Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting

Follow the electric water heater troubleshooting guide below to solve your hot water heater problems.

If you don't feel confident to repair your electric water heater yourself this guide can give you a good idea of what's wrong with your water heater before the repairman arrives.



This guide is electric water heater specific. For problems common to both gas and electric water heaters go to hot water heater troubleshooting.

If this is your first attempt at electric water heater repair you will need to know how to use a multimeter and follow all safety rules when working with electricity.

Never open access panels with the power on. Always check the water heater power to be sure its off. Never trust a circuit breaker label.

Always check a multimeter on an outlet that you know is working before checking a water heater.

This water heater troubleshooting guide is for tank type residential electric water heaters.

Follow the links at the bottom of the page for help testing and replacing water heater parts.


No Hot Water

1. Check the circuit breaker/fuse box.

2. Check water heater power.

3. Check water heater reset button/limit switch.

4.Check upper thermostat.

5.Check upper element.


Not Enough Hot Water

1. Temperature set to low.

2. Check elements.

3. Check thermostats.

4. Check for loose wiring.

5. Water heater undersized.

6. Check water heater dip/fill tube.


Water Is To Hot

1. Adjust water heater temperature.

2. Thermostat must fit tight against the tank.

3. Check for grounded element.

4. Check thermostat function


Slow Hot Water Recovery

1. Adjust temperature.

2. Check thermostats.

3. Check elements.

4. Check wire connections.

5. Sediment build up on elements.


Water Heater Is Noisy

1. Heat trap nipples.

2. Sediment build up on water heater elements.


Relief Valve Sporadically Releasing Large Amounts Of Water

1. Water to hot - See above.


Electric Water Heater Breaker Tripping

1. Wire shorted in system

2. Grounded element.

3. Water leaking around element.

4. Grounded thermostat/limit.

5. Undersized breaker.

6. Breaker weak.


Water heater Leaking

1. Check all orifices on the water heater for leaks including the water heater elements.

If the tank itself is leaking the water heater must be replaced.


Below you'll find testing and repair guides to compliment this electric water heater repair guide. More guides coming soon.

Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting Repair Guides

Water Heater Reset Button - How to test, reset or replace the limit/reset switch.

Test Water Heater Thermostat -How to test a thermostat with the power off or on.

Electric Water Heater Thermostat - How to replace a water heater thermostat.

Water Heater Element Testing - How to test an element.

Water Heater Element Replacement - How to replace an element.

Water Heater Temperature - How to check and adjust the temperature.

Water Heater Relief Valve - How to check and replace the relief valve.

Flush Hot Water Heater - How to flush sediment from your water heater.

Cleaning Hot Water Heater - Clean your water heater without chemicals.


This electric water heater troubleshooting guide presented by water heater repair guide.com.

Thanks for visiting electric water heater troubleshooting.





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