How To Properly Troubleshoot Water Heater At Home

If you’re experiencing water problems and want to find a solution, it may be time to learn how to do the troubleshooting for an electric-powered water heater placed in your home.

Problems with electrical water heaters can result in various issues, including any visible discoloration, foul odors, and strange or loud noises are all sources of concern. Suppose, after troubleshooting the problem, you are unable to fix it. In that case, it is time to talk to plumbing companies like Clover Services for professional recommendations.

Resolving issues with the water heater you are using requires that you know whether it is powered by gas or electricity.

This article contains a guide on how to effectively troubleshoot your water heater issues and resolve common problems.

Power the heater down before you begin.

Before you begin, make sure that safety precautions are taken. Turn off the fuse linked to the heater unit before attempting to diagnose an electricity-powered water heater.

How to check the type of your hot water heater

Step 1: First, look for a flue to tell the difference quickly.

The exhaust fumes from a combustion appliance that burns fuel must be vented to the outdoors through a flue (a round chimney pipe). The presence of a flue indicates that the water heater uses gas or another combustion fuel, such as propane, to heat the water. Where this is not the case, use step 2.

Step 2: Check for the presence of a pilot light.

You can also identify a gas water heater by the presence of a pilot light attached to the gas pipe and a burner located at the bottom of the water tank. Check the pilot light for flame by looking at the access panel.

Step 3: Check for electric cable or conduit.

Because an electric water tank and heater does not emit combustion gasses, it does not have an exhaust system at the top. However, it does contain an electrical cable or conduit that connects it to a power supply. On the tank’s side, it contains a single or several thermostats.

How to resolve problems with water temperature

One of the reasons you need to learn how to completely troubleshoot water heaters is to know what causes the water temperature to drop.

Various electric water heater problems can cause problems with the water temperature. Issues can vary from a lack of hot or warm water to excessively hot water.

When there is no to very little hot water, the cause could be a power outage or a defective thermostat or heating element. Begin by ruling out any potential power issues.

Step 1

First, you should reset circuit breakers that may have been tripped, and any blown fuses should be replaced.

Step 2

Next, check to see if there is power being supplied to the thermostat for the element on your water heater. Replace the part if it fails the inspection. Finally, suppose the thermostat is getting power but isn’t turning on. In that scenario, it should be replaced.

Step 3

Check the heater’s hot water capacity to ensure that the heater is not undersized.

Step 4

Turn the water supply off and turn on any faucet with hot water to see if there is a crossed connection; if water continues to flow, there may be a crossed connection you should check for.

Step 5

Then, check the bottom and top heating elements for power and electrical continuity, and replace any that aren’t in good working order; make sure to remove any debris or sediment first.

Step 6

Finally, if the elements are operational, check the upper thermostat first, followed by the lower thermostat, and replace if either is not operational.

When the water runs at temperatures that are too high, this can be an indication of either a clogged thermostat or one set higher than desired. Confirm with your manufacturer’s instructions on how to fix it before going any further, and ensure it is set to between 110-140 degrees Fahrenheit.

What to do when hot water pressure is low when using a washing machine

Learning to troubleshoot hot water heaters is possible by following the manufacturer’s instructions. However, you can resolve the above problem with the guide below.

Step 1

At the first step you should turned off the hot water supply valve.

Step 2

Then from the back of the washing machine, disconnect the hot water supply tube.

Step 3

Check out the small screen on the hose or the water inlet valve that the hose screws onto to catch any debris in the water supply.

Step 4

Carefully pry out the screen with a small screwdriver.

Step 5

Rinse the screen thoroughly before reinstalling it.

How to resolve a leak

Several things can cause your water heater to experience leaking, and this includes a faulty valve for pressure relief, problems with the heating element, or a water heater that is experiencing excessive pressure.

Step 1

Put a bucket or pail below the pipe that runs overhead.

Step 2

Open the T&P valve, and remove the debris that may be found in the valve. If this does not resolve the leak, then try replacing or repairing the valve.

Where the valve is not the problem, continue troubleshooting with the guide below.

Step 3

When it’s cold outside, the first thing you should do is lower your thermostat. Then inspect any pipes that may be loose and tighten them using a wrench (but not too much) so they don’t leak when water hits them later on in this process or during winter time.

Step 4

After that, inspect the bolts on the heating element and tighten them if necessary. Where the above solution is ineffective, you might have to completely remove the heating element or change the gasket.

How to resolve discolorations and issues with odor

Corrosion inside the heater tank and/or faulty sacrificial anode can cause rust-colored water.

Step 1

Substitute the anode rod if it is not working properly. A anode rod made out of magnesium would be the best replacement.

Step 2

A rotten-egg-smelling anode rod in the sacrificial function can also release hydrogen as it decays. The repair process starts by rinsing the water heater.

Step 3

Then, soak the pipes for as long as two hours, and tanks in a hydrogen peroxide solution and fresh water.

Consider replacing any failing anodes with one made out of a zinc-alloy if the odor persists, or substitute the heater completely for one lined with plastic.

What to do when hot water is making noise

Boiling water can be indicated by a rumbling noise caused by a build-up of sediment during overheating. This can be remedied by the following steps:

Step 1

Start by flushing the water heater. Build-up on electric heating elements can cause a high-pitched whining noise. So you might try a flush with the water heater to see if the noise stops.

Step 2

Where step 1 does get rid of the problem, the tank of the water heater and elements should then be cleaned of scale.


Learning how to do the troubleshooting for your water heater at home will save you a lot of money. However, if you try to fix a problem but the DIY steps do not work, do not hesitate to inform an expert.

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Libby Austin

Libby Austin, the creative force behind, is a dynamic and versatile writer known for her engaging and informative articles across various genres. With a flair for captivating storytelling, Libby's work resonates with a diverse audience, blending expertise with a relatable voice.
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