>> Nov 3, 2015
Unfortunately, there are a number of problems that can affect your electric hot water system over its lifetime. Poorly maintained heaters, heavy usage during the winter and even hard water will all take a toll on the performance and reliability of your system. In this article, we have outlined some of the more common symptoms that indicate you may have a problem along with what could be causing them and some ideas for fixing the issue.
The water is intermittent or failing to reach your desired temperature
▪ Heating Elements – If you are experiencing a constant supply of tepid water, you might have a problem with your upper heating element. If you are experiencing a short supply of hot, you might have a problem with your lower element. Cleaning will be able to remove scale and sediment that has accumulated, but it may not be enough if there is a lot of buildup.
▪ Water Usage – Other possibilities for this problem could include how much water you’re using or an old/inadequately sized system. If your heater was installed a number of years ago or you have no idea when it was installed (eek!), it’s a good idea to upgrade to a new, high efficiency model. This will also provide you with energy savings.
There is no hot water
▪ Faulty Electrics – Many people find that a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse is generally behind this problem. It should also be noted, however, that a faulty thermostat or heating element could also be at fault. If resetting the circuit breaker and fuses doesn’t solve the issue, you should contact a professional for a thorough inspection.
▪ Connections – A crossed connection could also be responsible for the lack of water supply. In this case, we recommend turning off the water supply from your heater. If cold comes out when you subsequently open a hot tap, then you know there is a crossed connection. You will need a professional to help you rectify this issue.
The heater or plumbing has started to make odd noises
▪ Sediment – If you’re hearing rumbling or popping noises, these can be attributed to a buildup of sediment in the bottom of the tank. This can actually lead to overheating (boiling) of the water. A professional will be able to flush the tank and this will (usually) solve the problem. If it continues, there may be something more serious going on.
▪ Scale – If you’re hearing a high pitched screeching sound, it could be indicating that you have a buildup of scale on the heating element. You should also be noticing a decrease in the performance of your heater if this is the case. Cleaning the element or replacing it completely is often the best way to rectify this problem.
If your home electric hot water system is experiencing one of the above problems, we hope that our suggestions and recommendations have enabled you to rectify the problem (or, at least, pinpoint what is causing it). If you are unable to fix the issue yourself, it is essential that you contact an expert as soon as possible; allowing a problem to continue can cause even more damage, which will end up costing you even more money.