How to Repair an Overheating Electric Water Heater

How to Repair an Overheating Electric Water Heater

A water heater is a common household appliance nowadays, but it used to be a luxury not many decades ago. It can be easy to take the water heater for granted. You will quickly realize what you had once it is gone though. There is a lot that can go wrong with the water heater. The most common issue is the lack of hot water, but there is a more frightening potential: nothing but scalding hot water. The good news is that Just Water Heaters has you covered with this quick troubleshooting guide. If you have particular questions or concerns, or if you would like professional assistance, then call Just Water Heaters to speak with a courteous representative.

Temperature Settings

Before you panic, let’s make sure some of the simple causes are out of the way. It can be that the thermostat has been accidentally tweaked up to the highest temperature setting. The average water heater can be set between 100- and 140-degrees Fahrenheit, but that maximum setting can scald within 5 seconds. Rotate the temperature dial counterclockwise or adjust the digital thermostat to bring the temperature to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the water inside the tank is likely extremely hot, it will take some time for the water to cool down to your desired temperature.

Sediment Buildup

All water is not just water. Tap water especially can have varying levels of minerals and contaminants. You may have noticed the effect of “hard” water, for example, if your glassware, silverware, and plumbing fixtures have chalky residue even after a long washing. This chalky residue is actually mineral buildup, and the buildup is likely occurring inside your water heater tank as well.

If you do not flush your water heater tank at least once a year, then you are allowing this sediment buildup to intensify into scaling. Over time, the sediments can cover the bottom of the heating tank as well as the heating elements, forming a layer of insulation. This insulation makes the water heater work harder to heat the water. The result is overheating, a dead heating element, or both.

T&P Valve Issues

Temperature and pressure relief valves are safety features that allow the release of pressure buildup from the water heater tank. This element is supposed to work automatically by sensing the temperature and pressure and opening the valve to release excesses.

There is also a handle that allows you to manually release water. We recommend you test the T&P relief valves at least once a year by lifting the lever several times to release some water. If the valve is defective or stuck, the steam from the tank will not be able to escape, resulting in overheating, deformed elements, and even injuries. Replace defective or faulty T&P relief valves as soon as possible.

Call Just Water Heaters

If these troubleshooting tips did not help your electric water heater, then call Just Water Heaters to consult with a representative and schedule a flexible appointment. We are also happy to arrange an emergency dispatch any time.