the tank may be deteriorating, causing discoloration. 

  1. Low Hot Water Pressure

Does water come slowly out of your faucets or showerhead? It’s not just frustrating; it’s likely due to an issue with your aerators. Check to see if your sink is clogged, and check your water inlet valve to see if it was partially closed accidentally. 

  1. Takes a Long Time To Produce Warm Water

It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes for your tank to fill itself with warm water once it's empty. If it takes close to an hour to refill the tank with warm water, you may have a contaminated burner orifice. It could also be a power supply problem that will likely need to be checked out by a professional.

  1. Water Too Hot or Too Cold

Does it seem impossible to get a consistent water temperature from your electric heater? It could be a thermostat issue, meaning the thermocouple may need cleaning or replacing. However, if the issue is that the water is too cold all the time, then your unit may have power issues. 

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How to Fix Electric Water Heater Problems

Identifying the problem with your electric water heater is only half the battle. Now let’s work on fixing it—here’s what to do. 

Changing Heating Elements

Electric water heaters come with two heating elements, one near the top and another near the bottom of the water heater. To heat water and raise its temperature, the system runs an electric current through the elements. If one is burned out or shorted, it will need to be replaced by a professional plumbing technician

Thermostat Changes

Electric water heaters have two thermostats, one for each element. If either thermostat fails, your unit won’t work efficiently. In most cases, the lower thermostat handles the majority of heating. But if either thermostat goes out, you may get more cold water than you wanted. Regardless of which one is faulty, it’ll need replacing. Contact us for more information or to get your water heater fixed. 

Replace the Anode Rod

Ever wondered how your tank doesn’t rust despite contacting water all the time? That’s thanks to the anode rod within the tank. However, this important piece does wear over time, causing rust build-up. If you need an anode rod replaced, give us a call

water heater anode rode

Fix Pressure Relief Valve

As its name implies, the pressure relief valve expels excess pressure within the tank. High internal tank pressure can be a nightmare for homeowners, resulting in various issues, including excessive leaking. The issues could be with the valve itself or excessive sediment buildup in the tank. Either way, you can trust your local plumbing professional to help.

Call Stephens Plumbing for Professional Help

If you are facing any of these common water heater problems, then don’t put up with or put off electric water heater problems any longer. While some fixes can be done on your own, it’s always a good idea to call a professional. If you are facing any of the above water heater issues or more then Stephens Plumbing is here whenever you need us. Whether it's noon or midnight, you can call our team for your emergency or nonemergency issue. We proudly serve communities throughout Chicagoland, including Downers Grove, Darien, Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Lisle, Naperville, Oak Brook, Plainfield, Westmont, Wheaton, and Woodridge.

Call us at (630) 968-0783 or contact us online to get started.