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Downs Blog

May 2013

Troubleshooting Electric Water Heaters

Troubleshooting Electric Water Heaters
When an electric heater has problems, suspect the heating elements, their thermostats, and the high-temperature cutoff. The two heating elements (upper and lower), immersed in water, are controlled by thermostats which, along with the high-temperature cutoff, are concealed behind a panel on the side (insulation must be cut away for access after removing the panel). If the high-temperature cutoff has tripped due to water that's too hot, the solution may be as easy as pushing the reset button. High voltage and inaccessibility warrant a service call to adjust the thermostats, reset the high-temperature cutoff, or to replace any of these components of the heating elements themselves.
 
There is no hot water.
 
Check for:
  • The heater has no power.
  • The safety thermostat has quit working.
  • Defective heating thermostat.
  • Defective heating elements.
  • Accumulation of rust, scale, or sediment in the tank or pipes.
 
Remedies:
 
  • Check the fuse box/ circuit breaker.
  • If the heater repeatedly blows fuses call an electrician.
  • Push the reset button.
  • Test the heating thermostats and elements.
  • Test the thermostats and replace if necessary.
  • Test the elements and replace if necessary.
  • Drain and flush the tank and pipes.
 
The hot water supply is too low.
 
Check for:
  • Thermostat is set wrong.
  • The tank is too small.
  • Heat is getting loose in the pipes.
  • Defective heating element.
  • Leaking hot water faucets.
 
Remedies:
 
  • Turn the thermostat to a higher temperature.
  • Install a larger heater.
  • Move the heater nearer to the point of use if possible.
  • Insulate the hot water pipes.
  • Test the element then replace it.
  • Repair or replace the faucets.
 
The water temperature is too high.
 
Check for:
 
  • Thermostat is on the wrong setting.
  • Inadequate insulation around the thermostats.
 
Remedies:
 
  • Turn up the thermostat.
  • Add insulation around the thermostats.
  • Test the thermostat and replace if necessary.
 
There is a water leak.
 
Check for:
 
  • Defective gasket or seal on the element.
  • Defective safety valve.
  • The tank is rusted through.
  • Leaking plumbing connections.
 
Remedies:
 
  • Check and replace gasket or seal.
  • Check and replace the safety valve.
  • Buy a new water heater.
  • Call a qualified contractor.
 
The heater becomes unusually noisy.
 
Check for:
 
  • Accumulation of rust, scale or sediment in the tank.
  • Scale has formed on the elements.
 
Remedies:
 
  • Drain the tank and flush it out.
  • Remove the elements, soak with vinegar and then scrape off the scale.
 
Your hot water pipe is rusty or discolored.
 
Check for:
 
  • Accumulation of rust or sediment in the tank.
  • Scale has formed on the elements.
  • Corroded water pipe.
 
Remedies:
 
  • Drain the tank.
  • Remove the elements, soak them in vinegar and then scrape off the scale.
  • Have a plumber replace the pipes.

Home Plumbing System

A basic Home Plumbing System consists of a network of pipes responsible for supply, distribution and drain of water to and from various fixtures at House. If we have to classify various units of the system it can be categorized under following two heads:-•
 
 Fresh Water Supply System:-
 
Fresh water is supplied and then distributed to various plumbing fixtures, faucets and appliances in the house through a network of valves & pipes which may be a Plastic or GI pipe depending on application starting from 25mm thickness. Further to this – there is a separate network of pipes from direct supply for cold water needs, where as for hot water needs, the direct supply is required to deliver the water first to the water heater with a thermostat to maintain the temperature. From water heater, water with controlled temperature is then distributed to all fixtures and faucets in the house.• Waste Water Drain System: -This system carries the waste water of the house from faucets, bathtubs, sinks, washing machine, dish washer through drain pipes to the sewer line or the septic tank. This is also called Drain Waste Vent System. The network of such pipes is generally concealed inside the walls, below the floors. In such a scenario it is important to check the system consciously on regular intervals for any blockages so that clogged drains  can be cleared as and when detected. Even if no blockages are found in the system- it is advised to set a schedule for periodic drain cleaning as well as preventive maintenance.

Types of Plumbing Fixtures and Repairs Associated With It
 
Water Lines:-
 
Being the network of pipes responsible for carrying fresh water to all the faucets and fixtures of the house I have already mentioned somewhere in the beginning of this post- this is the most important part of the home plumbing leaks plumbing system to be checked for repairs periodically. If not checked regularly problems like p or water blockage may occur leading to either slow supply of water or wastage of water through leaks. The important point to be noted that issues related to plumbing leaks will not be limited to just increase in water bills, but it may damage your walls with moisture. To know more you can refer this post related to ‘plumbing leaks and repair’.
 
Sump Pump:
 
-It is used to clear the accumulated water may be in your basement or at any other place to proper drains. They may stop working due to accumulation of debris, leaving collected water damaging your basement. The only solution for a problem in sump pump is preventive maintenance and checking it regularly
 
.Kitchen, Bathroom, Bathtub and other types of Drain:-
 
The problems related to it can be of clogged drain preventing waste water to go to the public sewer of septic tanks. There are various drain and sewer cleaning methods can be referred to in a separate post on this blog.
Leaky Faucets:-
 
A leaky faucets can not only waste a lot of water draining out without getting used, before you realize it, but also can increase of water bills multifold. Most of the times, solution to repair this type of plumbing problem lies in the washer. Which may be worn out to wear and tear. If replacing a washer do not solve the problem of leaky faucets, chances are that the faucet is a washer less faucet and problem may be solved by replacing its O-ring.