A common problem with electric water heater failure is that the elements burn out. But how do you check to see if indeed this is the problem? Well to determine if it has failed, you can go to your nearest faucet and turn on the hot water. If the water is only warm, but never gets hot, it is likely that the top heating element is defective. However, if the water starts out hot and quickly gets cold, the bottom element has likely bit the dust.
Now you may have a 120- or 240-volt water heater, depending on the size of the unit. Either way, it's no fun to jump into the shower first thing in the morning, only to find that the water is cold and the water heater is not working. Now that's a shocking moment!
Fixing a water heater on the blink is easy enough. By checking to see which element is bad or possibly both, you'll be well on your way to having hot water again.