An electric water heater is one of the most simple water heater devices. Every unit is made from a tank, electric coil that heats the water in the tank, a thermostat to control the water temperature (which includes an emergency overheat switch to disconnect electricity in case of emergency) and an electric power source by an electric cord connected to an outlet or hard wiring to the breaker.
1. Simple Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting
- Go to your panel breaker and make sure all the breakers are on. A good practice is to mark the breaker that goes to the water heater. It might be a double breaker of a 220 line as some water heaters run on 220 volts.
- Assuming the main valve is on and you have water running in your home (and if not, that’s the problem), make sure the valves on teh hot water heater are fully open.
- Some small electric water heaters do not have valves at all, especially in apartment buildings or in small commercial or industrial units or buildings. If the water main is on and the power is hooked up there is not much left to do but call a plumber for further investigation.
- An electric water heater is operated by high voltage, do not open the front cover of the water heater as its an electric hazard.
- Water and electric can never make peace and be mixed together. If you see water marks around your electric water unit, especially coming from the front cover where the heating coils are located, we highly advise you to shut off the power and call a plumber for emergency hot water heater repair.
- If you don’t know where your water heater is located, you might want to follow the cold water line and sometimes you cannot find it as it may be located in an attic, basement, closet or even under the counter top in the kitchen, next to the kitchen cabinets. That means that the countertop, sink or faucet may need to be removed to access the hot water heater. If you are not a contractor, just call us and we will make your life easier.
- A water heater that stops heating up water frequently needs to be repaired immediately. A breaker that trips repeatedly is because of overload and an electrical short. Continuing to use an electric water heater in that condition could cause a fire.
2. Convert an Electric Heater to Gas.
- I highly recommend for you to call us and have us visit your home if you are considering converting form an electric water heater to a gas water heater. First in order to make an educated smart decision that you won’t be sorry for later. The person that installed the electric water heater in your home or apartment had a reason for doing it and not going with a gas heating unit. Secondly, it doesn’t cost you anything, a free friendly opinion from a reliable plumber.
- Electric water heaters have less installations needs than a gas water heater. Yes, you will get a lower utility bill by using a gas unit but be ready to pay up front for the installation.
- Converting to a gas water heater requires:
- a gas line source, so we would need to run a new gas line with a new gas valve, one or two, and hook it up to the new unit.
- the room will need to be open with ventilation so fresh air will come in. The size of the ventilation needed is based on the calculation of the size of the water heater, the size of the room and the number and size of existing openings of doors and windows,
- you need a chimney. the smoke needs to go out so we would need to make a hole so it must be near and external wall.
3. Why Convert From an Electric Water Heater to a Gas Water Heater
- The first thing we ask a client that approaches us to convert from an electric water heater to gas, is why they want to do that and what they think the benefit is. Yes, it can be good but is the cost of the new installation going to be paid off in the long term? Between me and you it goes down to usage, how often and how much hot water you consume.
- How to calculate the benefit? There are tables of conversions that can tell you the energy you will use, which is the money that you will pay to heat water assuming you use different sources of energy. As not only do different sources of energy priced differently, as gas is cheaper than electric, but heating water using a different source of energy is not the same. So go to your water bill, find the average monthly usage and how many gallons you run into and calculate the usage of the hot water heater from that point the cost is easy to calculate using a different source of energy.
- An experienced plumber will tell you on the spot what would be best for you and your home and building environment. There are certain things that we can only see when we visit your building. For instance, a good plumber will be able to recognize immediately if your water heater is in the wrong spot and you are at risk for frozen pipes or energy loss if you install a hot water heater unit in a specific place.
4. Commercial Hot Water Heaters
- If you are the owner of a commercial building your hot water source is one of the most important things that you need to be reliable, free from maintenance and most importantly, to be efficient as a big old commercial hot water heater can consume energy in a way that can be double that of modern commercial hot water heater units.
- Choosing a new hot water unit for a commercial building is much more sensitive as you might me able to save a few thousand dollars a year just by choosing and properly installing a commercial water heater unit.
- We highly advise you to contact us, we are here to serve you anytime for any hot water heater problems, repair service, maintenance and new installations, day or night, emergencies and for new constructions and remodeling that you may need. Have a wonderful day.
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