How to Repair a Water Heater

Repair a Water Heater

You need to repair a water heater without delay when it starts malfunctioning. Hot water is a primary need that we can’t imagine winters without. All the bathing and washing activities in the winter depending on hot water availability. Your water heater is the source of this hot water. If the water heater starts malfunctioning, you are in trouble and need to fix the problem as soon as possible.

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Different problems can occur in water heaters. You should learn about the issues and the solutions if you are a homeowner. The easiest way to fix a water heater is to call a plumber and wait for him to do it for you. However, it is easier for a job than it may seem. Therefore, you can save the maintenance cost by doing the repair work yourself. This article will help you through the repair process.

Identifications of Malfunctioning in the Water Heaters

Before we jump into the repair process, we need to understand some of the most common problems with heaters. Therefore, this section is about the common issues of water heaters.

The Water is Too Hot

Sometimes, your water heater can send water that is too hot than the normal water. This problem indicates that the thermostat is set higher than the normal temperature. Some other external factors can also play a role in this problem. However, the primary reason is the thermostat. If you try changing the set temperature and still face the problem, you need to replace the thermostat unit.

Lack of Hot Water

If your pipes are not insulated, the water inside the pipes can freeze because of the low temperature. Resultantly, the water does not flow or flow in a small volume. In addition, this problem can also occur because of a broken or damaged thermostat of the water heater.

However, it is also possible that the heater size differs from your hot water needs. Therefore, troubleshooting a faulty water heater is the foremost important.

The heater Takes Too Long to Heat the Water

If the water heater takes too long to heat the water, the problem lies in the heating element. In other words, the heater cannot heat the required water in time. You need to check the heating element of the heater to establish the proper troubleshooting.

How to Repair a Water Heater?

After you identify the problem keeping the above instructions in mind, can you repair the water heater? We expect you to be able to repair a hot water heater by enhancing your plumbing knowledge through the following process.

Turn off the Electricity/Fuel, and Water Supply

It would help if you always began the repair work with the source shut off. Therefore, you must turn off the electricity or any other energy source. Afterward, you need to turn off the water supply or isolate the water from the water supply. This practice will make your plumbing procedure more comfortable.

Drain the Existing Water

If the storage tank of the heater contains water, you need to drain it completely.

Open the Panel

Next, you should open the panel that leads to the heating element. The access panel on the side or the bottom of the unit also covers the thermostat. You can use a screwdriver to open this panel.

How to Repair a Water Heater

Disengage the Heating Element

The heating element is usually found near the lower part of the access panel. Supply heating element wires are connected through a connector that holds the wires with the help of two screws.

You will need to loosen these screws to disengage the supply from the heating element. You can easily detach the heating element. It is important to note that if water is not fully drained from the water heater and you try to disengage the heating element, it can burn your hands.

Brush and Reattach the Heating Element

Calcium can deposit on the heating element over the years, reducing its efficiency. Set the heating element flat and scrape the coil with a stiff wire brush. Try to remove as much of the deposit as you can. Scrub both sides of the heating element and clean it thoroughly. Now reattach the heating element by reversing the removal process.

Check the Thermostat

Check the thermostat and apply different tests if you find that the thermostat is not working correctly. You should replace the thermostat to avoid the mess of repairing the thermostat.

Turn On the Supplies

Now turn on the source and water supply to test the procedure. If the heater is working well, you have succeeded in repairing the heater, or else, call a plumber to fix the issue.


Most homeowners feel they need more confidence to repair a water heater; instead, they immediately call the plumber to fix it. However, you can identify the problem and the suitable solution for your problem yourself. The repair work is not difficult; you can complete it without professional assistance by following the above mentioned guidelines.

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