Power outages happen occasionally and are not a significant cause for alarm because electrical systems have advanced considerably. Many appliances and electrical circuits have fail-safes to protect against power surges and outages. Despite all the precautions you can take, something can always go wrong. For instance, you could find your electric water heater not working after an outage, even when other things are working just fine. So, why would your electric water heater stop working after a power outage?
What Happens After A Power Outage?
Your electric water heater could stop working after an outage because of two main reasons; an interrupted power supply or a malfunctioning system.
Interrupted Power Supply
If the power is back in the house and you still do not have hot water, the power supply to your heating system is likely down. You can use a circuit tester to confirm that power is still going into the system. If there is no power, one of the following could be the reason:
- Circuit Breaker
Circuit breakers are a fail-safe that protects the house and appliances from the dangers of power surges, including your water heater. When the power went out, the circuit breaker that controls power to the heater likely flipped. The power supply should restore as soon as you flip it back to 'on.' Often, the circuit breaker trips when it senses an overload, so there could be something wrong with your wiring or appliances if it keeps tripping.
- Burnt or Cut Wires
When the power goes out, it could cause overheating that may burn through a wire disconnecting the water heater’s supply. It is also possible that while the power went out, a rodent or small animal chewed through the cables, interrupting power. You must call a professional to reconnect the power and replace the damaged wires.
- Faulty Switchboard or Plug
The problem could also be at the switchboard that powers the water heater, either because of a loose connection or improper earthing. The plug connecting the water heater to the power supply could also have a loose connection, which may interrupt the power.
Both require a professional to determine the cause of the interruption and the best way to fix it.
The following are some common malfunction problems that could develop after a power outage:
Your thermostat could malfunction, and the power was just an excuse, so you may have to restart it. If it does not respond after restarting it, you may need to call in a professional to replace it.
- Reset Button
It is also possible that the heater’s reset button was tripped in the outage, possibly due to a faulty thermostat or loose wiring. The trip button is often red and pops out when it is tripped. All you must do is push it back in to restore function.
For more on why an electric hot water heater may not be working after a power outage, it is recommended that you contact your plumber or electrician for prompt assistance.