How To Replace A Commercial Water Heater Thermostat

How to replace a commercial water heater thermostat

In this guide, we'll explore how to replace a water heater thermostat and offer insights into testing electric water heater thermostats. Replacing a commercial water heater thermostat is a task that requires careful attention to make sure the water heater functions efficiently and safely. While it's often recommended to rely on a professional for this job, understanding the process can be useful for troubleshooting common water heater problems. 

How To Replace a Water Heater Thermostat

  • Identify Common Water Heater Problems

Before deciding to replace a thermostat, you’ll want to find the actual problem with your commercial water heater. Common water heater problems that might indicate a faulty thermostat include inadequate hot water, water that is too hot or not hot enough, or water that rapidly fluctuates in temperature. These symptoms can point towards a malfunctioning thermostat that needs attention.

  • Test the Electric Water Heater Thermostat

To figure out if it’s actually the culprit, start by testing the electric water heater thermostat. Begin by shutting off the power to the water heater at the circuit breaker. Remove the access panel(s) to expose the thermostat(s). 

Use a multimeter set to measure resistance (ohms) to check the continuity of the thermostat. Place the multimeter probes on the thermostat terminals; if the reading is infinite, the thermostat is probably faulty and needs replacement.

Steps to Replace a Water Heater Thermostat

  • Safety First: Always make sure the power is turned off before beginning any work on the water heater. This prevents the risk of electric shock.
  • Drain the Tank: Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the base of the water heater to safely drain the tank. Be cautious as the water may be very hot.
  • Remove the Thermostat Cover: Frequently, thermostats are located behind an access panel. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws and take off the cover.
  • Disconnect Wiring: Before removing the thermostat, take a picture or note the wiring connections to make correct reinstallation easier. Carefully disconnect the wires from the thermostat terminals.
  • Replace the Thermostat: Install the new thermostat by reconnecting the wires to the appropriate terminals. Make sure the thermostat is securely positioned and replace the cover.
  • Refill and Restore Power: Close the drain valve and slowly refill the tank. Once filled, turn the power back on at the circuit breaker.

Testing After Replacement

After replacing the thermostat, it's important to test the water heater. Give the water heater time to heat up, then check the water temperature at the faucets. Verify that the water temperature remains stable and matches the thermostat settings.

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