The water heater is an appliance in your home that is responsible for heating up the water. Most properties only have one main water heater, but you can have multiple. For example, someone might have a smaller one in their kitchen that supplies hot water to that room only. A larger one is usually found in the basement or close to a bathroom. This is the one that the rest of the property draws the hot water from. When the appliance fails, you will have limited or no hot water. This can be problematic for taking showers or baths until it is fixed. This guide goes over some of the reasons why this appliance can fail and how to solve it.
The element in the water heater is used to heat up the water. When it is bad, you no longer have hot water. In order to fix this, you will need to change the element to a new one. Follow these steps to change it.
The first thing you need to do is turn the power off. You can do this by locating the water circuit in the breaker box and flip it to the "off" position.
Turn off the water supply by closing the intake valve on the appliance.
Open the panel using a screwdriver.
Locate the two heating elements in the appliance. You can usually tell which one is bad by the appearance of it—it will be covered in sediment.
Use an element wrench to remove the bad element.
Install the new element in the water heater.
Turn the water intake back on.
Turn the water back on.
Now, you will need to wait for the water to heat up again. This typically takes an hour or more. Test the faucets in the bathroom to see if the hot water is working. If not, you may need a new appliance or there is something else causing the issue.
Sometimes the problem with the appliance is age. Most water heaters only last six to ten years before they need to be replaced with a newer model. If you are unsure how old your appliance is, try checking the model numbers located on the unit. When you buy your house, the previous owners may also tell you how old the water heater is. If the water heater is over a certain number of years old, it may be more cost-effective to install a new one. Otherwise, you will just be sinking money into repairs for an old appliance.
When you have a problem with the water heater that you can't fix on your own, you should always consult a professional plumber for more information on water heater repair.