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Water Heater Problems

Water heaters are essential in a household setup as they are used for several purposes such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, space heating and so on. These water heaters require combustion of a fossil fuel or electricity, which in order heat the water. The heat level of the water can also be controlled with the use and help of thermostats. Within a domestic setting, these appliances are simple to operate generally requiring a switch to engage and disengage. Listed below are a few common questions that have been answered by the Experts on water heater problems.

How can an individual fix a problem where their water heater had a leak that was fixed and now the water heater only works for a few hours and then needs reset in order to work again?

There could have been a situation where the water has flowed onto the top or bottom thermostat causing the thermostat to remain energized and continue to heat the heating elements. This will cause the water to heat excessively and trip the reset button. You should also be aware, only one element heats at a time until the thermostat setting is reached. Usually the element on top heats first. When it ceases, the lower thermostat is powered to allow the bottom element to heat. To check this you need a voltmeter. To make your task quicker, you should reduce the thermostat settings and consume any hot water present in the water heater. Next turn on the heater and check the top element for 230 volts. Once it stops and the bottom one comes on, check for 230 volts here. Finally you should get no reading once the heating process is complete. Based on the water temperature, water heating takes 40 minutes. To fix your problem you will most likely need to replace the top thermostat and limit, which is one unit and available at most appliance stores for under $30.

What are the steps in water heating troubleshooting where the 50 gallon water heater is not responding when the temperature is set to 140 degrees?

First you can check the thermostats for red buttons which are the reset buttons. On pressing it if you hear a click, the thermostat should trip and allow the heater to work again. If pressing the reset button does not help, you will need to test the heating elements which have two screws with wires connected. Check for voltage by placing test leads on the two screws. If there is no voltage, you may have a sticky thermostat which means it will not turn on even if the temperature is set. You can try tuning or loosening the adjustment screws. Set the thermostat higher until you hear a click and there is voltage running through the heating element. Decrease the setting to 140 degrees. If the thermostat deactivates the heating element, its calibration has failed since the tank has not reached the 140 degree level. In case it does not make contact, the thermostats will need to be replaced.

The pilot light on a six-year-old Nordyne Interherm water heater is turning off unpredictably. Should the individual replace the pilot light assembly for $300 or is it better to opt for a new water heater?

Most water heaters have a life span of ten to twenty years without any major problem arising. The issue you are facing is relatively minor with the flame sensor or dust buildup at the pilot light. This is a simple fix and $300 is a fairly high estimate. A competent skilled repairman should be able to resolve the issue within an hour without having to replace any parts. He probably needs to clean out the flame sensor, which is the component that protrudes out into the pilot flame, using a plumbers sand cloth. In a most complicated scenario, the only part which may need replacement would be the pilot orifice in the pilot light. After this repair, your water heater should run efficiently for another six years or more unless you have a very hard water supply or high acid water issues causing the tank to corrode.

Why is the lower element on a Whirlpool hot water heater not heating?

There could be an issue with one of the thermostats. Try increasing the temperature setting of the lower thermostat, slightly higher than the upper thermostat. On doing this, if the lower element does not energize, it means the upper thermostat has malfunctioned failing to transfer the power to the lower thermostat once the desired temperature is achieved.

Water heaters are useful appliances with a lengthy lifespan if you are able to address minor issues that you could face with it from time to time. As portrayed above, the main components to consider for water heater troubleshooting when a problem arises are the thermostats, sensors and pilot lights. If there are other unfamiliar issues giving you reasons to worry, it would be wise to seek the help and assistance of Experts. Expert’s insights and information at this juncture can go help alleviate the problem effectively and reasonably.

Ask an Appliance Technician

John
John, Home Appliance Technician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 13453
Experience:  Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
12064207
Type Your Appliance Question Here...
characters left:
5 Appliance Technicians are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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  • Get a Professional Answer
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Appliance Technicians are online & ready to help you now

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Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.

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