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Electric Water Heater Element Problems

Burned-out Electric Elements

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Diagnosing electric water heater problems can be a snap if you know the shortcuts in finding the problems. Sometimes, without even pulling out your electrical tool bag, you can discover the ailing electrical part of an electric water heater. Why sometimes, it is as easy as turning on a faucet to find the answer.

An electric water heater has two electric elements, one about a third and another about two-thirds of the way up the side of the water heater. These elements are controlled by individual thermostats that can adjust the temperature of the water by telling the element to turn on and off.

Water heaters are available in in sizes raging from 30-65 gallons, 40-gallon tanks are generally the choice of homeowners, but each family has different needs. Typically, a standrd 40 gallon electric water heater will comfortably supply the needed hot water for a family of four.

The most common cause of an electric water heater is one or both burned-out electric elements. It is also possible that the thermostat controlling the element may be the cause or it too could have gone bad through electric element failure.

A quick and easy way to check to see if one or both of your elements are bad is to turn on the hot tap water at a faucet in a sink at your home. If the water is hot for a short period of time and then becomes cold, you likely have a burned-out bottom element and need to replace it. You see, with only a top element heating, the water will heat hot on top, but the thermostat will turn off the element before the water in the bottom can be heated.

Ifwater out of the faucet is only warm and not hot, it is likely that the top element needs to be changed. One heater cannot handle the haeting demand of the volume of water in the tank, thus warm water.

Another tip to consider is to drain your water heater from time-to-time to remove sediment that builds up in the botoom of your tank. It can lengthen the life of your water heater and will provide clean, hot water for bathing, dishwashers, hot tubs, and cooking. Besides, maintaining the water heater can save you the expense of calling in a plumber.

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