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Troubleshooting the Thermostat on a Hot Water Heater
November 4th, 2016
Depending on the gallon size of the tank, an electric water heater consists of one or two thermostats which regulate the temperature of the water. The thermostats work by turning the heating elements on when the water cools below a particular temperature. If any of the thermostats stop functioning, you won’t be able to get hot water or the water may start heating to very risky temperatures.
Electric Water Heater Problem
You can recognize that your water heater has issues if your water heats too slowly, doesn’t produce hot water at all, produces less quality of hot water than usual or heats up water to dangerously high temperatures. The problem might be with the thermostat of your heating device, which can be fixed easily by simple repair or replacing the heating elements.
Learning How to Fix Hot Water Elements and Thermostats
All water heaters make use of thermostats. Fixing it is not a tedious task but requires working with dangerously high voltage equipment. It is always advisable to switch the main electricity off before working with the heating apparatus.
If you are planning to fix the water heater yourself, here are the steps to guide you through:
Begin by turning the breaker inside the breaker panel of water heater off. Locate the screws that hold the electric access panel to the water heater.
Next, remove the screws and open the panel. You will see the electric wiring that handles the water heater. With some caution, disconnect the electricity. You will find out if electricity is cut from voltage sensor which stops flashing.
Now you may remove the access panel and expose the insulation behind it.
Further, remove the plastic protector cover from the thermostat and assign a number to each thermostat screw if there is a wire attached to it.
Hold each wire carefully and wrap a piece of painter’s tape around each wire that is connected to the screw. Write the corresponding thermostat crew number on the tape. This way if thermostat screw 3 has a wire attached to it, there will be a tape on it with number 3 written on it.
Now carefully loosen the screw in front of the thermostat and remove the wires from behind it. Next, remove the mounting clips from the thermostat and lift the thermostat from the heater. Take this thermostat with you and find a replacement for it. Bring home the replacement thermostat that is akin to your old thermostat.
Number the thermostat screws on the new device as you did previously. Make sure that the numbers on the old thermostat correspond with those on the new one.
Carefully take the wires from the water heater and connect them to corresponding screws on the thermostat.
Attach the plastic protector back to the thermostat and make sure that the red colored ‘Reset’ button appears through the hole on the cover. Set the thermostat temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit using a screwdriver.
Lastly, turn the breaker on and press the reset button. Replace the access and insulation panel. Repeat the same process if there is another thermostat behind a top access panel.
Before you fix your system, make sure that you have all the equipment like a screwdriver, painter’s tape, gloves, replacement thermostat etc. with you. Also, ensure that the electricity is off so that you can work with the system without being at risk of getting an electric shock. If you need assistance please don’t hesitate to contact Service Champions Heating and Air Conditioning.