Do you get cold showers often or run out of hot water? A broken thermostat in your electric hot water heater might be the problem. But before you jump to replace it, let's make sure that's indeed the issue. We'll help you test your electric hot water heater thermostat and find the issue in this blog. We'll talk about factors that affect the cost of replacing the heater thermostat.
Then, you can make a good choice about what to do. Don't let a malfunctioning hot water heater ruin your day. Keep reading to learn how to troubleshoot it and save some cash while you're at it.
Signs of A Faulty Electric Hot Water Heater Thermostat
One common problem for people who own an electric hot water heater is a faulty thermostat. If you're experiencing lukewarm or cold water despite a full tank, it may be due to a faulty thermostat. Here are two signs to look out for:
- Water Is Too Hot or Too Cold: If you're experiencing water that is too hot or too cold, it might be a sign that your thermostat is faulty. The thermostat controls water temperature by stopping the heating element when needed. If it's not working well, the water may not be the right temperature. In this case, the thermostat may need to be adjusted or replaced.
- Insufficient Hot Water: Another sign of a faulty thermostat is insufficient hot water. The thermostat might be the reason for an inadequate production of hot water in the heater. The thermostat may not work if it's set wrong or if it's dirty or corroded. In this case, the thermostat will need to be inspected and replaced if needed.
Keep in mind that there are other reasons for these signs such as a broken heater or a blown circuit. It's always a good idea to call an expert to diagnose the issue and make an informed decision.
Importance of Testing Electric Hot Water Heater Thermostat
You should check your electric thermostat often to make sure it's working properly. The thermostat maintains the desired temperature of the water in the storage tank. Hot or cold water can damage your system and make you uncomfortable if it's not working correctly. Testing your thermostat's accuracy also ensures that it's not wasting energy by running your hot water system at a higher temperature than necessary.
Before testing the thermostat, wear safety gloves. Also, turn off the power supply to your electric hot water heater to avoid accidents.
- Step 1: Remove the Access Cover: Take off the cover of the electric hot water heater to find the thermostat and element. Most access covers are located near the bottom of the water heater.
- Step 2: Test the Thermostat: Using a multimeter, set it to read resistance or ohms. To get a reading, touch the multimeter leads to the thermostat terminals. Your thermostat is working correctly if the reading matches your set temperature. If not, then you need to replace it.
- Step 3: Check the Heating Element: While the access cover is off, check the heating element to make sure it's working well. To make things easier, use your multimeter to check resistance on the water heater. Touch one lead to a terminal screw and the other lead to the metal tank. If the reading is less than 20 ohms, then the heating element is working fine. But if the reading leads to infinity then you need to replace the heating element.
Precautions Before Testing Electric Hot Water Heater Thermostat
- It's crucial to switch off the water heater's power supply before running any tests. You can turn off the circuit breaker or unplug the water heater to do this.
- Drain the tank before testing the thermostat. This allows the heater to cool down and prevents scalding or burns. To drain the tank, connect a hose to the drain valve and run it to a drain or outside.
- To make it easier to work on the thermostat, remove the cover after the tank cools down and is drained. Typically, this can be done by unscrewing a few screws or pulling out clips. It is important to refer to the manufacturer's instructions to ensure proper removal.