Electric hot water heaters provide the comfort of a warm bath or shower in the morning. If you suddenly lose all hot water, you can do quick troubleshooting checks before you call an emergency plumber. The first check should always be making sure the heater didn't simply blow its fuse. After you're sure the fuse was on when the heat went out, you can move on to a couple of additional checks.
Make sure the electricity to your unit is turned off before you attempt any hot water heater repairs.
Reset the Water Heater
The reset button location varies between water heater models. But here are a few general guidelines for finding and hitting that reset button. If the steps don't seem to apply to your particular heater, check the manufacturer's guide for instruction.
Look for a rectangular panel on the exterior of your heater that's held on with some screws. Use a screwdriver to remove those screws and open the panel. There might be some insulating material inside. Pull that out and set it safely aside with the screws and panel cover.
You should now see a button and you should press that button. Put the insulation back in and screw the cover back on. Turn the power back on to your machine and wait for at least half an hour for the water in the tank to have a chance to heat up. Now you can test the water out of a faucet to see if it's heating.
Test Upper Heating Element
This check isn't difficult to perform but it does require some caution and a specialized tool. If you already own a multimeter, you can take care of this check on your own. Otherwise leave the task in the able hands of a professional plumber.
If going it alone, start by turning off the power to your unit. Consult your manufacturer's guide for instructions on removing access panels and finding your lower and upper thermostats. Turn the lower thermostat down to its lowest setting and the upper thermostat to its highest setting. Turn the water heater's power back on.
Put the probe ends from your multimeter onto the contact screws in the upper thermostat. Does the thermostat have power? If no, then you need to call someone in to fix or replace the upper thermostat.
If the upper thermostat has power, repeat the check process for the lower thermostat. Turn the upper thermostat to its lowest setting and the lower thermostat to its highest. Test the lower thermostat's contact screws for power.
For more information, contact McCreery & Sun or a similar company.