Repairing the Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters are one of the many appliances in our home that we set and forget, yet rely on to work properly for many years. Until there is a problem, it is common to totally forget about the water heater, but when something does happen, the situation can become very overwhelming and probably requires the services of a quality plumber.

The life expectancy on a hot water heater according to the manufacturer will most likely be about 10 years, but these devices can last much longer depending on the usage and the environmental water conditions. When initially installed, the thermostat will generally be set to about 125 degrees, though this may range from 90 all the way to 150 degrees.

If the water in your Winter Springs home simply won’t heat up, check your circuit breaker, because you may not have any power going to the tank. If the water is warm, but not hot, one of the electrical components in the tank may be broken and you will need an electrician in Winter Springs to come service the hot water heater tank’s electrical elements. The heating device consists of two heating elements and two thermostats, the upper and the lower. The upper thermostat turns on the upper heating element until it reaches the desired temperature, set by the thermostat. Then, the power alternates to the lower thermostat and heating element. If one of these functions fail, you will only have a partially heated tank.

First, press the reset buttons on the thermostats and if that does not correct the problem, you will need a volt and amp meter to test the thermostats and heating elements. The thermostats snap in place and only require a Phillips screw driver for the electrical terminal connection. Removing the heating elements, however, will require a socket wrench to unscrew them. Before you begin to remove the thermostats, remember to turn off the power supplying the unit at the circuit breaker.

When replacing the heating elements, you must also turn off the water supply going to the house. Connect a garden hose to the tank’s drain valve, open up the pressure relief valve, and the closest sink’s cold water faucet, which will allow gravity to drain the water out of the tank. Once the water is completely drained, you can replace the heating elements from the tank. The parts can be found at a building supply store. However, if you don’t feel comfortable repairing the hot water heater yourself or you need to replace the entire tank, you should contact a professional to handle the water lines and fittings for the tank.

Learn how to handle other household electrical issues from my other blog posts, such as Your Generator: A Residential Backup Power System and always make sure your home is safe by knowing everything about your Smoke Detectors & Fire Extinguishers. Finally, with the holidays coming up fast, make sure you read this Early Holiday Lighting Guide.

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